Crowd sourcing has been this magic tool that perhaps would not replace the old-style journalists, but would at least add extra value to their work. That seems often correct, although some of the social media venture struggle through a new problem: too much feedback.
Yesterday Google integrated its old Google Places into Google Local, a part of Google+. So, I checked online what useful information was available in my current neighborhood, Lausanne. Not too much, but I saw raving reports on the Olympic Museum, just twenty minutes down the road.
Now, a few months ago the museum closed for renovation, something that will last at least until the end of 2013. And those who are familiar with renovations of larger museums know those end-dates are always a rather optimistic estimation.
So, I sent some feedback (using the feedback button on the page) to tell the good people of Google, they should perhaps add this piece of useful information to their entry.
Just now I got a polite answer: thanks you very much, but it might take a while before we can handle all the feedback we are getting. Possibly until the end of 2013, I guess.
That is an interesting dilemma. If they would let me, I would not mind adding this information myself to the entry. But they do not trust the crowds so much, that they would allow that. The same problem I have with the restaurants at Google Local. Typically, only the business owners can create an entry, not their clientele.
That was a problem, since I was planning to write two reviews of restaurants, but both owners had not yet found their way to Google. In one case, I was not surprised, since they were hardly able to find their way to the kitchen. But is shows a dilemma: when you want to control the crowds, you need enough editorial capacity to do so. Otherwise, you have to hope the self-correcting mechanisms of the crowds would solve major problems. But you might also open a Box of Pandora, that is very hard to close again.
Perhaps time to find a nice solution in between: adding some capacity to the editorial force seems a good idea for Google, now they have become a media company anyway.
- Help us crowd source a crowd sourcing sceptic for Mumbrella360 (mumbrella.com.au)
- Success Can Be Achieved With A Crowd? [Awesome CrowdSourcing Ideas] (weblogbetter.com)
- Crowd-sourcing a career change (blogs.vancouversun.com)
- Why is Wikileaks failing to be like Wikipedia in crowd sourcing? (economicevolutions.info)