Hi. My name is Jeff Howe. I’m a contributing editor to Wired Magazine, and I recently published an article about a phenomenon I call Crowdsourcing. The article explored the ways in which the amateur – defined as scientists, writers, photographers or anyone else working outside an organizational structure like a firm – has become an increasingly significant economic force in our world. This Web site will primarily continue that mission. Journalists regularly gather far more material than they can use. This was especially true in this case, and so the Web site will allow me to cast some light on the many fascinating people and ideas that didn’t make it into the article.
However, Crowdsourcing.net will take a very different approach to the subject. In the article I wanted simply to show how companies are increasingly taking advantage of a global populace that’s getting more intelligent and more productive and more connected. I declined to pass judgment over whether crowdsourcing is a good or bad thing; nor did I forecast how it might all shake out.
On Crowdsourcing.net I'll encourage the expression of opinion, both foolish and otherwise, starting now: I believe that crowdsourcing’s long-term promise is immeasurable, but I have considerable misgivings about its short-term applications and its implications for the people – like stock photographers – who will be adversely affected by the crowd.
Finally, I’d like Crowdsourcing.net to be more of a forum than a bully pulpit. To that end, the Web site will function more like a single-subject journal than a blog. I intend to solicit and accept submissions to the site. I won’t guarantee publication, but I’ll promise to exercise as light an editorial hand as possible in my selections. If it adds to the discussion without insulting or offending any party, I’ll publish it. The result should be something of a Speaker’s Corner. At first I’ll probably be the only one speaking, pounding on the podium for attention, but with any luck a loud and raucous crowd will clamor to be heard.