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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Crowdsourcing

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 A crowdsourcing project closer to home is the transcription of New Hampshire historical documents so that they may be made accessible to the general public online.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.

A few of the projects you'll find on Zooniverse.

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!


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