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The concept of crowdsourcing is certainly an essential element in the M3P. It's a type of collaboration that goes beyond traditional forms of cooperation but builds on many of their strengths while sharing some of their flaws.

It's certainly something I need to understand better in making sure that the broader context for the M3P is understood more widely.


Collaboration and cooperation are essential related terms/concepts for any discussion of crowdsourcing.

Howard Rheingold's concept maps & mini courses:

Collaboration vs. Self-interest

Tony Grimaud's PhD is verging towards a hypothesis that collaboration in Malta is trumped by self-interest (almost) every time. Joe Demicoli expressed a sense of apathy to me in a FB note on 15/10/11 when he was in the process of organizing a night-out for former members of 60s/70s pop/rock bands. Although I have experienced this myself directly on many other occasions too, I am confident that there are strategies to overcome all this, and Grimaud should be addressing these in his doctoral dissertation.

There is also a strong belief elsewhere (especially in Wikimedia circles!) that the opposite holds true. The best place I've found this expressed is in The Penguin and the Leviathan:How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest, Yochai Benkler's new book, published in August 2011. This idea very eloquently presented in this excellent lecture by PhD candidate Benjamin Mako Hill delivered at Harvard's Berkman Center on Tuesday 11 October 2011: Almost Wikipedia: What Eight Collaborative Encyclopedia Projects Reveal About Mechanisms of Collective Action (inc. video + audio downloads). Among other things, including some interesting background information, the lecture discusses how “Failed Wikipedias” suggest successful ways to encourage contribution and collaboration.

The lecture also points out the following essential findings:

  1. Wikipedia attracts contributors because it is built around a familiar product.
  2. Wikipedia attracts contributors because it is focused on substantive content development instead of technology.
  3. Wikipedia attracts contributors because it offers low transaction costs to participation.
  4. Wikipedia attracts contributors because it deemphasizes attribution and “social ownership” of content.

Further comments on this lecture:

A (mostly unrelated) perspective from Jimmy Wales who apparently hates crowdsourcing video. [1]


See also