Monday, June 23, 2008

BPN 1137 A social media hub

An interesting presentation during the MPJC 2008 was given by Idse de Pree, one of the three partners in recently formed company The Crowds. All three partners have a television background and all three have been pioneers for their broadcast company: Ids de Pree for the TROS, Wessel de Valk for VARA and Erwin Blom for the VPRO. Now they have started their own company on the basis of social network strategy.

Media have changed over the past years. Some five years ago they have started to move from Media 1.0, existing from purely sending to the TV viewer, to Media 2.0, which consists of sending and responding. But now Media 3.0 is coming up, which means co-operating with the audience. People are already linked through internet and there is an immense amount of knowledge available: 3 billion search assignments every day, 10 hours of new video mounted every minute on YourTube. The New York Times contains more information in one week than in one lifetime in 1800. In the past year no less than 40 exabytes (4 times 10to the 19th) content was produced. This is all quantitative. But also qualitative things are changing. In fact the best information is no longer per se with specialists in companies. In fact some cases are proving that the best information is outside the company. One of the companies is LEGO, which used to have an R&D department of 100 employees, developing 300 designs every year. Now the company has moved the department to internet and has 1 million designers producing 3 million designs. A site like solves 1 out of the three industrial problems with the help of people from other disciplines. has developed a system for predictions, of which the reality level is filtered.

This method is called crowsdsourcing. You use the crowd to solve a problem. And The Crowds is exactly doing that. One of their top projects is the building of a new neighbourhood in the North of the Netherlands. The Crowds will use the audience, existing of potential inhabitants, interested people, students and experts. A planning group will keep the overall direction.

Another project is to use the crowd as a coach for a soccer team. (Perhaps The Dutch Football Association should have used the principle and should have used the collective insight of 16,5 million Dutch soccer coaches. But with the Dutch out of the European Championship is too late.).

Crowdsourcing can be interesting for companies and institutes as it uses bonding with the audience. With the method money can be saved or better spent and products and services can be improved. But the proper approach to the audience/crowd should be used. On most sites there are contact opportunities, mostly to lodge complaints. Or people can send in their reactions to a product or a service, but these reactions are hardly used. This is the repressive tolerance principle, which will not deliver anything. But in sourcecrowding the audience should be tackled in their passion, their experience with a product or a service and in the reputation they can build up.

Blog Posting Number: 1137

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