Funny how I was just thinking about using the likes of Twitter to use the jargon ‘crowdsource’ answers to issues and needs. I recall no less a Twitterati than Laura Fitton saying how a request posted on Twitter quickly received a bunch of useful timely replies. And today Dennis Howlett has blogged on the same theme, with an example which provide ‘Proof that crowdsourcing works’.
But I’m left with one question that sounds pretty trivial I admit but surely this network effect works so well for these two notables because they are well known ‘names’? If I were to put out a similar ‘crowdsourcing’ request it simply would not work. The context then of being known is key.
As a larger point it does make me smile sometimes when web 2.0 thought leaders acclaim certain products, without this contextual awareness. In fact you could say you get a better idea of the pros and cons of web 2.0 tools for ordinary users when you’re not a ‘name’ as the bias of noterity does not apply. Hey, I’ll keep on keeping a low profile and see what that brings/does not bring as both results are useful — to compare my observations against the reported results from web 2.0 leaders.
That said after I posted this issue to the UK community manager group e-mint I had a useful response from Mecca Ibrahim underlining the value of Twitter for crowdsourcing, including the following great point on why people often use Twitter rather than Google for finding what they want: “In fact a number of friends say they use Twitter rather than Google sometimes as they know they’ll get an answer from people they “know” rather than an SEO’d response.”
PS: Please don’t comment or highlight this post in any significant way or I’ll lose my hard-earned lack of profile in the world of social media!
@stuart: say ONE ‘name’ amplifies your request, then you get fresh attention. It snowballs. I did a piece for Chris Brogan pro bono and it attracted something like 50 followers the following day. Scoble talks about me – another 50. Go figure.
Thanks Dennis, the wonders of high profile endorsement!