Monday, January 28, 2008

why blog? and twitter pack = community sourcing

Why blog?

For me, it was simple. If I was going to really submerge myself in social media tools then I felt like I needed to start writing about my social media experiences. There's a lot going on and it's overwhelming!

I figured if I started a blog, I could look back at where I began with social media. I could see the steps I was making. Progress would be charted in my words. Maybe I would find my blogging voice along the way (still searching for that:)

And so here it is - Nothin' but socNET. I'm 6 months into authoring my own blog. It's really a journal for me, to keep tabs on what's going on in this crazy, ever-changing environment.

And I'm asking my first question to anyone and everyone that comes across this post.

I need your help with a definition.

Today, I came across Chris Brogan's latest endeavor via his tweet:

The Twitter Pack Project.

and I'm watching the pulse build on this project. It's interesting to see the wiki take shape, the community molding it, the passion unfolding, the voices of many providing their input, the discussions on twitter and Brogan's blog.

Brogan's Twitter Pack Project is a fantastic example of - not crowd sourcing - no, this is well beyond, crowd sourcing - this is community sourcing at its finest.

Define community sourcing with me expand on this post and live the definition along the way. Once we have a definition that we are comfortable with as a good enough starter, we'll post community sourcing on wikipedia.

UPDATE - 1/30
Adding Warren's suggestion from his comments below:
Wikipedia defines crowd sourcing as:
Outsourcing a task to an undefined, generally large group of people.

Community sourcing is taking crowd sourcing to the next level:
Outsourcing a task to a connected group/community for the benefit of that community.

Warren has captured the social networking connection element in his definition that is lacking in crowd sourcing. I picture a cattle call when I think of crowd sourcing. I picture a table of friends discussing a topic of interest when I think of community sourcing.



Chris Brogan said...

And yet, there were all kinds of dynamics that came after the launch. People were concerned with feeling left out. People were worried that others had selected them into lists where they might not be appropriate. The "metadata" on the experiment was even more revealing than the effort itself.

I'm thinking community sourcing and friendsourcing are still very valid tools. I use Twitter for that purpose all the time. I ask people for LOTS of things. Still intend to do so.

But this specific project? It was interesting seeing how fast it was polarized and polarizing.

Zena said...

Thanks for your comments, Chris. I was surprised how quickly the news of the project spread, grew and as you said "polarized."

Appreciate your thoughts on community sourcing and friendsourcing.

kanter said...

Zena, I'm so glad you blogged this. I saw the project, wanted to blog it but a little distracted. I'm going to reblog your post.

Warren said...


I think it was amazing how Twitter Packs took off. In less than a day, it was very well populated. And it was because of Community Sourcing. If Crowed Sourcing is defined as outsourcing a task to an undefined, generally large group of people (Wikipedia), then I would define community sourcing as the next level: outsourcing a task to a connected group/community for the benefit of that community. Therefore, it is no surprise that all of these great minds working feverishly completed so much so quickly.

Great topic!

Zena said...

Beth and Warren,

Thanks for keeping this conversation going. Warren, I'm going to update the post with your community sourcing definition. I think you nailed the intangible "benefit" in your definition. Thanks!

Don Lafferty said...

I am a full time lurker, part time contributor when it comes to the Social Media conversation, so I wasn’t in the first wave of joiners to Brogan’s project. By the time I inserted myself most of the big dogs were already there and some of the grousing was well under way.

Nevertheless, I noticed a measurable bump in my personal connecting after I jumped in, so I can’t argue with the effectiveness of the activity even though the value is still TBD.

Harnessing a purposefully tailored online community with focused objectives for gathering feedback, I firmly believe, is one of the holy grails of Online Social Networking.

Mary said...

Great post, Zena. As a relative newbie to the blogging world, I thought the Twitter Pack was a great idea. Sadly, my day job distracted me from the conversation it started...

Gerry said...

Great minds etc!~ Found this googling crowd sourcing as part of my post, which includes a definition I've used, inspired by the wikipedia defintion of crowd sourcing.

Nice site, good content... subscribed.

Conrad said...

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