I'm sure you've heard of the term "crowdfunding," which is soliciting monetary assistance, via the internet, to complete a project. Projects range from helping individuals to pay for funeral expenses for a loved one, to providing funding for the completion of a motion picture--and everything in between. Two year's ago, actor, LeVar Burton, solicited funds for a resurrection of the children's literacy program, Reading Rainbow. His stated goal was to raise a million dollars! He made the goal in a short amount of time. Many people who remembered loving Reading Rainbow in their youth were more than willing to support reading endeavors.
Crowdsourcing follows a similiar pattern. Assistance is solicited to complete a project. However, the assistance does not come in the form of money, but in the donation of time, knowledge, or skills. Probably the best known crowdsourced project is Wikipedia. A crowdsourcing project closer to home is the transcription of New Hampshire historical documents so that they may be made accessible to the general public online. You can read a short article about this project here.
Zooniverse.org is a website that "is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research." One project from Zooniverse is an ongoing "Decoding the Civil War" project that is looking for volunteers, click here.
To access another huge listing of crowdsourced projects, click here.
I have received email solicitations for information to be used in putting together a public radio report. WMUR in Manchester is always looking for weather event-related, and eyewitness photos. What projects do you know about or have you participated in?
If you're looking for something to do with your free time, crowdsourcing may be for you!