Linked by David Adams on Tue 29th Sep 2009 14:53 UTC
In the News Forbes has an interesting article that attempts to push Crowdsourcing off its pedestal by pointing out that "crowds" don't actually invent or create anything; individuals do. What the crowdsourcing phenomenon does is put an opportunity in front of a large number of people, some of whom may be uniquely suited to solve a particular problem or achieve a particular goal. The article goes on to discuss Open Source Software, and points out that Open Source's success isn't because of crowds of anonymous people, but the largely the efforts of identifiable virtuosos.
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link?
by GeorgesBraque on Tue 29th Sep 2009 15:02 UTC
GeorgesBraque
Member since:
2005-07-07

please give us a link to the Forbes article.

Reply Score: 1

link
by sAmIlE on Tue 29th Sep 2009 15:39 UTC
sAmIlE
Member since:
2009-05-12
Seems to come up a lot
by Yamin on Tue 29th Sep 2009 16:06 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

It came out on House the tv show this week.
Basically he left his job as super diagnostic doctor. His old team struggles to treat a patient who is computer savvy.
The patient sends out emails and posting to see if anyone on the 'web' can diagnose him.
In the end, it turns out House (the great expert) posts the answer.

I don't want to get too political... yet I will because I have met many hi-tech folks who are obsessed with crowds. It is to an extent an obsessive belief in democracy... that everything would be okay if we just voted on everything.

I'm much more of the belief in freedom as opposed to democracy. The idea being... if you have a good idea... get out there, get funding, and do it. Then you will have proven your idea is good.

The current alternative is a bunch of bureaucrats backed by the crowed will decide what will be done, take the resources by force (taxation) and then tell the workers what to do.

Reply Score: 6

v RE: Seems to come up a lot
by Moulinneuf on Tue 29th Sep 2009 17:20 UTC in reply to "Seems to come up a lot"
RE[2]: Seems to come up a lot
by Yamin on Tue 29th Sep 2009 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems to come up a lot"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

1. I have nothing against open source. Linux is a great example of someone getting out there and just doing it (linus).

But let us recall how Linux was created. It was the vision on one nutty guy (linus) who wanted to do something.

It was not a crowd of people who collaboratively thought how they can create a new operating system.

2. If you don't think taxes are taken by force, then... go ahead and try not paying taxes. See what happens to you. I have a hunch force will be used.

You might think taxes are needed and good for the 'public'. That is fine as far as politics goes, but at least have the honestly to admit they are taken by force, at the barrel of the police force's gun. That every dollar of taxation is a police officer with a gun pointed at my head demanding I pay them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Seems to come up a lot
by Moulinneuf on Tue 29th Sep 2009 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Seems to come up a lot"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

1. Linus ( and not Linux, who he did not even named Linux himself ) did not do it alone ...

2. No it was an exercise in computing, that linus published on the net, he had zero plans for it, the first license for it was even non comercial ...

3. Why would I not pay Taxes ? I enjoy my country CANADA and I don't mind paying to save the life of others, the roads I probably will never use but know they benefit other CANADIANS, the Armed Forces witch means I don't have to go and kill people who are trying to attack my country, the schools where I was educated and where other where too, the protection of the arts, etc ...

My problem is with Fraudster and corrupt government individual who charge too much and don't deliver anything or those who ask we give 500 million to tobacoe company because they lost some crops due to there own negligence and greed , or some other form of subventioning that never get repaid.

Honestly, you know very little about taxation :

http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/

Here is an image of what taxes are used for ( yes I know it's not a Canadian one, but we got a conservative govenrment at this time who like to hide numbers, if one exist I don't know it ).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Seems to come up a lot
by tobyv on Wed 30th Sep 2009 01:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Seems to come up a lot"
tobyv Member since:
2008-08-25

1. Linus ( and not Linux, who he did not even named Linux himself ) did not do it alone ...


He has managed and directed development from the start.
It was his unique qualities as project leader that has made Linux a success.

Why would I not pay Taxes


That was not the point. It was that taxes, spent good or bad, are obtained through force.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Seems to come up a lot
by Moulinneuf on Wed 30th Sep 2009 11:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Seems to come up a lot"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

He has managed and directed development from the start.


Not exactly, a lot of is direction and mangement is atributable to others who helped him at the start.

It was his unique qualities as project leader that has made Linux a success.


No, most of the things he enjoy and are what make the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux success are not of is own doing. He got a lot of outside help.

That was not the point. It was that taxes, spent good or bad, are obtained through force.


Again, if I gladly pay them, I am not forced to pay them, there are a lot of rich people and tax evader, who don't pay there taxes on time, hence creating enormous problem for the country that have to deal with it, if there was real force behind tax to obtain them there would be a lot less debt in the majority of country who have them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Seems to come up a lot
by rirmak on Wed 30th Sep 2009 12:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Seems to come up a lot"
rirmak Member since:
2009-06-23

Again, if I gladly pay them, I am not forced to pay them

L. O. L.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Seems to come up a lot
by rirmak on Wed 30th Sep 2009 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Seems to come up a lot"
rirmak Member since:
2009-06-23

Let's not mix things up. Are taxes your problem, or is force your problem?

Since you're saying taxes are not your problem, I conclude force is your problem. How about forced imprisonment?

So, to be honest, I don't believe you (unless you confirm that you do hate any type of coercion).

So I think force is a problem for you only when it comes to taxes. And, thus, you have to admit that you hate taxes (which, BTW, you failed to explain why).

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Seems to come up a lot
by tobyv on Thu 1st Oct 2009 06:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Seems to come up a lot"
tobyv Member since:
2008-08-25

Let's not mix things up. Are taxes your problem, or is force your problem?


Neither.

The previous poster said that taxation wasn't taken by force. Somebody pointed out that police knock on your door if you don't pay taxes.

The previous poster then said this:

Why would I not pay Taxes ? I enjoy my country CANADA and I don't mind paying to save the life of others,


But this is beside the point.

Taxes are compulsory, whether paid resentfully or with pleasure, to a dictatorship or social democracy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Seems to come up a lot
by Lennie on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 07:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Seems to come up a lot"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

About Linus' contribution, maybe this comment makes it clear ?:

http://lwn.net/Articles/338946/

attached to this article:

http://lwn.net/Articles/334721/

But as you can see at the signoffs part of the article, maybe Linus does do a lot of other stuff these days.

Edited 2009-10-03 07:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Seems to come up a lot
by Soulbender on Wed 30th Sep 2009 09:55 UTC in reply to "Seems to come up a lot"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I'm much more of the belief in freedom as opposed to democracy.


I'm almost beginning to think that benevolent dictatorship is the only way to go.
Of course, the one big problem with that is actually finding an incorruptible benevolent dictator.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Seems to come up a lot
by BluenoseJake on Wed 30th Sep 2009 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems to come up a lot"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Do you have a number I can fax my resume to?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Seems to come up a lot
by Soulbender on Wed 30th Sep 2009 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Seems to come up a lot"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

555-2368

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Seems to come up a lot
by rirmak on Wed 30th Sep 2009 12:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems to come up a lot"
rirmak Member since:
2009-06-23

Torvalds?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Seems to come up a lot
by wannabe geek on Wed 30th Sep 2009 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems to come up a lot"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

How about market anarchy? This is SO off-topic, I know. Back to reading mises.org ;)

Reply Score: 2

Hogwash
by eydaimon on Tue 29th Sep 2009 16:47 UTC
eydaimon
Member since:
2006-03-22

Sure, and there's no forest, we have only trees. A forest is an intangible concept. But what difference does it make? You still need the input of the masses. One individual can not do the job of many.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hogwash
by Yamin on Tue 29th Sep 2009 17:18 UTC in reply to "Hogwash"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

"One individual can not do the job of many."

I think the point is that one individual (or small group of experts) are the people actually doing the job.

The crowd is to an extent just the people who get behind them... once the individual has already come up and implemented most of the idea.

Really not that much different that the free market, except in the free market, to get behind an idea, you actually have to spend your own money.

But again, let's confuse the issue.
It is not consumer or crowds that create the market or idea.

It is the innovators who create. The crowds and consumers just approve or disapprove of the idea.

Edited 2009-09-29 17:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Moulinneuf
by Moulinneuf on Tue 29th Sep 2009 18:07 UTC
Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

Crowd are made up of people.

If one individual or group of expert did all the work then "it" would be correct.

It point was " Whatever term we use, let's not call it crowdsourcing and pretend that 10,000 average Joes invent better products than Steve Jobs. "

The problem is Steve Jobs invent nothing and nothing alone, he take other's idea and improve and modify them and "manage" his team of innovators and sometime inventors.

Reply Score: 2

He's right, but its not news to anyone
by Praxis on Tue 29th Sep 2009 21:04 UTC
Praxis
Member since:
2009-09-17

In general I think he is right that people have been increasingly attributing to the 'crowd' some sort the mythical powers, same as business seem to be hoping the coming of the 'cloud' will solve all their problems. Its really a simple case of buzz words taking on a life of their own. But among the people who know what they are talking about this is all obvious. This is not to say that more eyes or brains are ever bad, but one committed individual will have a much larger contribution to a project than almost any number of commits by random contributers. And those committed individuals should be given not respect they deserve and not have their role delegated to supporting actor.

In short, crowdsourcing is a great method of getting the attention of the committed individuals who actually get things done, and credit should be given where it is due.

Edited 2009-09-29 21:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Crowds certainly get more credit than talented individuals when it comes to open source.

Democratic production has an egalitarian appeal but even in the open source world the most productive teams are hierarchies with strong individuals at the top.

It's also shocking as to how many open source projects have the majority of the commits from a few full-time individuals.

It takes all types though and a good team has a variety of talented individuals.

Reply Score: 1

The1stImmortal
Member since:
2005-10-20

(note: Personally I don't like the use of the term "Virtuoso" to refer to capable, productive, motivated people on a given project, but I'll go with it below)

Consigning things to the "crowd" does have one magical benefit - it finds the "Virtuosos" for you. Instead of searching for someone who can do X and then making them do X, you ask the "crowd" who both can and wants to do X, and often, they find you.

By the way - a "Virtuoso" may initially come up with an idea and a basic construct, but in the process of that idea/construct being "curated", that "Virtuoso"'s work may be completely subsumed or replaced, or at least come to be a reasonably equal part with that of other contributers. How much of Linux 0.01 is left in the modern kernel? Heck, what percentage of code in the current stable kernel was personally written by Linux and untouched by others? If you have a broom, and you replace the handle four times, and the brush part twice, is it still the same broom? ;)

In fact, the "curator" effect is a significant benefit of "crowdsourcing" - the old adage about all bugs being shallow given enough eyes, etc.

Finally - network effects take hold strongly - people are proud of contributing, even if in a minor way, and this gives them a vested interest in bringing in others. The more people contribute, the larger the "crowd" becomes as networking kicks in, and the more chance of finding both "curators" and "virtuosos".

I can't decide if Mr Woods in the article is trying to disparage "Crowdsourcing" (and the process of appealing to the community for a project) as an idea generally, or if he's just trying to give a reality check to the people hypnotised by marketing buzzwords.

Reply Score: 1

The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

How much of Linux 0.01 is left in the modern kernel? Heck, what percentage of code in the current stable kernel was personally written by Linux and untouched by others?

See... that's what happens when I comment before my first caffeine of the morning.
"personally written by Linus"

Reply Score: 1

Comment by OSbunny
by OSbunny on Wed 30th Sep 2009 03:10 UTC
OSbunny
Member since:
2009-05-23

The article seems to be a rant in favour of individualism. I guess that is what you should expect from an american capitalist magazine.

He is right that individuals often make open source software for their self interest. But the crowd isn't entirely useless. Bug reports, feature requests and donations/funding all come from the crowd. The crowd promotes the software by using it. This increases the visibility of the software and attracts more people to it some of whom end up contributing to the software. So you have to nurture the crowd too.

Look at wordpress for instance. There are a whole bunch of CMS out there that are better than wordpress but wordpress has the support of the crowd. People recommend it to their friends and make it more popular. The more people it attracts the more theme and plugin developers it brings in. The more themes and plugins there are the more attractive the software becomes. People make themes for wordpress to make money of footer link sales. They can only do it because of the popularity of the script. Wordpress has a lot of growth momentum now because of this huge crowd support.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by talaf
by talaf on Wed 30th Sep 2009 07:42 UTC
talaf
Member since:
2008-11-19

1. Linus ( and not Linux, who he did not even named Linux himself ) did not do it alone ...


Ya, he was helped by other tech heroes. There's a crowd effect sure, but I think the idea is pretty much real. From the masses will emerge leaders and innovators. There's nothing wrong with it though.

Reply Score: 1