Anyone every stop and think where we would be without technology? How about how far we have become with technology? Howard Rheingold shares his views on how mankind first started out and extends into how with technology we are going into an era where it could potentially be too fast. One of the greatest aspects he pointed out though is how internet is an enabling technology. This “enabling technology” has created many possibilities for us in the technology world, but Howard Rheingold points out how our everyday desktop/PCs are printing presses, broadcasting stations, a community, a market place, etc. The power is untethering and soon humans will be holding/carrying computers linked to speeds faster than what broadband currently is. Examples of this untethering technology would be Wikipedia, bit torrent, etc. Wikipedia is a great example of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is possible as it is the work of a group of people, whether they are volunteers or not, working towards a common goal. This goal could just simply be putting facts online to be available for others or it could be taken as work that is outsourced to a group of people. No longer do we live in a world where only a small group of people can handle a task. With technology, we can outsource our needs to crowds of people at a fraction of the cost.
Wikipedia used thousands of volunteers to create a free encyclopedia. However lately, within the past couple years, Wikipedia has made a strong movement to ensure the data given is factual. Processes involve fact checking along with limiting the amount of editing that can be done on a topic. This strengthening in their system helps increase reliability of collective efforts from a large group of people. This is an example of crowdsourcing.
A lot of advantages has happened due to this movement. In the wired article, Claudia Menashe needed pictures of sick people for a kiosk. Long story short, she found suitable pictures from an open source website, istockphoto. The dilemma poised though is the freelancer she originally lined up for photos was no longer needed. Harmel (the freelancer) has seen a steady decline in his income due to sites like istockphoto. It is an unfortunate situation for Harmel, but I among many others have used similar sites to achieve similar goals. The days of paying someone for non-personalized photos will soon be extinct.
Jean Burgess brings up many points in her article. One of the topics are “meme”. I am sure we all are familiar with what a meme is, but has anyone realized how catchy some are? Due to this trend, there are businesses out there that have become more popular due to random meme created by someone that is not affiliated with the business. Random people have become famous due to certain meme as well. Another example from Jean Burgess is “chocolate rain”. The original work had become modified and far exceeded the original intentions. These modified versions are mash-ups, parodies, remixes. We are in a time where technology has allowed us to take media into our own hands and broadcast them out in many ways. People are able to modify, archive, remix etc. These actions fall under as participatory cultures. Examples could include groups of gamers, even us bloggers. Anyone ever stop and notice how some commercials now are actually personal videos you have seen on YouTube? This element of the technology world has inspired people to do work they never imagined they would be doing. This technology media movement has allowed marketing to skyrocket.
Society as a whole has benefited from this movement as it sees things in ways never imagined before, it inspires people to be creative and express themselves and certain messages or idea are being seen from many people that never probably would have viewed it before. People, among businesses, have become more aware due to the abilities of collaboration or even remixes or original work. Have you fallen into such acts? Have you ever had to outsource something and then found somewhere else online to be cheaper and even better work just to find out it’s a collaboration? What about searching for something and finding knock offs of the original?