The British Museum has published on its frequently informative blog a call for citizen archaeologists to help digitize its Bronze Age Index via a crowd-sourcing site called MicroPasts, which uses the open source PyBossa crowd-sourcing framework that also powers Crowdcrafting. The results will eventually be integrated with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (previously), which features a gigantic image database of finds categorized by period (e.g. Bronze Age or Medieval) and object type (e.g. coins or brooches).
For the past three days, the world of streaming gaming has been riveted by an unlikely phenomenon: Twitch Plays Pokemon. Consisting of a live Twitch.TV chatroom hooked up to a classic Game Boy emulation of Pokémon Red, the program is set to recognize a limited number of commands and execute them in real time, allowing an audience of tens of thousands to collectively control the action as they watch. An astonishing amount of progress has been made, including the dramatic last-second defeat of a third gym leader (GIF) and the solution of a notoriously tricky puzzle on the very first attempt. But all for naught, it seems, as Team Twitch finds itself hilariously stranded on the ledges of Route 19 where, as one viewer explained, "they basically have to walk a small path for about ten spaces without anyone pushing down and jumping Red off the ledge," a grim democratic reality the dedicated subreddit /r/twitchplayspokemon has had all kinds of fun with over the last dozen ludicrous hours.
John and Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers have launched a new subscription service called Subbable, that aims to crowdsource support for content creators through direct payments, rather than through the typical model that uses advertising. Subscribers can pay nothing and still view the content, but those who opt to pay earn Perks from the channels to which they subscribe. Right now, the vlogbrothers' educational channel Crash Course is the only content available, although applications are being taken for other content creators to join...assuming it works with Crash Course. [more inside]
"Mother Jones [and, later, other media outlets] requested [Sarah] Palin's gubernatorial emails during the 2008 election. Almost three years later, the wait is over. ... Today, at [1:00 pm ET] in Juneau, the state of Alaska is scheduled to release 24,199 pages of emails Sarah Palin sent and received during her half-term as governor of the Last Frontier. State workers will distribute six-box sets and hand trucks (which must be returned) to representatives of a dozen or so media outfits" "Volunteers from the League of Women Voters and the Retired Public Employees of Alaska will be at Juneau's Centennial Hall convention center ... look[ing] for any significant or interesting emails, stick a post-it note on the page, and pass them to journalists, who also will be reading through the 24,000 pages. Exact copies of the best of those emails will be posted online immediately. ... In the same room ... a second set of the documents will be scanned for msnbc.com by Crivella West, an analytics and investigative-research company from Pittsburgh, returning the records to their original electronic form, allowing anyone anywhere to join in the crowdsourcing. That free, public, searchable archive will go online, sometime later on Friday, at http://palinemail.msnbc.msn.com." "The Washington Post is looking for '100 organized and diligent readers' to work with reporters to 'analyze, contextualize, and research the emails.' The New York Times is employing a similar system.'"* [more inside]
Wikipedia And The Death Of The Expert - "McLuhan prefigured the Internet era in a number of surprising ways. As he said in a March 1969 Playboy interview: 'The computer thus holds out the promise of a technologically engendered state of universal understanding and unity, a state of absorption in the Logos that could knit mankind into one family and create a perpetuity of harmony and peace' ... Wikipedia, along with other crowd-sourced resources, is wreaking a certain amount of McLuhanesque havoc on conventional notions of 'authority', 'authorship', and even 'knowledge' ... Knowledge is growing more broadly and immediately participatory and collaborative by the moment."
With kettling becoming a commonly deployed tactic by the London Met, students from the University College London are fighting back with Sukey, launched this morning. [more inside]
Crowd surf, crowd sourcing, crowd funding? Like being supported by an ocean of people, or collaboration from around the world, crowd funding gets projects financial backing from the people. It's not new, as it has been the method for funding charities and political campaigns for a very long time, but it is a novel attempt at getting funds for other projects. Some people have placed their hopes in crowdfunding as a way to save journalism, while other companies are looking to get micropayment-scale public investments in fashion by offering investors the potential for a cut of future profits. The more typical return is physical goods, like getting the t-shirt you help sponsor [via mefi projects], or a limited edition version of the album. There's another site long these lines, but more free-form in structure: Kickstarter, crowdfunding for people who make stuff. [via mefi projects] The fundees can set a fundraising goal, deadline, and a set of rewards for backers. If the goal's reached by the deadline, then everyone's charged and backers get their goodies. If not, nobody's charged. The previously discussed 8-bit tribute to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Kind of Bloop was funded this way.
Have you told the powers in Washington what kind of world you want? You're busy. You don't have time to be a professional "Congress watcher." So we'll be your eyes and ears. We'll track the debates and compromises and bills that will shape the world.