crowdsourcing-jeff-howeThe age of the internet has brought about this new term: crowdsourcing. Basically, crowdsourcing is when one solicits a large group of people to perform a task or project. Wikipedia is a prime example of a crowdsourced project. Recently I’ve come across two crowdsourcing projects that have intrigued me.

  1. Netflix engaged the smarts of the masses to develop a better movie recommendation engine. In fact, they have offered one million dollars to the person or team that can improve the recommendation algorithm by 10%. It’s been a year since challenge was issued and a few teams are almost there.
  2. Twitter Tees (part of threadlines) is creating a new T-Shirt every week based on a creative tweet. The twitter community submits funny or creative tweets to Twitter Tees. If a person’s own tweet is submitted, that person will receive $500. If the tweet was from someone else, the person receives $140. The community then votes on the best tweet tee. At $18 a shirt, Tweet Tees has created a great business model based on the creativity and humor of the crowd.

So Children’s Pastors, what are we waiting on? I’ve been a part of a few collaboration projects and I’ve been a part of online communities where ideas are shared and discussed. However, curriculum is still developed by publishers. Products are still developed by individuals and organizations. When and where are we going to see some truly genuine crowdsourcing projects in Children’s Ministry.