An Often Overlooked Difference Between Crowdsourced and Expert Services

An Often Overlooked Difference Between Crowdsourced and Expert Services:

The article I link to discusses Waze, a mobile mapping platform from Israel (respect!) that is growing into the international market these days. What makes waze special is that it bases it’s mapping data on it’s users rather than experts, making the mapping data more dynamic and up to date.

Rather than add to the praise in the article, which you can read for yourself, I want to discuss an interesting fact – waze’s self-mapping is not the feature that was used to market in Israel at first. If you read the article attentivly, you’ll see it hints to that fact as well – “Waze was born in 2006, when founder Ehud Shabtai coded an add-on for a commercial GPS system that let users map the location of speed cameras.” Rather than a self-mapping GPS service – waze was first and foremost a social GPS – allowing for users to report on traffic data and even socialize!

To me, that shows one of the most impressive facts about croudsourced services, in my book at least – the fact that these services evolve and branch out a lot more than their expert equivalents. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, off course, but can be used, using its interlinking system, as a tool for discovering new music and movies – I used it in that fassion more than once. Facebook is a social website, with content created by users. It’s purpose originally was networking and keeping in touch with friends, but it has now become a platform for broadcasting messages, promoting social awareness, spreading revolution, and even music sharing (my father’s main use for facebook!).

To me that’s the main beauty in social / crowd technologies – the fact that they become a whole new platform for activity, which is often too hard to predict, evolving from little niche’s to full fledged features. 

via tumblr http://vehpus.tumblr.com/post/16659916264 at January 29, 2012 at 12:51AM. Originally posted on http://vehpus.tumblr.com

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