Cross-posted from our InCommon blog:
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Eric Felten explores the limits of crowd sourcing. Felton focuses on crowd sourcing as it pertains to public preferences for the arts, but many of the principles carry implications for public engagement crowd sourcing as well:
The efforts to “crowd curate” remind me of those “Mongolian barbecue” restaurants where the diner has to choose among a buffet of ingredients—meats, vegetables, sauces—to be combined in a stir-fry. Never mind that a competent chef is more likely to know which of the sauces complement which of the meats, which of the vegetables work together and which clash, which combinations are salutary and which are just a muddle. Which would you rather have, a meal crafted by a skilled and knowledgeable toque, or a dog’s breakfast tossed together by the peculiar whims of a random crowd?
You can read more here.