by Madeline Giscombe (Guest Blogger)
Alice Bedard-Voorhees (as seen in the image below with her 3D mini persona Alice Actionette) gave a quite interesting TCC presentation about the power of online crowds! From crowdsourcing and smart mobs the mechanisms for contribution and distribution are growing exponentially as more and more people start taking part in these online communities of creators, thinkers, and learners. Whether you’ve funded a project on Kickstarter or posted an image on Flickr Commons, you’ve likely been a part of this movement.
Alice touched on one of my favorite aspects of this newfound power of the crowd- makerspaces! Makerspaces are places where people get together and make…stuff! They can be physical or virtual and thrive on the sharing of ideas, resources, and know how. My favorite of the makerspaces that Alice discussed is MIT’s Scratch, an open-source game development environment aimed at teaching programming. Along the same lines of distributing and contributing knowledge through games, are Citizen Science Games. Citizen Science Games are online places where individuals with knowledge of a certain subject are encouraged to share their prowess in order to advance the general knowledge, address problems, and propose solutions. In other words, Citizen Science Games will someday save the world. Possibly the coolest example that Alice showed was a database created by the “crowd” that used a gameboard to look at the mutations and transfer of infectious diseases like Avian Flu.
Through the continual contribution and distribution of resources, we moving our society forward in new and exciting way. Alice gave a great presentation that addressed the different mechanisms and highlighted some really cool and interesting examples. If you missed her session, be sure to check out the recording here: http://2015.tcconlineconference.org/plenary-voorhees/.
To find out more about Alice, visit her in her online spaces: