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Time to change your stackbroker?


Posted September 24, 2012 by Dr. Henri Montandon

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The activity now known as ‘crowdsourcing’ has been around for eons. Only the technology has changed. Long ago and far away, if you wanted to present a question to a group of people, you picked a caravan route, made your questioner large and easily recognizable.  Hence, the Riddle of the Sphinx. More recently, the Oxford English Dictionary serves as perhaps the best known example of a modern, pre-PC venture. The current (2012) webcentric definition of Arolas Estellés and  Ladrón-de-Guevara González  is  “a type of participative online activity in which an individual, an institution, a non-profit organization, or company proposes to a group of individuals of varying knowledge, heterogeneity, and number, via a flexible open call, the voluntary undertaking of a task.”

A problem with crowdsourcing is the kind of crowd you are sourcing, viz you wouldn’t shout out a calculus problem at a football game. One solution is to become a stackbroker – (that is not a misspelling). StackExchange is a free information brokerage site incorporating many technical sites where information can be exchanged among experts. It’s free. (Did I say it’s free?)

I have not used this site, but there is a great range of member sites, many/most of interest to consciousness science. I have used other crowd sourcing sites, enough to propose this rule of thumb: The best results come from questions you can’t find easily on Google. In other words, specific questions, and, strange to say, the more highly technical the better. (Of course, this kind of high-definition definition is a high-definition definition of information.)


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