Crowdsourcing is a play on the idea of outsourcing for specialized help. One can crowdsource for the coolest song, or the nearest wireless hotspot, or for the most popular restaurant. Wired Magazine has a great article on how GPS systems and crowdsourcing connect seamlessly; it’s such a clever idea, one that is parallel to social collaboration and open source everything.
I happened to stumble across athis blog entry from Buzz Machine which tells the story of how a university student wanted to crowdsource his tuition payments. I don’t know if the story is true or if it’s just another urban myth, but it’s incredibly cool.
Here’s another story, this time as a direct quote:
“Joanna Geary, a young journalist trying for a job at the Birmingham Post, told her readers about the task she had to perform for the interview: “I have to outline a training course that would convert traditional print journalists into ‘fully-equipped and knowledgeable multi-media, multi-platform journalists’ in just five days.” So she decided to ask for her readers’ help. I said in the comments that that act alone should get her hired. It shows she thinks in the new way: open, networked, relying on and trusting the gift economy and respecting her readers and what they know. “
This got me thinking about how people might use this concept in a Christian context. We all know that we can crowdsource for opinions, data, information, and connections, but why is it that so many people type in their prayers into Google (or any other search engine) and search for meaning? Would crowdsourcing within a Christian community not be a better way to get people praying for you, and if so, then wouldn’t Twitter be the best option? I’m just thinking out loud on this, and I’m sure there will be more to come.