Lior Zoref

Crowdsourcing advocate, @liorz


This conversation is closed.

Do you use crowd wisdom to think? Be part of creating the first ever crowd sourced TED talk

I'm about to speak at TED 2012 and present the first ever crowd-sourced TED talk :-)
I'm inviting you to be part of this process and create together my presentation.
Before asking for your help, here's my main idea:
Wisdom of Crowds theory exists for many years. The theory states that the collective wisdom of big crowds is smarter than experts as we solve problems or make decisions.
Until recently, the use of the wisdom of crowds was possible primarily for organizations that have invested resources in developing technological solutions that transformed crowd wisdom into products such as Wikipedia.
This means that anyone with enough social network friends can ask questions that will require them to think. The collective wisdom from all the answers is probably the smartest thing to do.
There are already a few people who are using this method. By doing so, they upgrade their ability to think and make decisions significantly.
That's it…
I'm creating my TED talk using crowd wisdom, your wisdom. It will be the first ever crowd sourced TED talk.
I hope that you'll join me in this journey and take part of this process.
I'm looking for exceptional individuals (not organizations) who are using their own social network profile in order to get crowd wisdom in a way that improves their personal or professional lives significantly.
I'll share their stories in my TED talk :-)
Here are a few areas of interest – musicians, educators, designers, spiritual leaders, marketing experts, people looking for relationships etc.
In addition, if you have interesting stories or ideas that might add value to this topic, I'll be happy if you share them with me.
You can join my journey and get more information at my blog
Looking forward to read your insights.
Thank you.

Closing Statement from Lior Zoref

Thank you for the amazing insights and feedback.

You can read the text of my talk here -

Thank you so much.

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    Nov 30 2011: Hello Lior,

    I love your idea and I can't wait to see the result.

    I believe the Open Translation Project ( is very close to what you describe (if I understand it correctly). We have this huge network of volunteer translators from around the world and we all contribute and collaborate to improve the quality of the subtitles and help spread TED ideas even further.
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      Nov 30 2011: Hi Dimitra,
      Yes and No. Yes because it's a perfect example of crowdsourcing to deal with the very difficult challnge of translations. And no because I'm looking for examples where it's being practiced for personal use. This means that regular people are using their own profile on social networks to think with others and gain crowd wisdom in the personal or professional life.
      Besides that, the open translation project is amazing. Keep on doing the good work!
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    Dec 3 2011: Education should be a 3 way system
    Student - Teacher - Market expert
    Simple logica tells me that many teachers never visit a business or company so they just only chew the letters in the books so the students eat them easy.! It should be able to sign up for teaching when a company can affort to work with 1 employee less for a certain time. Or someone who is goin to retire or maybe even have a depression. This can be good therapy too i think. Students should get more access to to knowledge and be able to discuss around the table with the teacher and market expert.

    If companies decide to make time for employees to help out with teaching they should get credits that can be used for advertising job vacancies : for example students who pass get tour and/or additional information.

    It's important that the reward is unfair high so the market will wake up and challenge. May the best win! Students who can't find a job can join too! People who got sick can join too! There should be a "flying army" of people around every class/school. Meshed up international perhaps or set up non-profit projects in holidays/weekends. To reach the people who would never go to study.

    Schools with high scores help the schools who do less good. This should be monitored and controlled and documented here is the science behind teaching. An army of students of any sector that can help joins. And will go step by step class by class school by school. The more work u do the less u pay for ur education, if pay more u can contact anyone who then will be rewarded. like this even the worst students are important, and they will get boosted.

    Get people to hunt just like in nature, addept to new situations, travel, explore, communicate, work together, protecting, playing, invest, harvest, observe, hunt to find weakness, love to find the good. All connected to the three elements given earlier : Student : Teacher : Market expert.

    The system should work like tax but then the tax are working hours.
    • Dec 5 2011: market expert is profit driven, but it has nothing to do with, for example happiness, that makes life worth living.. why not teacher - student - philosopher or - shrink?
  • Dec 2 2011: I work in the development aid sector and am currently based in Kampala, Uganda, as a young post-grad originally from Montreal, Canada.

    Crowdsourcing as a concept is the wave of the future in development work. ICT4D, or Information and Communication Technologies for Development, is already taking off in Africa. Developers have already produced applications that enable cheap, Java-based mobile phone users in major cities to upload and share current gas prices, for example, farmers to share health concerns and agricultural yields to better inform policy both from a governmental and NGO perspective, and the organisation I'm based at, the Uganda Red Cross, is designing a mobile phone survey with our donors to improve the incentive structure underpinning blood colleciton. These are just some of the solutions that are taking off, very much made possible by the exponential rise of mobile phone technology and the expanded reach it has provided.

    Most development workers will tell you that one of the problems with development organisations in the South is fragmentation; there are way too many organisations performing similar functions, with limited information sharing and collaboration between them, one of the reasons why such projects are slow to begin, difficult to implement, and often unsustainable over the long-term. For this reason, I wonder whether the wisdom of crowds theory is relevant not only in social networks, but also as an ideal to pursue within the professional sphere. Even going part of the way sometimes makes a huge impact. My home-based NGO, Pepal, for example, brings together the corporate sector, domestic NGOs, and academic participants to work on development projects together. As such, there is a huge skillset transfer as the partnerships flourish, and as the project takes off each actor gains input all the way down to their teams. The end result is a more refined project with the power of multiple actors.

    Good luck with the presentation!
  • Dec 1 2011: On the one hand: In the world of genealogical/family history research, we've been helping one another even before the interweb. Absolutely massive amounts of data from research, transcribed records, and contributed history-from individuals who have walked through their local graveyard and taken pictures of gravestones, transcribed old docmts, or participated in indexing the ENTIRE US Census -- all donating their time to collect and share millions of records, through free sources like Rootsweb, Findagrave and the USGenWeb projects. There's even a site for Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, where a person can ask someone across the country to look something up for them that they can't access locally. In return, the "pass it forward" rule applies. Why? Because we are all related, if you just go back far enough. (Why? My study results from 2000, )

    On the other hand, this new world of communication works very well for those who have adopted it and have been able to figure out how to maneuver in it. Not to be a buzz-kill, but I wonder about those of us who've fallen behind.

    My parents don't use any social media. Their network of friends is huge, based on years of face to face contact, letters, phone, emails. They use a "Google" search to look things up, and I doubt they've ever looked up a blog. I don't worry about them much, because they have the "old fashioned" network folks to rely on.

    What I worry about are slow adopters like myself, who are nervous about the loss of privacy, about the need for acceptance in a 140 character or less world. I worry that those of us who aren't smack in the middle of the crowd are being marginalized. If a person can't get a job interview because they don't have a presence online or don't have enough followers, does that mean their contributions are less worthy? Or on the purely statistical question - when do those of us who are outside the middle 2 standard deviations get a say? Crowd? A Little Scary
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      Dec 1 2011: Hi Pam,
      I totally agree with you. My parents use the web in a similar way to your parents.
      As for people our age (I'm 41), in the next few years we'll find the people who are using social networks to think with their friend, will be able to succeed much easier in life. It doesn't mean that others will not succeed but technology will give people more power. My insight is that social networks will evolve from a place for sharing into a place for thinking. Maybe then, more people will jump in.
  • Dec 1 2011: very cool!
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    Nov 30 2011: Honestly... I think you miss two major obstacles... One being that when you crowd source, you create an authoritarian figure. It's just like the basic nature of socialism, in the sense that, all wealth should be distributed among the workers, sounds like a decent idea. Someone has to count the productivity, and distribute the wealth, and that person always seems to live in a nice house. So my biggest question in relation to that obstacle, is who decided what argument took hold in the crowd sorce? Does someone get to say "ya, 20% of people just love that dumb idea, but if we included it, the model would collapse, so we can't use it" Or, even worse, to we include pieces of even the worst ideas if they have a consisten support base?

    Also, much like with crowd sourcing the news... now there is no such thing as news. Ted, is way closer to news than most media organizations. There's a billion percievers, but no reporters. No one who has experience watching polliticians and corporate giants lie. No one with the legal rights, and lawyers backing them up, to investigate major fraud and abuse. People can watch things, reporters investigate things. We may overcome this over time... but it's a tough road.
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      Dec 1 2011: Hi David,
      When practicing crowd wisdom, one should try to find out the collective wisdom from the crowd. Usually this comes when looking for the most common answers.
      When looking for creative idea, it's completely subjective but most of the time it's an objective process. At least this is how I leverage crowd wisdom.
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        Dec 1 2011: I think there is a large future, in crowdsourcing, I just think it is limited constantly by it's presenter, in this case you. You will try to represent the conversation in this crowd sourced TED talk, in an unbiased way, showing a collaboration of wisdom from the crowd... but, in being the person who is doing so, you are selecting which portions of the wisdom of the crowd enter the final presentation.

        So, ultimately the crowd has little control over how you choose to present the information obtained from it... And thus this will still, in essence, be your own personal TED talk. Having used your own bias and personal perspective to filter the results, whether intentionally, or unintentionally, you have created yourself as an entity that speaks for the crowds wisdom, and that is a responsibillity that one cannot enter into lightly. That's not to say that power of that kind cannot be wielded with integrity, it's just to say that maintaining that integrity will be difficult given that as a unique human being, you have a unique reaction to each piece of the discussion.

        It's something to guard against. And, crowdsourcing the news is just stupid : p. I know, most people disagree, but I'm a fan of developing investigative skills before you become a CNN investigative reporter... Call me old fashioned.
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          Dec 3 2011: Every decision we make is subjective to our own thoughts.
          When using crowd wisdom, this doesn't change. The decision is still subjective and based on the person who is managing the process. The big change is in the quality of wisdom that is taking place when considering the options.
          So you are right, I am biased and I will ultimately choose the ideas I think are best, but using this process I will probably have the best ideas I can possibly get to choose from.
        • Dec 5 2011: to break a leg, is it a good or a bad thing? it depends....... you can miss the dancing, but jou can avoid beeing called upon duty to srrve ina it a good or bad thing depends and so on. every topic can be explored from multiple sides and croud can help to reveal them all. what it is like to be a human.
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    Nov 30 2011: how interesting, i feel this will catch on
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    Nov 30 2011: I posted this to your Facebook, please excuse the repeat. So you know, currently I am a lecturer at CSULA and still have my side hobby of moderating the online community that I started doing as a graduate student.

    I use twitter, Facebook and also message boards, primarily the ones from of which I am the head moderator. We have thousands of members, and your comments about crow sourcing and using crowd wisdom are very familiar to me. For the last 10 years, I have seen the U2 fan community use this type of "wisdom". From personal problems, to financial to ad hoc support groups due to death, or disease.

    When Facebook facilitated the social networking aspect of these relationships, the connections became stronger. Some of these relationships have resulted in marriages,babies, and in some instances have allowed people to become stronger mentally and even get out of bad situations.

    This crowd of U2 fans is used by everyone in the group to bounce off ideas, and as you state it to improve their personal and professional lives. The group is quite large, several thousand, with a core group of about 1000 and geographically they are all over the world. We meet every year or so when u2 is not on tour, and at specific dates when they are.

    IF you are interested in learning more about this group or my experience with interacting with this group, or the U2 fan community overall (much much larger) or the smaller uberfan community just drop me a note. Heck, once we even helped find the runaway teenage daughter of one of the community members, she was from the south, and using contacts, she was found in NYC."
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      Nov 30 2011: Hi Claudia,
      This is so cool...
      I'd love to hear more. I've sent you an email.
      One last thing, besides my dream to speak at TED, I have a dream to see U2 concert :-)
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        Nov 30 2011: Hahaha, ill see what I can do about helping you out.
  • Nov 30 2011: i am the lead pastor of a church and we employed your 'crowd sourced' method for 9 weeks within the context of worship in delivering the primary teaching message for around 350 in attendance. in the religious world we refer to this as 'communal orthodoxy' and it serves the purpose of combining the wisdom, insight, and experience of all those in attendance. this method is set opposite from what we've labeled "speaching"( speaking + preaching), or trying to convey truth in an entertaining way.
    we found two surprising results in our use of this.
    one, younger people gravitated to the front thru our 9 weeks of experimenting with this. that says to me this is the future...or ancient past if we know our history, of teaching. two, the process of using communal orthodoxy to teach is equally if not more important than the end result.
    and a final bonus. it's difficult to weave all of the input into a coherent thread but it's so much fun.

    • Comment deleted

      • Nov 30 2011: we didn't use this method in the prayer part of the service. we used it in the actual forming of the truth from the teaching passage.

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      Nov 30 2011: Kal, this is very interesting and creative!
      I'd like to further learn about your experience and maybe integrate this story in my TED talk.
      Can you please send me an email?
      Thank you so much.
      • Nov 30 2011: i tried to send you an email with an enhanced version of what we did and it wouldn't send. my email address is if you want to know more.

  • Nov 30 2011: As an educator I am frequently confronted with the struggling of American students with any project that looks like a group project. Students hate group projects and are taught to hate them from the manner in which we assess progress in our school system. We all know the drill: each group gets one control freak who takes over, one grind who dos the bulk of the real work (and they are not always the same person), two or three people who do what they are told, no more and no less, and at least one tailcoat rider who coasts.

    This crowdsourced TED talk is the ultimate group project. As life itself is a group project, what do we need to do to promote people's willingness to participate in and profit from group projects? (Even mentioning profit brings to mind the idea that w crowd does something wonderful and then some one takes the product and makes money from it - think Huffington Post)

    I think all of our current issues are found in the tensions that lie between the edges of the crowds, the tensions between the fringe groups, so how do we get the middle groups, the "I'll do the work but I better get a good grade" people to buy in to the ideas?
    How do we develop an educational system which fosters cooperation while rewarding innovation? How do we adequately reward the crowd? The collective wisdom is the end result, how do we reward the process?

    Life is a group project. How do we get at its benefits without sacrificing individualism?
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      Nov 30 2011: Hi Sharon,

      Thank you for your insights and questions. How do we reward the process? I think that's it's all about relationships. If we build strong relationship with others, they will get inspired by being part of this process.

      Do you want to give your students a group project about crowd wisdom that might be integrated in my talk?
      If you have ideas, let me know.

      Life indeed is a group project...

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      Nov 30 2011: Hi Sharon and Lior,
      You ask..."how do we reward the process?"
      I ask..."what if people believe that the process IS the reward"?
      I percieve life to be an adventurous exploration, so every moment of the process offers its own rewards and opportunities.

      People are looking for something (rewards) that are right in front of our noses in each and every moment.
      How do we do this? Be mindfully aware in the moment and stop searching outside our "self" for the rewards:>)

      "Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination"
      (Roy M. Goodman)
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        Nov 30 2011: Hi Coleen,
        I couldn't have said it better!
        Thank you so much
      • Nov 30 2011: I couldn't agree more Colleen, but that is not what we are taught here. It is not the perspective from which students approach most learning processes. I despair some days of their utter focus on getting the grade. I cannot even get them to focus on learning for learnings' sake let alone taking it beyond the minimum demanded. (OF course there are ALWAYS exceptions and wonderful students who are a joy to teach.) More of my students now are working 30+ hours per week while attending college full time than any semester previously. Many are so focused on finishing they are not rpesent at school or at work. So that becomes part of my question: How do we begin the process of refiguring a group consciousness that values the journey anough to do group projects?
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          Nov 30 2011: Time to start teaching, learning and applying it huh? As I understand it, we are "doing" and "being" right here and now...are we not? We ARE the "crowd", and we are sharing our wisdom and creativity here and now. What we focus on expands. Let's start by modeling what we want to see? Be the change we want to see in our world. I like focusing on what we DO have, rather than what we DON"T have. It's good to be aware of both, and focus on the things that are TED for example:>) Then we build on what is working, rather than spending time and energy with what we DON'T yet have. I believe this is the process of creativity that works best because it starts to flow:>)
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    Dec 29 2011: The latest crowd wisdom event is the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. The man who developed this event is from England and is involved in organizing demonstrations. The intent of the demonstration was to protest America's wealthy or as President Obama refered to them as the 1%. However, as the movement spread the resons for the protest became fuzzy. Signs and interviews covered issues like Illegal Aliens, homeless, wars, racial hatered, global warming, police states, socialized medicine, and much more. I found myself organizing a map of the US and plotting the issues geographically. The needs of one area has little relationship to the complaints of another area. The high welfare areas wanted socialized medicine and government housing. The Southwest wanted border control. California complained of a police state. Detriot stated racial bias. The media has the ability to show the issues they would like to highlight. However, the interviews revealed the local organizer had a cause they wanted highlighted. At little surprise to me, the unions entered the protest to support the political agenda against the 1%. Even though the movement was "Master Minded" to a specific agenda it failed in that mission. Using crowds, movements, polls, surveys, and mass media are tools for those who wish to manipulate the public. It is our choice to do the homework prior to adding our support to any cause. Always ask why and play it out to end game in terms of impact, cost, advantages, and disadvantages. Lior, I am being the Devils Advocate, and appreciate input from all sources. I was selected to attend a think tank years ago and it was a experince of a lifetime. Best of luck.
    • Dec 30 2011: Well, the OWS is not well-organized as a united whole, so parts of it would focus on different issues than the other parts.
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      Dec 30 2011: Hi Robert,
      Thank you for your feedback and insights.
      I come from Israel. Last summer a huge movement started by the crowd asking for social justice. It was well organized and its impact is big.
      I'm not an expert in civil protests and it's an interesting question to see what is the role of crowd wisdom in these events.
  • Dec 28 2011: On Friday, 12/23/2011, a nurse friend was killed. I found out, from another county at a distance, from a post.

    Then, a news article appeared about her sons' situation (her youngest is disabled, and the older one is in school full time).

    Now we are starting fundraising to benefit her sons. I put the word out, and others have passed it on. The idea of using social media came from reading about your project. I'm hoping that it works well.
  • Dec 28 2011: I don´t think crowd wisdom like a universal true. I'm in the middle of that my own experience and scientific true. Despite, nowadays, there are a lot of liers, a lot of credulous. You must be cautious. It's my guess and I thank your attention.
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    Dec 28 2011: Being the subject of a lynch mob would probally be a bad thing. Agencies that provide polls for industry, politicians, products, X country has talent, dating services all use a collective system of opinions. A major university had attempted to isolate a specfic gene for years and finally put the model on the web and made it a game to find X. In three days a 14 year old boy solved the problem. Even though this was an appeal to crowd wisdom to refine the area of interest a conclusion was reached individually. We are under the impression that we, the people, elect a leader. we only select from the options provided. In effect we choose the lesser of two evils. If crowd wisdom was a reality we would have decision making from the ground up instead as we have it now from the top down. I once asked a man for whom he would support in the coming election. He stated Mr X. I asked why. He is already a millionare and would take less from the people that the other guy who aspired to become a millionare. All crowds have a different perspective and seek different goals. The truth is that most of the people in crowds do not know the facts and just digest what is fed to them. In the US most people believe what their party tells them even when confronted with facts. Many have tired of this party dogma and have become independents. That leads directly to the question do crowds have "wisdom" or just numbers. In the Europe has Talent Show Susan Boyle lost out to a rock band because the public (crowd) voted her into second place. I have since asked many people the name of the band that won. Not a single person could recall. I wrote it down and lost the note and cannot remember myself. However, the world knows Susan Boyle. Wisdom or numbers ......
    • Dec 29 2011: Well, crowds think more emotionally than logically compared to the individual and the individual thinks more logically than emotionally compared to crowds. Crowds do have power in numbers because that is the only way morals and ideas can spread to a range of people. Crowd wisdom is more of a filtered, focused way of obtaining ideas and can be described as a brain trust in a way. Of course, there can be problems with it, but, as means of obtaining quick, great ideas, crowd wisdom is useful in many ways.
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        Dec 29 2011: Zared, we it comes to thinking and decision making, emotions are often stronger than rational thinking. I like to term master-mind as an analogy for crowd wisdom.
        • Dec 30 2011: Yes, emotions are usually stronger then rational thinker because it often has passion in it. This does not mean it is a better idea, just a greater feel towards it.
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      Dec 29 2011: Robert, you make a good point.
      Crowds are not only right the same as experts make mistakes.

      Thanks for the insight.
  • Dec 23 2011: Great topic, Zoref. I am trying to use crowd wisdom to create a great idea. Join my conversation to find out more about it.
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    Si Xie

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    Dec 22 2011: Hi Lior,

    I am also amazed by how the collaboration of people, ideas, resource that make the world closer and more intellectual. Maybe you can put something like multicultural environment and people with diverse background may have some unique contribution to others. The interdependent relationship can enrich the content and areas of crowd wisdom. Like different theory or tradition in different culture or countries, etc. From the benefits to individuals, then to the community.
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      Dec 23 2011: Hi Si,
      This is an interesting idea.
      I'm asking a question at the beginning of my talk in which everyone can use their smart phones and answer.
      Maybe I should add something which relates to your idea.
      Thank you!
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        Si Xie

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        Dec 23 2011: :) That will be great!
        • Dec 24 2011: It has to be a board statement in order to have a large range of people to feel a relation with the statement and themselves.
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    Dec 21 2011: This is an incredible example of crowdsourcing:
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      Dec 21 2011: Hi Marsella,
      Thanks for sharing this web-site. It looks very impressive.
      But I am more interested in crowdsourcing for personal use. People who are using social networks to think together with others.
      Thank you.
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    Dec 19 2011: This conversation reminds me of two topics that my be helpful. One is a TED talk, Learning from the Barefoot Movement by Bunker Roy:
    The other is from a TED conversation I was reading about the topic Corporate Rebels. One person, Lois Kelly had posted an interesting presentation on what makes a corporate rebel. It is a different topic but I thought it did relate since these 'rebels' tend to act based on wanting their company to succeed rather then for self branding.

    Both these these topics were about using 'non-leaders' expertise or natural talents to create innovate change. Is it possible to have a crowd wisdom consisting of experts? I don't know if you believe crowd wisdom must incorporate every single voice but it certainly seems that people weed themselves out by being lackadaisical. Meaning, not everyone cares to put the effort in to be apart of a movement or change.
    Hope it helps and good luck with your talk. Enjoy!
  • Dec 19 2011: You need to be very careful when talking about the wisdom of crowds. A simple example is America’s problem with obesity. A Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll found that 63.1% of American adults were either overweight or obese in 2009. If we look to the crowd for wisdom, we would conclude that being overweight or obese was a good thing. Why else would the majority choose to be that way? Who am I to say that being overweight is a bad thing in front of the millions of people that obviously believe otherwise and show it through their very actions!

    - How do you know whether the decision of the crowd is wise or stupid?
    - What happens when the crowd’s choice goes against science (as in evolution)?
    - What do you do when a crowd decides that Jews are evil and need to be destroyed?
    - Who decides what the crowd can decide on in the first place? Can a crowd say whether or not slavery is wise, or is that simply off the table? But who says it is off the table, an expert I assume.

    A crowd is wise only after an expert has decided that the crowd did a wise thing. You ignore all the times when the crowd does the stupid thing at your own peril.

    Crowd wisdom appears to me to be another argument for collectivism. I thought Ayn Rand killed that bug a long time ago.

    Poll Source:
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      Dec 19 2011: Hi Mark,
      Thank you for your feedback.
      You are right, crowds could be wrong, just the same as experts can (and are) sometimes wrong.
      But you gave me food for thought.
      Thank you,
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    Dec 14 2011: Hi Lior,
    I do believe nothing happens by accident.
    Before I came into this conversation, i am thinking of posting a question in Facebook, to solicit reactions from social friends. Now I am starting to understand about "crowd wisdom".

    For the meantime, i have bookmarked your blog and will share info with you hoping it can help in your talk.

    To begin with, let me share to you this...
    Proverbs 9:10..."The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
    The Bible NIV

    God bless you with wisdom.

    rey del rosario (aka heavenian)
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    Dec 14 2011: You should definately incorporate Duolingo into your speech or way of thinking... It's basically what I was talking about the other day "crowd work", combined with crowd wisdom. Beautiful.

    In case you haven't seen it.
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    Dec 10 2011: Hi Lior,

    My experience with crowd wisdom is very practical. For years we've used a group collaborative system to generate insights, ideas and strategies that actually get implemented, mostly because of the crowd dynamics that created the ideas in the first place. Bringing together a group in person, the right group, is not much different than what's needed to make online crowd wisdom work well. Some of the comments in this conversation bring up similar points, but here are a few of the basics that we've discovered over thousands of hours facilitating insight, ideation and strategy sessions.

    You need some experts, but not too many or they will act as blinders to the crowd, keeping the conversation too narrow or dismissing ideas that are too far out there.

    People tend to be linear in their thinking so you have to introduce instigators that break them out of their traditional thinking patterns. Metaphors, pictures, music, creativity exercises get our brains to another place quickly. Once we're there it's much easier to discover new things we would have otherwise missed, or connect dots that would have never made sense until we opened our minds.

    Focus is critical to outcomes. Focus doesn't mean preventing exploration. On the contrary, it helps groups to see opportunities more clearly. One of the jobs of a facilitator in a crowd is to take the nuggets, hold them back up to the crowd and say, "hey, look at this. Can this help us get to an answer we can use?"

    If you'd like more detailed explanation I have a number of articles on my blog site that can help. You can get the link from my profile if you're interested. I don't want to come across as promoting. From your responses to comments I see that you've already tapped into some of the great books on the subject.

    Good luck on your Ted talk. I'm looking forward to it.
  • Dec 9 2011: Wisdom does not come from crowds, stupidity does... all great wisdom comes from those who can navigate amongst the crowds, amongst everything that is said and done and find the common truth that links us all together. Crowds block self improvement, it hinders one to truly discover reality for what it is, it boxes you in, it makes you follow a certain regime, a certain norm. Those who hear a different drummer are truly those who hold the spark of wisdom. 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference'. Ideas come from crowds, not wisdom,that comes from self thought, self questioning and only the lone wolf can achieve that.
  • Dec 9 2011: it doesnt, it was supposed to be an answer to Rhona Pawis, who wrote me: Hey, if you want to look at life from a strictly monetary point of view, go ahead. Perhaps tax incentives for charitable giving mitigates the value of charitable giving to the giver and receiver. but was misplaced. sorry. nobody is perfect, neither can be crowd wisdom. people make mistakes and are not aware about that, To get the message, you find in intrnet, jou shold be smart enaugh. What about those 1 from 100, of human population that are at some level mentaly restricted and can not imagine the the consequences of the proposed unfamiliar actions they are advised to take? for example from campers you learn that when you lite your fireplace instead of kindling wood or standard lighting fluid you can use petrol, that ignites and burns slowly, is mutch cheeper and never goes out of stock .But if in petrol station you get confused and buy gasoline that ignites rapidly and can explode instead, you burn your house down and are happy to stay alive. such things unfortunately make news every winter.
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    Dec 8 2011: The problem is separating crowd wisdom from crowd stupidity..... and each of us decides which is which in solitude.
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    Dec 8 2011: Hi Lior, great idea...crowd wisdom is the start to get closer to "crowd democracy" without borders and nations. Crowd wisdom is a way to unleash the huge humanitarian and intellectual potential that lies below the surface of politics and lobbies interests...for me the great challenge would be to pose the right "questions", "triggers" and choose the right channels to pose these...i will think about it, but first of all great idea!! and good luck
  • Dec 7 2011: the crowd shoud be large enough to contain a couple experts humanists or a person with the same situation, who has recently consulted an expert and wants to share. then it could work.
    For example a child with rare desease. crowd wisdom will say - find an expert or i know one or give some aspirin in double dose and see where it goes, i reciently did so! the last advice if you are lucky will only waste time,
  • Dec 7 2011: charitable giving is always a trap.Say, You give aid to africa - milk powder, when it is cheep to produce. local goat mikl farmers go bust and eat their livestock. in few years if africans want milk, they have to buy the milk powder from You at your price. .Aafter gaining independence from ussr, we, a small country fell in the same trap. We were flooded with cheap sugar and everything. in 2 years our sugar factories and all the other production went aut of buisnes and were sold for scrap metal. sugar beet farmers sold the farmland to rich europeans for peanuts. after that guess what - the price of the imported sugar and everything has doubled call it managed consumer we import most of the food, because our climate is cold and food production on a large scale in the open is not profitable enough, so nobody invests in agriculture any more. people are out of work and emigrate as skilled cheep labour to west europe 10% last ayear. and we export only cheap timber, as we still are one of the greenest countries in europe, but at this deforestation rate it cannot last. We are foced to learn to look at a life from strictly monetary point of view and have an expensive lesson in charity, trust,buisiness and global trade or we can just die. we have no other options, have we?
  • Dec 5 2011: Okay I just stumbled across this on "Storify" which is a way to collect things which others have done on the web and make it into a quick blog story.
    Home to twitters 1st comic

    Shameless self plug on my "Storifies". I did the Twitter town hall Storify while the town hall was happening and was able to publish it the same miniute it was done. It used 20 different Twitter users with responses from the Mayor Included.

    It is my belief that when we all collaborate we change the desire for creating a strict profit driven model for consuming. In a highly controlled market such as education or textbooks the desire to profit reduces the access to the product. However this is highly counter productive to creating a strong educated society. education costs should be low, but by design they are not. Websites like the are trying to change this. If our governments and educational institutions worked together they could create a library of information for everyone to use at an extremely low cost. Publishers would just have to find something different to publish!

    Good luck on the talk!
  • Dec 3 2011: *educators
  • Dec 3 2011: I use my Facebook page (, particularly my status updates and notes, to initiate and encourage discourse on a myriad of isseus and ideas that intrigue me. I am a firm believer that perspective is everything and that one cannot see something "clearly" until they have seen it from all possible perspectives. And so, I do what I can by encouraging my network of friends, collegues, and educative to contribute their own perspectives.  
  • Dec 3 2011: I understand. Free education is a bit off-topic anyway.
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    Dec 3 2011: Interestingly enough, as an educator at the elementary school level, I never had a good experience with crowd sourcing. Elementary teachers I have worked with tend to be, oh,I want to say selfish, but I'll use reluctant instead, to share their wisdom with incoming teachers. Very few freely share ideas or lend a helping hand to a fellow educator. I always found it perplexing. .what good is knowledge if you can't share it. Teachers tend to hoard not only things, but ideas also.......I can't explain it. I mean, why let others struggle, when you can help them out. The word wisdom in and of itself implies the ability to use knowledge and understanding successfully to solve problems, avoid or avert dangers, attain certain goals, or counsel others in doing so.

    Yours is a very interesting project Lior, love this thread of conversation.

    Here's a quote for you: "None of us is as smart as all of us." (Eric Schmidt)

    Hope my contribution though small, helps you in some way.
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      Dec 3 2011: Hi Mary,
      I totally agree. It's too bad that educators are not the first to understand the power of sharing and crowd wisdom.
      Thank you for your insight and great quote.
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    Dec 1 2011: Incredible idea Lior! I'm convinced computer technology & social media evolved to facilitate our much needed global cooperation!

    For decades, I have seen on tv, starving infants in 3rd world countries, shriveling up like raisins in their mother's arms, both crying to a world that appears to ignore them. The plight of my poverty stricken sisters around the world haunts me, knowing every day they are enduring a mother's worst nightmare.

    As I searched for answers, to my surprise & disgust, I discovered that food scarcity is actually artificial – a deliberate political maneuver & nothing more.

    Every human being should have the inalienable right to a full stomach & a full brain, in my opinion.

    I also learned that the technology I used for my research, requires specific minerals that are mined from many poverty stricken areas of the world by corporations that often use child slave labor to keep costs low & profits high. This is a massive human rights tragedy, and it is impossible to ignore the fact that the world's rabid demand for new technology is destroying the planet.

    I feel that if we have access to all this technology because of the blood, sweat & tears extorted from corporate slave labor, we have the moral obligation to use this technology to give these people, & our planet, a voice.

    The phenomenon of the internet and social networking media are two powerful tools, that if used effectively, through a cooperative effort like a “Crowd Sourced TED Talk”, we could circumvent corrupt corporate politics & quickly find simple, wise solutions.

    I feel no one is actually free unless we are all free - there are many more human beings on this planet who want peace, than who want war. We are clever - we can do this.

    I would consider it an honor Lior, to be a part of your “Crowd Sourced TED Talk” centered around bringing food and education to all, and leaving a much needed viable future for our planet & the entire human race.
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      Dec 3 2011: Hi Kerri,
      Thank you for raising this important issue.
      I ask myself (and others), how crowd wisdom can help solve the burning issues of the 3rd world. I wish leaders were using crowd wisdom more... But there must be other ideas.
      If anyone knows of any example of this happening, please let me know.
      Thanks for the complements :-)
    • Dec 5 2011: when you propose overall freedom, to be truthful you shuld mention, that there is no unlimited individual freedom in a limited space and resources - on our earth without self ristriction and tolerance. the only exception is freedom to commit suicide.
  • Dec 1 2011: It would be interesting to know whether crowd sourcing could build free knowledge base that can provide college degree level of education.
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      Dec 3 2011: Hi Predrag,
      Interesting question!
      I don't know the answer...
      I do know that someone wrote here that he got admitted to an Ivy Leage university due to his use of crowd wisdom...
  • Dec 1 2011: Some ideas that you may find useful:
    Stop brainwashing children in religion.
    Eliminate or minimize the use of authority figures in religious and other institutions.
    Systematically extract positive statements from all religious documents and combine them into one document.
    Create one name for God for those who believe in one God, e.g., Christian, Jewish and Islamic people can share the use of the name HAJEAL (HAshem, JEsus, ALlah) for a year to see if this works to bring harmony to the people.
    Form groups of various aged children to design new social systems to work to improve the lives of people on earth. (I suggest this be done before they are brainwashed in the thinking that created the systems that are not working.)
    Redesign all social systems to reflect current truths. Dissolve the corrupted systems that are working only for the well-being of the minority controlling them.
    Remove the lines from the paper used by first-grade students. Allow students to be creative.
    Minimize the use of authority figures in such activities as the teaching of music and academic subjects to encourage creativity and self-respect.
    • Dec 5 2011: the existing structure, as in every succescful busines, in religion is ment to maximise profits and managers will be happy to change it if you can prove your way will earn more. othervise no chance. who will pay for the lost profits, lost jobs and yes, lost tax revenues? taxes, that support the existing social support systems? smells like high treason. money does make the world go round.yet.and people who suffer willingly pay for their relief.
      • Dec 5 2011: Artis, I thought "consumer surplus" made the world go round. Hey, if you want to look at life from a strictly monetary point of view, go ahead. Perhaps tax incentives for charitable giving mitigates the value of charitable giving to the giver and receiver.
  • Dec 1 2011: Mob Mentality
    It used to be a bad thing if someone said you were one of the crowd or acting on mob mentality. However collaboration depends on a group of individuals. Traditionally, mobs result in a loss of individuality. This destroys our ability to really have our voice heard unless we're furthering the purpose of the mob.

    Collaboration is the height of human achievement because it allows us to make the best use of our diversity of thought and to achieve our best possible result.

    The Internet is a tremendous technology because it allows us to collaborate like never before. By requiring members of a crowd to think about their answer before posting, it allows us to make better points. Moreover, the stripping away of importance of message based on tone of voice, physical presence, and volume REQUIRES us to read the posts to ascertain for ourselves whether or not there is value in what is said.

    Truthfully, crowds are powerful resources. Make this an awesome TED talk and then send me the link. : )
  • Dec 1 2011: I had a fast track life until 2008 (I was 32 then), by which I mean college, masters, marriage, job and another job...until I had my son, and other legal (visa)issues because of which I was forced to take a it is very difficult to do nothing, I started taking classes in ceramics, from two hours a week to every day a studio at home (now) and finally closing door to the old career path. It was direct jump from left to right brain...but to be constantly being stimulated and inspired I realized I needed company of right minded people...all the friends I had made so far from school ( science Maths), Engineering college, MBA college, jobs and projects could not relate to my new life. Luckily this happened in the current age where social media is coming as a big help...I started joining groups of my choice, things I am passionate about, there I get to exchange views, get new ideas, learn new things...I interact with people I don't know, but come to a realization that it the thought that matters, not who it is coming from...I am not sure if it is technically called "crowd wisdom". As there are a bunch of people whom I learning from and building my own wisdom.
  • Dec 1 2011: I believe that a way to keep your friends in mind, and you in their minds, is to pass on the information that could be important for them. People can focus the crowd sourcing and assemble different social structures - not just the new digital ones, but the ancient ones as well. I suspect that most of the people on the planet today, believe that crowd sourcing failed in some significant way to save the planet and the society.
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      Dec 1 2011: Hi Predrag,
      I share your concern and believe that it's not too late... I expect to see many efforts that will use crowd wisdom to help humanity in the next few years.
      • Dec 5 2011: crowds in london will solve their problems with olypics infrastructure and financing ect, crowds in amason jungle will help[ some member of comunity to find a matching bride as it has done for thousands of years. communication is the key. development in comunication accelerates everything. both solutions and problems, that never existed brfore. is it a good or a bad thing? it depends.....
  • Dec 1 2011: After 19 years of non-stop school attendance, I finally broke away from the cycle of being a student when I graduated from college. I used to think commencement would be the greatest moment in my life, because I'd finally get a chance to make decisions without worrying about homework, tests, or grades. But now that I have completed the ultimate assessment and have been employed for a few years, I spend every day asking myself "Now what?" My academic career has trained me for constant evaluation and mini-celebrations with each accomplishment. Now that it's over, I feel lost.

    However, social networking has provided me with the constant self-evaluation that I crave. Getting back in touch with people from my past allows me to re-evaluate my progress personally and professionally so that I may continue boosting my self-esteem and striving for improvement. A connection providing me with the exact timelines of people I used to date, love, envy, hate, or barely even knew was exactly what I needed to remind myself where I stood in the world.

    A few of my networks value career success and post updates on recent promotions or sales, while others found value in starting a family and shared their precious moments of engagement, matrimony and childbirth. These postings are constant reminders of the next life assessments I needed to prepare for, and evaluations are shown through the amount of "likes" and comments I receive. Without a doubt, social networking provides crowd sourced evaluations that keep me motivated.
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      Dec 1 2011: Hi April,

      Do you have a dream in life?
      If not, I think you should think what is the one thing that you'll be most thrilled to achieve.
      And then, share it with your friends. You will see that something amazing will happen. I bet that they will help you to make this dream come true.
      This is what happened to me and this is why I'm going to be a speaker at TED.

      Good luck!
      • Dec 28 2011: I really appreciate you taking the time to give every commenter feedback. I actually admire your tenacity and passion, and envy your accomplishment of becoming a TED speaker. One thing I have realized is that as long as I stay ambitious and dedicated, reaching goals will usually just fall into place.

        I ran into this article and just wanted to share.

        I hope you've found what you needed for your speech. I'm looking forward to watching it online!
    • Dec 5 2011: So You succeed to achieve the next dream, what next?another disappointment, like one you already experienced. and in not so distant future, say 50 years from now, everybody, that you used to depend on will die one by one, that is an inevitable destination, therefore choose journey instead. Seeking can be fun as long as you find so. and happy are who travel light.
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    Dec 1 2011: I believe in Renewable Energy projects. Specially the Solar Energy Utilization. I have mu twitter account "gnanal" where I tweet any Solar Energy news. I also use the Facebook page "Kanaga Gnana" for the same purpose. These have given me many friends who are interested in this field and I get feed back from many on the latest solar Energy research. This is like the cloud thinking. Many post graduate students follow my work and pose question I try to reply them. This makes me to think and write. I get valuable comments from many of my friends who are also have the same interest. The professional LinkedIn also helps you to join people of your own interest and helps to share information. These all work with the same cloud thinking. You can contact me if you want more details. Cloud computing is done to use the unused computer time for research and I was involved in the Clean Energy Project this helps the research and the discussions improves the knowledge of all participating. If you click the Research Projects it includes many such research like Help Defeat Cancer website.and Help Defeat Cancer Forum. these all use the same principle of cloud thinking you are hoping to talk on. These people have completed many research projects and are continuing to do more relevant work and more people can join them and share there unused computer time for the research. So this like cloud computing with cloud thinking. Best wishes with your project. Feel free to contact me if you need more info.
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      Dec 1 2011: Hi Kanaga,
      Thank you for sharing this. I like the term 'cloud thinking'. I call this 'Mind Sharing' :-)
      Great minds think alike, clever minds think together ...
  • Nov 30 2011: Hello.
    I am Issac from Bangalore ,India. Just joined M.Div.(Masters of Divinity ) and I am already very active in my church from past 15 years. Our church is having biggest crowd (18000+) in city. We have 12 pastors, it's a Pentecostal church.

    (I request readers to carefully comment , I just want to share some ideas from the prospective of my believe and my idea of using social media to make a change in society and problem solving. plz correct my English and grammar).

    When we preach in church, our purpose is to tell people more and more about Bible, God's plan, way of living and counseling . Now as I think an average person attends 45-48 services in a year (if he/she is very regular). And he spends 15 to 30 min to listen a sermon. On Sundays Pastor mainly preach incorrigible sermons and some time a series on a particular topic or a chapter. We know everyone are having unique issues which they want to solve in biblical way.

    Preachers already know they need more time with there congregation, they tell them to attend bible classes in weekdays.They can get more time & interaction in small group is better. On Sundays sermons or studies are more passive but on weekdays it is more interactive.When a group grows it becomes tough to interact because a person with low self steam may keep quite.

    One day I was just checking Pastors friend list in facebook each one are having more then 3000 friends. I know they won't read each status update. We have an army of 1000+ good leaders who help pastors .

    If people can share there issues to leaders and leader can categorize the issues faced by people and convey it to pastor,. When Pastors speak to congregation they can directly & more effectively on those issues then. If someone, some song or situation talks our problem we give an ear. So the purpose will be fulfilled in better way.

    Sermons will become more subjective rather then general. Issues look different but at base level roots are mainly common.
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      Dec 1 2011: Dear Issac,
      Your story is amazing. I'd love to continue this discussion via email. Can you please send me an email to liorz at ?
      Many thanks,
      • Dec 2 2011: Just sent an email. If not received reply me. Thanks
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      Dec 2 2011: I would suggest trying to organize more charity work events around the church. By diverting more time and rescources towards the community at large you can often increase engagement, and bring in more people not directly related to the church. Facebook could easilly be used to vote on and "crowdsource" different projects that the community wants to spend some of its time and money on... You could engage local polliticians, and talk to them about some of the challenges they are facing trying to help the community. Ask them where they could use some laborers, or teachers...

      Often people see a link between polliticians and churches as dirty, and money influenced, but I think a different approach, where churches say "I have thousands of people that truly believe in doing good work and want to help, is there anything we could do, that we don't know about?", people shouldn't have a problem with.

      I'm also a fan of interfaith projects. Try to find a local church of similar size but different faith, and encourage a leader of each church to write a sermon, that is religion neutral. Tell stories about the universal truths experienced between us all, and then maybe you'll have a network of two churches that can help fix some of the cities problems together. While the faiths are often different over little issues, the major teachings are often so similar that our stories translate well to one another.

      Various churches, volunteer organizations, non profits, etc. that already exist, should consider working together and creating crowdsourced projects through social media, that enough people in all organizations can agree on, to create a vast network of people working together for change, across organizational, cultural, and religious boundaries.
  • Nov 30 2011: What a brilliant topic and idea. Thanks for opening it up for contribution.

    I have a personal project called "1000 days of Inspiration"; based on the book by Paul Smith; "You can find Inspiration in Anything, If You Can't, Look Again".

    For 1000 days, everyday, I look for something to inspire me. The personal project was started on the 18th February 2011. I use it as a structure for me to be able to master the art of seeing things differently, getting inspired to create new ideas/ build on ideas.

    How I use "Crowd Wisdom" is that I share my daily inspiration on Facebook by updating my Facebook status. I use this structure to empower me and keep me on track with updating what I'm inspired by and in the process; I hope that it can inspire or provoke other people's thinking and inspire them.

    By using my network and "crowd" on Facebook combined with the intention that the "inspiration" makes a difference; it enables me to do the intellectual thinking about what I'm really wanting to communicate and the insight that I'm getting from the inspiration.

    How this translates to my life so far has been awesome. I'm up to day 283 and this structure and the support and feedback on Facebook has enabled me to take actions in area's of my personal and professional life which I never would have taken prior - What's really great is when I see other people take on the "structure" and also contact me on how "one of my inspirations" has made them "think" or take some actions in an area of life for them.

    Having my "Facebook Crowd" is a massive support for my personal project and journey as it keeps me to account and it definitely provokes my own thinking, thought process and how from a simple Facebook Status update it can make a difference to another person's world.
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      Dec 1 2011: Dear Yummii,
      I'm so happy to hear about your story. It's really interesting. Your are using crowd wisdom as a spiritual guide...
      I'll be more than happy to continue this discussion via email. Can you please send me your details to liorz at
  • Nov 30 2011: I miss crowd wisdom - being disabled with Lyme disease ++. Even phonetalks are difficult due to brainfog from these illnesses, pain and drugs. So conversations don't work for me as I forget where I am going in the middle of my statement - or lose track of where someone else began by time they finish their statement. I joined an online website for chronically ill people that lets us track our symptoms, treatments, quality of life etc and a forum (more like a list serv as people write messages, post them, and then others write comments). This enlarged my life alot and helped with some kinds of topics because most people already had the illness background and didn't need the intro to it that helps them understand how to talk with someone who gets "fogged in". Then 2 months ago, I joined facebook. The instant reaction to my comments on news items, and ability to subscribe to different news sources based on my interests and beliefs has opened up my world again. It lets me think about my ideas because they are challenged in near real time. But instead of leaving me gripping at shadows, as do verbal discussions due to brainfog, I have time to think about what the other person really did say/mean and consider my real response. Pain keeps me from being able to sit in chairs at meetings - even at home. So for the first 11 years of this chronic illness life, I was isolated in my own world and didn't even know others who shared the illness life to get ideas from them on how to deal with it. Online communities let me both filter to whom I am exposed (thus avoid inflammatory nonsense; or cruel remarks that being sick let my emotions be triggered). But on fbk, with friends of friends commenting, unexpected input comes to me but is easily avoided if it overwhelms or hurts me. My mind feels more limber and my ideas are growing, changing, and being modified by interactions with others. I don't live in my pain world alone anymore. And I don't need to shower, dress up or drive!
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      Dec 1 2011: Dear Sally,
      Your story is inspiring! Thank you for sharing to honestly.
      I'd love to continue this discussion directly and see if I can integrate your story into my talk.
      I'd appreciate if you can send me an email to liorz at
      Thank you so much,
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    Nov 30 2011: Hi Lior - what a great experiment you are undergoing. Very much appreciate it, and happy to share my own crowdsourced story. Especially since 2004 when invited by my sister to (a German based business network community, founded by Lars Hinrichs) the crowd around the globe is the source of the projects I am undertaking.

    Learning about Team Academy ("The Management School without teachers") up in Finland the following emerged

    There are many smaller crowdsourced stories around the projects, which I am happy to share in more detail (only for now I have to move, as night is arising here in Dresden, where a historical legacy of innovation is still merging into the new times)

    Cheers, Ralf
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      Dec 1 2011: Dear Ralf,
      Thanks for the complements.
      I'd love to hear more about your story. Especially how your practiced crowd wisdom and ho did it change your life (if it did so...)
      Thank you,
  • Nov 30 2011: Highlighting the 'Arduino' would be great. I have no affiliation with it, however I am interested in any opensource project that builds off the wisdom of the crowd.

    Here's a link to the Arduino Documentary, it's only half an hour, but it will tell a story of how going to an Open source type project actually saved their research. The Arduino can be used to build 3D printing machines which are also slowing going towards an open source model for designs.

    Hope this helps! Good luck with your/our talk!

    William Robson
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      Nov 30 2011: Hi William,
      Thank you so much for sharing this. I'll watch the video.
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        Nov 30 2011: the libraries created by the Arduino/Processing community are quite interesting. There's a nice lecture that you can get on itunes. seach GSAPP post-parametric 1 Bit long, so skip to part by founder of Processing .
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    Nov 30 2011: Wow! Congrats! Loved your talk in NY and look forward to your second! Favourite example was your friend attempting to get a mortgage and calling/faxing friends.

    I have used OpenIDEO to test ideas and get feedback from the crowd. If you want me to ask what is the most crowd-involved generated idea, let me know and i'll ask OI staff for you.

    My crowdsourcing video of which I hope you included examples of implicit crowdsourcing (data-mining) which for me is as relevant as explicit:
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      Nov 30 2011: Hi James,

      It's so nice to read from someone who saw my audition. I'm so happy to hear that you liked it! :-)

      How do you think I should use OpenIDEO?... It looks like a very interesting platform.

      Thanks you so much.
  • Nov 30 2011: I struggle with the knowledge of crowed wisdom, I try to use it by having a blog and trying to to the right thing, and send the right comments over twitter and Facebook. But I am kind of lost throughout the media. I realize just a small group gets to use this media which means a leader emerge and someone follows when no one follows it does not work. I think their a lot of people who can use their position which they have to send out amazing messages, but this is up to them to realize their power. The only thing ones happened what gave me a great sence of fulfillment and being heard is when I send a e mail to a person a famous person who I know has a lot of friends, about a dog that was put in a museum to starve to death as art and people watched it die. An this person contacted me to thank me and that he send it to all his friends and wanted to offer me one of his art pieces as a thank you. That was an incredible feeling of accomplishment. I do hope some of the little people will get the change to be heard as well I think everybody has a great idea even the ones that don't know this yet. Maybe they are not influenced by the right people yet.
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      Dec 3 2011: Hi Christianne,
      In my view, no one is 'little people'.
      The internet gives us access to unlimited high-quality knowledge. This is for example what is TED all about...
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      Dec 3 2011: "Crowd wisdom" to me implies going to those in the "know". And the first person who has to be in the know is you. As someone once said, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything". Who today believes everything they hear, or read? I don't know how old you are Christianne, but I get the impression you are still very young. Once you stand up for something, and have defined who you are and what you stand for, then I think you will see "crowd wisdom" in a different light..... as a very essential resource.....both to the giver and the taker. We are all in this together. After all, it is "crowd WISDOM", not "crowd INFORMATION" or "crowd OPINION".

      "If wisdom's ways you wisely seek, five things observe with care. TO whom you speak, OF whom you speak, and HOW, and WHEN and WHERE"

      (from Little House on the Prairie Book Series)

      Technology is great, but I feel you have to know the people who are providing you with the wisdom (information, direction) you're asking.......I have to stop talking, or I can write forever.
  • Nov 30 2011: I think each individual is unique and brings a unique perspective to a problem or situation. You can't discount anyone even if they ask "stupid questions" or don't seem "qualified" to speak on a certain subject. This is a wonderful idea.
  • Nov 30 2011: Are you looking for something like the work of

    Are you looking for TED members' experiences with TED? For example, I gain more from a TED talk after I share it with friends and discuss it.

    Do you ask questions?
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      Nov 30 2011: Hi Rochelle,
      I'm less interested to see crowdsourcing in business and more focused on personal experiences of people using crowd wisdom in social networks such as facebook and twitter.
      Not everyone can build web-sites such as, but everyone can use their own facebook profile (as long as they have big enough crowd of friends and followers).
  • Nov 30 2011: Hi Lior

    This is a subject that is very close to my heart (and work).
    I also believe the Wisdom of Crowds is a far more accurate term than 'mob' or other derogatory terms used to discuss the concept - mainly a casualty of peoples ego or lack of respect/belief in fellow humans.
    Is not the very essence of Democracy the manifestation of Wisdom of the Crowd?

    As far as Ideas are concerned, I believe there is such a thing as Group Consciousness and in order give it a form, new types of software are required that do net yet exist.
    I have worked for years developing an algorithm to satisfy James Surowiecki's 5 conditions for wise crowds (from his book, Wisdom of Crowds'.
    I am releasing the Algorithm next month under the Creative Commons for development by the worlds first organization that its CEO will be run by mass vote. I call it Corporation 2.0.
    I think such software will pave the way for us towards Democracy 2.0 - non of that would be possible without The Wisdom Of Crowds which is age old and its new friend, the Internet.

    I believe in the next few years, Demographics will no longer just 'rate' things but 'speak' through 'Group Communication'. Imagine 'Islam' sending a txt message to 'Christians' by mass vote, no middlemen, simply Dialogue.

    While I am sure of the ability for us to do this (and soon) I am not certain if it will be destructive or constructive. However both as a researcher and a humanist, I think and will be on the latter!
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      Nov 30 2011: Hi Kamran,
      I'm so happy to hear about your project. It can give value in so many areas.
      Until we will have tools like the one you are developing, social networks are becoming the place where crowds gather in the Internet. This is why right now it's the most reasonable place to implement crowd wisdom in thinking.
      Thank you for your insights.
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    Nov 30 2011: The idea is very apt, and I am sure croudsourcing is the future. What matters is that how we are able to take it in positive direction.
    A major challenge could be sensationalism, Which fuels the growth of unwanted/lot-required ideas and content. Also include the rumors. Which can deflect the mood of a large group in a bad manner.
  • Nov 30 2011: I think you hit the nail on the head with asking the right questions. What kind of improvements in a persons life do you consider significant?
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      Nov 30 2011: There are many....
      An educator that became a super-teacher, an artist that became super-creative. There is even an amazing example a few comments above about a preacher using crowd wisdom to transform the experience he is creating in his church....
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    Nov 30 2011: Last year I wrote a couple of applications for android devices, mostely with the purpose of learning how to do so. In each application I added my email address and asked people to send feature request. The requests I got by mail, and through the comments in the market was realy essential for improving the applications. Some feature requests came from several different people, and others from fewer, and that provided a really good way to get an idea about what people used the applications for, in what way they used them, and what types of changes would make most impact for most users. Would never have been able to figure out all the unexpected ways people used the applications and how to provide the right functionallity without the help from the people that actually where using them.
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