Tag Archives: big data

All I want for Christmas is you clear terminology

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

As you are all no doubt well aware, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, every song on the radio, every elevator conversation and every piece of advertising stuffed into our mailboxes must be Christmas-themed. It’s enough to ruin what should be a fun time of year. Which is why this blog post is definitely, absolutely not going to be about Christmas.

Ok, I lied. This is …

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The secrets of Digitalkoot: Lessons learned crowdsourcing data entry to 50,000 people (for free)

Posted on by Tommaso De Benetti

… archives, making them searchable over the internet. It uses crowdsourced volunteers to input data that Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software struggles with (for example documents that are handwritten or printed in old fonts, such as very old copies of the newspaper Aamulehti).

Digitalkoot relies on machines, humans and a gaming twist to make it all fun. This is how it works in practice: old text newspaper is scanned by OCR software and then cut up into individual words. These …


Distributed work and data security: can the crowd keep a secret?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… In these post-WikiLeaks days, many people (and governments) might argue the only way to keep data confidential is to keep it offline. After all, the web was designed to link and share information. Online, as Sun Microsystems founder Scott McNealy once tactfully remarked, “You have zero privacy. Get over it.”

The trouble with the “McNealy philosophy” is that the web is now the place where millions of people go to work, as well as play. Even the most innocent, open, non-evil …

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Microtask: we love the forms you hate

Posted on by Tommaso De Benetti

… ghosts of the pre-digital past. As well as ruining the décor, forms are a terrible way to store data (just try “quick sorting” a full filing cabinet). Humankind has sent robots to Mars, mapped the human genome and even (in just 11 years) tracked down Osama Bin Laden. So why is the paperless office still such an impossible dream?

As you probably know by now, here at Microtask we take productivity seriously. We spent many long days and sleepless nights wrestling with this …

Tags: crowd crowdsourcing digitizing Filing cabinet human iPad iPhone Mars Microsoft Excel microtask forms microwork Osama Bin Laden paper forms Paperless office structured data


Watching Big Brother

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

… databases are systems which allow the public to collectively and individually scrutinize this data in a meaningful way.

One method, relying on the collective efforts of many concerned citizens, is to crowdsource the analysis. So, for example, when the MP expense scandal in the UK broke, rather than have teams of reporters sifting through almost half a million expense claims, the Guardian newspaper crowdsourced the scrutiny of them, with some interesting results. Broken down into bite …

Tags: Barack Obama COINS crowdsourcing government data Julian Assange Public.Resource.Org Wikileaks Wolfram Alpha