Customer Reviews


4 Reviews
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful if one sided review of global network phenomena
Wired Magazine established itself early as the journal of the Digirati, and contributing editor Jeff Howe builds on his seminal 2006 article to produce a book which, in many ways, is a summary of the magazine's manifesto. His thesis is that the informal, intelligent networks which have grown up among knowledge workers and other internetters provide a powerful and...
Published on 25 Sep 2008 by Martin Turner

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crowd sourcing and some challenges
This is definitely a useful book for someone who knows nothing about Crowdsourcing. It pretty much touches all the variant forms of the concept with the author detailing his first-hand experience based on his interaction with a few proponents. Howe does it well to takes you a bit through the evolution of social media and the power of community and ends with his outlook to...
Published on 27 Feb 2011 by svr110


Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful if one sided review of global network phenomena, 25 Sep 2008
By 
Martin Turner "Martin Turner" (Marlcliff, Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wired Magazine established itself early as the journal of the Digirati, and contributing editor Jeff Howe builds on his seminal 2006 article to produce a book which, in many ways, is a summary of the magazine's manifesto. His thesis is that the informal, intelligent networks which have grown up among knowledge workers and other internetters provide a powerful and effective model of doing things better in the new world.

At its heart, Crowdsourcing is about the way that a very large number of amateurs, all working in small ways on part of a problem, can produce better solutions, faster, than dedicated teams of experts. He points to this in the areas of science, engineering, culture and journalism, with numerous examples including Digg, iStock, and Amazon reviews like this one. Howe's argument is that, although this is enabled by the internet, it is not a purely internet phenomenon. He points to early examples, such as the longitude competition and the Royal Society. However, it's fair to say that 99% of what Howe has to say is about things that happen at least partly online.

This book has a great first chapter (largely based on the original article), and a very good final chapter, with ten key principles for harnessing crowdsourcing (or group intelligence, if you prefer the term) in the real world. Most of the stuff in the chapters between, though, is illustrative, and could be deduced from the beginning or from the end.

And herein is the book's great weakness. Howe's fundamental thesis is logical and compelling, but his 'proof by example' begs the question of all the counter-examples that he is not mentioning. Hacker-networks, harnessing 'zombie-computers' to send out terabytes of spam, are intrinsically as much an example of dark crowdsourcing as some of the positive examples Howe highlights. However, throughout, he never mentions the dark side, and presents crowdsourcing as a purely positive thing. This does not detract from Howe's underlying point, but it does mean that this is a book is at best a one-sided affair.

The other issue I have with Crowdsourcing is Howe's suggestion that it can function just as well off-line as on-line. This may well be true, but almost all of his examples are from the online world, and he does not explain how crowdsourcing might work in the modern world without an effectively instant and free network to support it.

Nonetheless, this is an important book, and, if you missed the original article, presents a key stage in the history of today's ideas.

Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Crowd sourcing and some challenges, 27 Feb 2011
This review is from: Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business (Paperback)
This is definitely a useful book for someone who knows nothing about Crowdsourcing. It pretty much touches all the variant forms of the concept with the author detailing his first-hand experience based on his interaction with a few proponents. Howe does it well to takes you a bit through the evolution of social media and the power of community and ends with his outlook to the future with some advises for those keen on establishing crowd sourced venture. These are definitely the good bits.

On the flip side, the fact that Crowd sourcing needs an online community (connected via internet) for the concept to be successful probably as a fundamental principle has not been stressed enough, in this book. A few simple searches on the web gives you plenty of failed ventures on equal magnitude to that of success stories for which there isn't enough focus and coverage. Perhaps it would have rendered more substance in highlighting the `don'ts' in the conclusion.

Lastly, protection of intellectual properties is a challenge in Crowd sourcing ventures, perhaps its biggest bane, not enough focus given in the book, or none at all.
Howe could improve the book by addressing the above.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Survey of Crowdsourcing Activities, Sociological Evaluations, and a Few Prescriptions for Business, 23 Oct 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
If you have been paying close attention to the subject of crowd sourcing, this book will contain few surprises. But you just might pick up an insight or two that will make the book of much value. That was my experience.

While much of the book covered things I know in more detail than Jeff Howe describes, I began to see connections between how one aspect of crowd sourcing could be combined with other aspects to make more progress more rapidly. I intend to apply those insights into my global project for increasing the rate of global improvements by 20 times.

Ultimately, crowd sourcing's significance is determined in the battle between the tendency of crowds to contain wisdom and the average results of crowds to be lousy. If you use crowd sourcing to get lots of ideas, you also need to rely a lot on crowd sourcing to get rid of the junk.

Although Mr. Howe claims to be taking a journalist's approach to the subject, he comes across as more of an advocate than an observer. In particular, he fails to capture the ways that prolific production of content can overwhelm the accuracy of crowd sourcing votes. Highly ranked contributions often reflect popularity and the crowd's agreement with the conclusions more than the quality of the production. As a result, you can often end up with something that looks like what a lot of undisciplined teenagers would produce.

Yet, even that problem can be solved by adding a layer of expert evaluation to the more popular entries. He mentions that point in passing, but misses its significance.

For a book that aims to describe the fundamentals of how crowd sourcing will be used by business, the conclusion section is pretty limited and abstract. If that's why you want to read the book, borrow the book at the library (or read it standing up at a book store) because you'll finish that section faster than a cup of coffee.

To me, the biggest economic impact will be on problem solving. There's plenty in the book on that point, but Mr. Howe fails to explain why so few companies are using crowds for that purpose.

I conducted a worldwide contest two and a half years ago to gain answers, ran the contest for essentially no money, and was astonished at the quality of the results. But I started with no community, built no community, and don't plan to aim the findings back to establish a new community later. As a result, I seriously question his conclusion that crowd sourcing can only be done by people who get benefits from a community. I would argue, by comparison, that participants need to get some benefits . . . but they don't have to be community-based ones.

I suspect that a better book on this subject would emerge from a crowd sourced methodology rather than relying on typical "professional" journalism methods.

Want some good answers? Ask the world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Crowdsourcing more like utter tedium, 27 Oct 2008
Oh dear, i started reading this book with such high expectations and by the end i was speed reading through it. This book was ALL OVER THE PLACE. Lack of real structure, insight or anything of any use, except cliche, waffle and more tedious case studies. My advice to the authors- GET TO THE POINT.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business
7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews