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Crowdsourcing Jeff Howe (Random House)

Web marketing campaign for WIRED Journalist’s new business book.

In Summer of 2008, Random House Business Books will publish Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe.

Jeff is a staff writer at WIRED magazine, and in June 2006 coined the term “crowdsourcing” in his feted article The Rise of Crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing is a unique phenomenon of the digital era – it follows directly from outsourcing – and is described by Jeff as:

“the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call”

We’d worked with RH business books on Jeff’s WIRED stable mate, editor in chief Chris Anderson (for whom we produced The Long Tail projects) and they asked us to come up with some ideas for this book. We pitched an idea following on from some of the examples from the book (such as Threadless.com, a crowd-sourced t-shirt design site) and suggested that they crowd source the jacket design. They went for it, much to their credit.

We decided against trying to re-build existing web technologies for uploading images, and voting, and instead “mashed up” Flickr.com – one of the most widely used photo sharing sites. However, Flickr doesn’t allow voting, so we found a way to automatically pull in images tagged with the unique term “coversourcing” to a dedicated site. We then adapted some existing technologies to get the voting working.

The winning entry will be printed on the hardback edition of the book, awarded £500, plus a signed edition of the book and framed artwork. However – collaborations are most definitely encouraged.

Coversourcing is a collaboration with Creative Review Magazine, and Random House Business Books.

Client: Adam Humphrey at Random House UK.
Design by Jessie Earl. Programming by James Bridle. Built using Wordpress.

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