When some people hailing for the trend of crowdsourcing I can’t feel excited about this new trend among the effects of Internet. In the article of “When the Media Meet Crowds of Wisdom”, Muthukumaraswamy mentioned the increasingly digital world where many are predicting the demise of the traditional newspaper, the media are not only turning to the masses to report and help report through the power of Internet journalism but also yield “crowdsourcing” that taps into the collective wisdom of crowds, which is often more powerful than the brainpower of single expert. But the future of this phenomenon is so prospective? I have seen the limitations of crowdsourcing.
The case I chose among five in the article is the “Brian Lehrer Show”. I think it is an appropriate example about crowdsourcing …and its limitations.
The first problem is uncertainty of information validity:
Although Muthukumaraswamy has mentioned different ways to resolve the validation problem such as providing comment system as “Brian Lehrer Show” did. She cited that collective knowledge is scrutinized post-publication, and credibility is established by agreement or refutation (Bruns, 2005). However, according to the critics of crowdsourcing, bloggers often write under pseudonyms. Why I said the Brian Lehrer Show is a good example? Because I think one of the limitations of crowdsourcing is it can only be effective or the data are validated in the general level like information of daily life. I have found the article discussing both two sides of crowdsourcing and indicated that even the famous Ushahidi has problem of validation and accuracy. And in this humanitarian level (not daily life) the validation and accuracy are more important. We can’t risk anyone’s life by believing uncertain crowdsourcing. In additional, the one considered most successful crowdsouring example, Wikipedia, still has hitches and glitches.
The second problem is that dose crowd must have wisdom:
Many advocators of crowdsourcing are proud of the amount of the data providers. Just like Muthukumaraswamy wrote in the passages of Brian Lehrer Show, “The information obtained, however, was still significant since the data were consolidated from a large number of contributors. ” Nevertheless I found an article argues that the precondition is that you need to find “right crowd”. The article also post some questions about the contributor’s preference and the application of crowdsourcing for more complex problem, which is not belong to daily life level, requires dedicated resources. Also, an article on the BBC Website critics that the problem of the term “crowd” is that there’s no individual perspective. “There’s value in mass participation but where possible the people need some expertise. We just call it collaboration frankly. ”
The third problem of crowdsourcing is it’s not for everything:
As Muthukumaraswamy said in the article, “Although simple in design, there ventures are ingenious in that they allow the average person to contribute to the democratic process in meaningful ways.” My point here is not similar to hers. I see the limitation of crowdsourcing that it can only be applied in certain aspects and lower level of problem such as the case of “Brian Lehrer Show” which related to daily life. Just try to think that if the public and the authorities use this crowdsourcing monitoring people tracking their locations, the outcome wouldn’t be so prospective. The BBC Website also points out the serious problem of using crowdsourcing in different level. “The White House tried crowdsourcing when Obama first came in. They asked the public what its main priorities should be. Legalising marijuana came up number one.” At this point, we have to say that the government misuse the crowdsourcing in such high level issue and this may lead to “the tyranny of majority”.
As I mentioned at the first paragraph, the case is a good case for crowdsourcing since it fit the notion of my perspective of “crowdsourcing”. Under the limitation of crowdsourcing, the efficiency can be expand to its maximum but just for issues of general level. Thus, the subheading of this case in the article of Muthukumaraswamy fits the case.