1. advertising is 20 percent idea and 80 percent execution. It’s knowing what ideas are going to be great. It’s knowing how to make those ideas. I always love that great quote, ‘We’re all artists, it’s just that some of us shouldn’t exhibit.’ Just because everybody can do it isn’t to say they should. I get very annoyed when people say to me, ‘We can crowdsource!’ No, we can’t. Anybody can do it? No! I don’t think they can. Everybody can dance, everybody can sing, everybody can play tennis, everybody can kick a football: Are they any good at it? No, not necessarily. I went to art school. I trained, I tried, I had to work at it. I think the idea that you can just pick up a pencil and do it is nonsense. — John Hegarty
     
  2. apparently this is like a London based version of Taskrabbit.  I have been waiting for this for a while.  Of course, whether they’ll have people in my neck of the woods is another question, but I can dream… :-)

     
  3. the Adopt-A-Hydrant program, a first-of-its-kind effort, where residents can volunteer to keep hydrants in their neighborhood accessible to firefighters after snowstorms. By keeping hydrants free of snow, volunteers will help firefighters respond to a fire emergency more quickly, when every second counts. Last year, the Department responded to 5,653 fires.

    To adopt one of Boston’s 13,000+ public hydrants, go to http://boston.adoptahydrant.org.

     
  4. Twitter-sourcing is the laziest form of research. It’s like going to the library, lying down on the floor, and asking relevant books to jump off the shelves onto your face
     
  5. for just $25, you can help us commission pieces by joining our editorial board. We’ll manage the board using All Our Ideas, a tool developed at Princeton and funded by Google. It has never been used in this way before, so you’ll be joining an experiment in collaborative commissioning as well as supporting top-quality investigations.
     
  6. In 2009 Field’s medallist Tim Gowers decided to experiment with crowdsourcing a solution to a difficult, previously unsolved, mathematical problem, in something he called the Polymath Project.  He posted the problem to his blog along with his initial ideas on solving.  Within 37 days, 27 different people had posted 800 substantive comments containing 170k words…. and the problem was solved.  ”Gowers described the process as being to ordinary research, as driving is to pushing a car”.   

     
  7. Solve for X: Adrien Treuille on collaborative science (by wesolveforx)  … “in the course of 6 months, 30 thousand non-expert EteRNA players got better and better at nano-engineering (through the game), to the point that their worst solution was better than the best computer solution.  ”

     
  8. By playing EteRNA, you will participate in creating the first large-scale library of synthetic RNA designs. Your efforts will help reveal new principles for designing RNA-based switches and nanomachines — new systems for seeking and eventually controlling living cells and disease-causing viruses. By interacting with thousands of players and learning from real experimental feedback, you will be pioneering a completely new way to do science. Join the global laboratory!
     
  9. links to local variants on ‘fixmystreet’ from around the world

     
  10. as soon as Codecademy first launched, the site was inundated by requests from teachers and programmers who were eager to contribute their own lessons. … Starting with today’s launch, which the company is considering a beta, anyone will be able to write their own interactive lessons using the site’s tools
     
  11. Tuesday’s State of the Union Address from U.S. President Barack Obama will include something special: crowdsourced captions and subtitles provided by everyday citizens around the world.
     
  12. GalaxyZoo, a citizen-science site, has classified millions of objects in space, discovering characteristics that have led to a raft of scientific papers.

    On the collaborative blog MathOverflow, mathematicians earn reputation points for contributing to solutions; in another math experiment dubbed the Polymath Project, mathematicians commenting on the Fields medalist Timothy Gower’s blog in 2009 found a new proof for a particularly complicated theorem in just six weeks.

    And a social networking site called ResearchGate — where scientists can answer one another’s questions, share papers and find collaborators — is rapidly gaining popularity.

     
  13. Project Madison is a stripped-down interactive blogging platform, which allows citizens to select individual passages of legislation, and strike or add their own language, with comments for each suggestion. Citizens are encouraged to like or dislike each change, with the most popular suggestions rising to the top…

    Crowdsourcing policy has been attempted around the world, from Iceland’s new constitution to federal legislation in Brazil, but such one-off experiments are yet to find a sustainable balance between lawmaker interest and citizen expertise. Brazil’s wiki-legislation experiment, for instance, was largely dismissed by lawmakers who felt that citizens could not fully understand the legal ramifications of the laws they proposed. Issa is hopeful that the crowd can bring attention to the very best amendments, helping his staff sort through the inevitable torrent of suggestions.

     
  14. If you’d asked us two months ago how popular we thought an interactive government site would be during the legislative process, we might’ve guessed a few thousand would tune in to Project Madison’s streaming video of the event and a few hundred might leave some comments. We would also be very wrong. Issa’s office said in a press release over the weekend that the site saw nearly 200,000 unique visitors during the marathon 12-hour-long Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) markup session on December 15 alone.
     
  15. Amazon is offering consumers up to $5 off on purchases if they compare prices using the online giant’s mobile phone application in a store.

    The promotion goes live Saturday and will serve as a way for Amazon to increase usage of its bar-code-scanning application, while also collecting intelligence on prices in the stores.