Four crowdsourcing lessons from the Guardian (via Michael Andersen)

I had skimmed this article, on crowd-sourcing, by Michael Andersen few weeks ago and has been looking forward to reading and blogging about it.

Andersen interviewed the key developer from Guardian of London to understand how they got 20,000 plus Brit’s to help uncover the biggest political scandal to hit British shores in decades.

Andersen interviewed the developer, Simon Willison, for tips about deadline-driven software and crowdsourcing. Here are the 4 major tips to successfully engage a crowd for crowdsourcing.

  1. Remember your workers are unpaid, so make it fun. They used a four-panel interface to categorize information. (See the image above)
  2. Because public (your workers’) attention is fickle, launch immediately.
  3. Speed is mandatory, so use a framework for development. Wilson’s team relied on Django, a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
  4. Participation will come in one big burst, so have servers ready. Along with Django, they used EC2, the Amazon contract-hosting service for the first time.

Firefox Campus edition – open source software marketing

Firefox, the opensource web browser is increasing the heat on IE and other browsers through some very interesting marketing campaings and contests.

Firefox Campus edition


Super fast open source browser: K-Meleon

I just started using a new Open Source browser called K-Meleon. I am very impressed with the speed at which it loads sites. It beats Firefox, one of my favorit browsers, on speed.  Although I have just started using it, I am mildly excited by the ease with which it handles content heavy sites like and TED.

K-Meleon  If you are open to trying a new browser that works – small, fast, and Firefox like, then K-Meleon is worth purusing.

Begining of open-source search technology

Wikipedia founder, Jimmi Wales, recently announced that Wikia, the for-profit group he is the head of has brough Grub a distributed crawling client. This is the start of open-source search.

Grub’s Distributed Web Crawling Project

Google Public Policy Blog: Our commitment to open broadband platforms

According to the post on Google blog google is willing to write a $4.6 billion dollars cheque to the FCC to encourage open and sustained competition of the broad band internet service. Google has outlined a four paths to promote competition, the are:

  •  Open applications: consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
  • Open devices: consumers should be able to utilize their handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
  • Open services: third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
  • Open networks: third parties (like Internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee’s wireless network.

Google Public Policy Blog: Our commitment to open broadband platforms

Cast your vote

  If you use open source software may be you should make your voice heard, please visit here to vote

 Community Choice Award 2007, Sourceforge

MediaCoder – my audio/video transcoder of choice

MediaCoder is a open source software that I have started using for converting my .vob files to either .avi or .mov. I am not sure why many people pay, they range from $9 to $69, for transcoders.

MediaCoder – more than a universal audio/video transcoder