For months I've been alluding to some big developments for both crowdsourcing the blog and crowdsourcing the model. Today all is revealed.
What's that on top of your blog? Crowdsourcing.com is now officially part of the Wired.com blog network. This won't obviously affect the reader experience (unless you're offended by the Wired house ad that's suddenly appeared above my banner), but it should make it more fun. For one, it will bring more readers to the blog and thus introduce more voices to our already lively comments section. Second, it should create some interesting cross-pollination with the other excellent Wired blogs in the network. From Bruce Sterling's inimitable commentary on Beyond the Beyond to our ever-whimsical, over-informed music blog, the Listening Post, Wired.com is now hosting some of the best blogs in the biz. I consider it high praise to be in their company.
What the Hell is Assignment Zero? Today Wired and Jay Rosen's NewAssignment.Net launched an ambitious research project that will use crowdsourcing to research, report and write about, well, crowdsourcing, in all its manifestations. It's called Assignment Zero, so named because we consider it ground zero for a new, hyrbid model of open source-slash-citizen media that we're calling Pro-Am journalism. The idea is to hook a team of professional editors and writers up with what we hope will be a vast team of talented, enthusiastic amateurs. Our goal is to bring the best of both worlds—the professional standards and respect for factual accuracy of the MSM on one hand; the infinite reservoir of knowledge and reporting power of the crowd—to bear.
Obviously I'm very excited about this. It will naturally—full disclosure—inform the book I'm writing. More than that, I think it's going to reveal some important aspects of crowdsourcing, from its potential to liberate creative potential to its inherent danger to exploit the collective. But rather than explain every detail of what we're doing, let me point you to the explainer Wired.com editor Evan Hansen and I wrote for the launch, and Jay Rosen's excellent, informative essay on the project, which will tell you all you need to know.