Shirky and Sanger, or the costs of crowdsourcing

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Online knowledge production sites do not rely on isolated experts but on collaborative processes, on the wisdom of the group or “crowd”. Some authors have argued that it is possible to combine traditional or credentialled expertise with collective production; others believe that traditional expertise's focus on correctness has been superseded by the affordances of digital networking, such as re-use and verifiability. This paper examines the costs of two kinds of “crowdsourced” encyclopedic projects: Citizendium, based on the work of credentialled and identified experts, faces a recruitment deficit; in contrast Wikipedia has proved wildly popular, but anti-credentialism and anonymity result in uncertainty, irresponsibility, the development of cliques and the growing importance of pseudo-legal competencies for conflict resolution. Finally the paper reflects on the wider social implications of focusing on what experts are rather than on what they are for. Introduction:
Original languageEnglish
Article numberC04
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Science Communication
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

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expert
legal competency
expertise
costs
Costs
Wikipedia
anonymity
knowledge production
conflict resolution
wisdom
networking
deficit
uncertainty
Group
Uncertainty

Cite this

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title = "Shirky and Sanger, or the costs of crowdsourcing",
abstract = "Online knowledge production sites do not rely on isolated experts but on collaborative processes, on the wisdom of the group or “crowd”. Some authors have argued that it is possible to combine traditional or credentialled expertise with collective production; others believe that traditional expertise's focus on correctness has been superseded by the affordances of digital networking, such as re-use and verifiability. This paper examines the costs of two kinds of “crowdsourced” encyclopedic projects: Citizendium, based on the work of credentialled and identified experts, faces a recruitment deficit; in contrast Wikipedia has proved wildly popular, but anti-credentialism and anonymity result in uncertainty, irresponsibility, the development of cliques and the growing importance of pseudo-legal competencies for conflict resolution. Finally the paper reflects on the wider social implications of focusing on what experts are rather than on what they are for. Introduction:",
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Shirky and Sanger, or the costs of crowdsourcing. / O'Neil, Mathieu.

In: Journal of Science Communication, Vol. 9, No. 1, C04, 03.2010, p. 1-6.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

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