March 31, 2010
The Betavine Social Exchange project was launched over a year ago …see the project approval post from 28th March 2009. The project has met with great enthusiasm when I have presented it in public and also when I speak to people face to face. I have made a few good contacts via phone which then get followed up with face to face meetings.
The Social Exchange website was launched in October 2009 and saw a flurry of activity around the launch events. I have also seen activity around follow on events and calls. The online activity has mainly been stimulated by these face to face, personal relationships.
Is crowdsourcing personal?
I know there are many examples of online crowdsourcing sites that perhaps do not have off-line activities …but one thing that I have leant on Betavine is the need to create relationships. We have run a number of off-line events e.g. Betavine Beers, Betavine parties and participated in lots of event e.g. Over the Air, WWW Annual Conference … developers days. It is these off-line meetings that create the relationships that last and bring focus and dedication to the crowdsourcing cause.
The recent Cape Town Dev Day in March was a great success in terms of bringing focus on the Social Exchange challenges but now the task is to maintain that momentum.
A combination of off-line activities coupled with an online presence seems to be the best approach. The other key thing I learnt in Cape Town is the importance of linking up with community “leaders” on the ground – thanks to Marlon Parker and Rlabs for their support.