The Unplugged Challenge: An Experiment in Crowd Sourcing

November 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s not exactly a news event but I found this interactive feature on the New York Times website and it sparked an idea.

What they did was ask a bunch of people to give up technology for a certain amount of time and to record a video when they were done about their experience.


It’s so simple its brilliant, I would never do it myself since I am the type of person who has to check his phone when it goes off at 3 am. But it’s still a good idea. It’s also a good example of crowd sourcing. After the videos were in the reporter chose a few and analyzed them, got an expert to comment and then had a story.

This could even be done without a story and just made a feature on the website. It’s simple, to the point and fun to watch.

One of the videos people submitted.

It’s also a good way to do a story like this. Back before the Internet if journalists wanted to do a social experiment they would either have to rely on an academic who has already done it or actually go out and find people to help out.

Today all it takes is a message on the website and an email to send your video in.

This could be used for smaller news organizations that need to fill content online and makes the readers feel like they are contributing to the paper and fosters a better relationship.

I really like this idea because it could even be done on the college newspaper level.

-Frank Posillico

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