crowdsourcing

Loic Le Meur has created his own virtual advisory board in facebook to explore the idea of crowdsourcing while setting up a new business in SF. He asks what the mission of the group should be, and how it should work.

This is my response:

Facebook generally has not been used for in depth exploration and development. Most people click and join anything that looks even generally interesting, and then walk away from it, never to return–unless it cuts through the clutter in their feeds and reengages them. People want you to dance. In other words, its a gawker culture.

I would highly encourage you to allow for a crowd, while focusing on the cluster. Have a conversation with everyone, and let anyone join the group. But start hand picking your officers, and focus your attention on them. Determine whose input you value most, and then hold them close. Lean on them the most. They invest in you, so reinvest in them.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore the crowd. They will have lots of great input, whenever you get their attention. But wont stick around to see if you listen or not.

Which brings me to my second suggestion: You board will operate more successfully when you ask them a specific question, or give them a specific focus before launching them into “talk amongst yourselves.”

Crowdsourcing is an intriguing concept, and I’m interested in seeing how this works out for you.

How would you harness the ideas and energy of a crowd?