Tag Archives: Arab Spring


Crowdsourcing democracy: was the Arab Spring over-hyped?

Posted on by Safia Bhutta

… its editorial policy.

Of course, the biggest crowdsourced news scoop of 2011 is the Arab Spring. From Morocco to Bahrain, citizens risked their lives to film, tweet and blog real-time on-the-ground reports. In the West, over-excited tech commentators discussed the great “social-media revolution”. Yet, six months after Tahrir Square, Egypt remains troubled and divided: a few weeks ago, 26 Coptic Christians were killed in Cairo during clashes with the police.

Social media …

Tags: Arab Spring Cairo Coptic Christian Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria crowd crowdsourcing Egypt microwork Morocco Tahrir Square The Guardian

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Power from the people: crowdsourcing the constitution

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

To a crowdsourcing evangelist like me, the idea of a crowdsourced nation sounds like heaven on earth. Just think: a country where the wisdom of crowds trumps the ulterior motives of politicians, and the people rule supreme. But despite my limitless optimism, I can’t help thinking that the people are also responsible for littering, traffic jams and the career of Justin …

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Could crowd-driven think tanks be weapons of mass instruction?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase ‘think tank’? A passionately engaged team of experts, using their knowledge to shape the social discourse? A bunch of overeducated technocrats with no experience of the real world, dictating our futures? A telepathically-operated war machine?

Whatever your opinion, think tanks – or policy research units – are everywhere, …

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Confidence tricks: can crowdsourcing keep our feet on the ground?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… but how far could it go? Could crowd power show us the way to a more rational form of society? The Arab Spring has shown the power of the crowd to overthrow dictatorial regimes but so far most attempts at using crowdsourcing to design better alternatives have met with limited success ( Iceland’s constitution being one of a few exceptions).

Despite such setbacks, as we learn to use crowdsourcing more effectively, I am certain that it will solve all the world’s problems caused by …

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Social networking and the English riots: don’t shoot the (Blackberry) messenger

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… is an unauthorized barbecue in the park. By comparison, the UK capital is descending into Arab-Spring-like chaos. Except, of course, that Londoners are not fighting an oppressive dictator (the current mayor is most famous for his “revolutionary” bicycle scheme).

With no obvious cause for the riots, the British press has been (predictably) quick to blame social networks. One newspaper reported a “Twitter frenzy” by rioters encouraging an “orgy of destruction”. Other …

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