A curated, weekly roundup of interesting news on crowd-driven business, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, open innovation and the collaborative economy.

screen-shot-2014-03-14-at-1-34-20-pmThe public was simply watching and waiting to find out what happened to Malaysian Flight 370, until Digital Globe made it possible for everyone to aid the search by helping scan their satellite imagery for the missing plane. To date over 3 million people have contributed to the crowdsourced efforts, and this isn’t the first time that crowdsourcing has been used to help during a disaster. Quartz examines the pluses and minuses of turning to the crowd in times of crisis. [Using crowdsourcing to search for flight MH 370 has both pluses and minuses, Quartz]

A study comparing the results of professional experts to citizen scientists prove that the crowd is just as accurate, at least in the case of counting and collecting data. The study shows citizen scientists held the same degree of accuracy as professionals with 5-50 years experience, leading research scientist Stuart Robbins to believe the power of crowdsourcing can be valid source to “gather more reliable data from the moon than we ever thought was possible before.” [Study on lunar crater counting shows crowdsourcing is accurate tool, Phys.org]

amidar-618x400Idealist.org, a well-known site for finding non-profit work opportunites, has struck on a new mission: to crowdsource activism. The site hopes to tap journalism as a catalyst for action, adding (as just one example) an “act” button to news stories that actually prompts and enables people to act upon what they’ve read. The power to mobilize and connect people on this scale, Idealist.org argues, would have a huge impact for non-profits and social good. [How Idealist.org Wants to Crowdsource Activism, The Wrap]

A new portal designed to help SMEs in search of funding has launched in the UK, in a collaborative effort by seven UK crowdfunding platforms that collectively represent 85% of the country’s current crowdfunding marketplace. The site serves as a crowdfunding matching service for business owners as well as an advocacy group. [Seven UK Crowdfunding Power Players Team Up On New Web Portal, Outreach Initiative, Crowdfund Insider] 

Crowdsourcing content from the crowd can be rewarding but challenging to do effectively. Here the Guardian examines a study about the motivations of participative storytelling, illuminating three basic principles to ensure best use of this approach for user generated content. [Crowd-sourced storytelling: how can you make the most of UGC?, The Guardian]

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