At Tomnod, our motto is “crowdsource the world” — we’re exploring our planet in new, data-driven ways. A key part of any crowdsourcing challenge is, of course, the crowd! We always need new people to help out and, for any given challenge, there are many different ways to motivate someone to join our crowd.
Here are Tomnod’s top seven crowdsourcing motivations:
To ensure reliable, verified solutions to our crowdsourcing challenges, Tomnod evaluates each individual’s performance and compares to the rest of the crowd. The evaluations translate into scores, achievements and badges awarded for good performance on each task. A little bit of competition gives a powerful sense of self-worth for a job well done and it’s amazing what people will do for points! Scoring also helps show the crowd where they have room for improvement, encouraging the crowd to keep trying for a better score in the next task.
Altruistic endeavors can be rewarding and life-changing experiences, from visiting nursing homes to building new schools. Tomnod takes humanitarianism into the 21st century with our revolutionary crisis mapping technology. Whether its mapping earthquake damage in New Zealand or documenting refugee populations in Somalia, our crowd provides vital information to first responders. We show the crowd the impact they are having on the ground, empowering them with them with the skills and knowledge to make a difference.
Satellites flying above your right now snap high-resolution images of every corner of the planet. Tomnod’s crowdsourcing platform pulls in this amazing imagery and offers the chance to be an “armchair explorer”. At Tomnod, you’re not just completing a task: we take you on an adventure. Expedition Mongolia led thousands of people across the Mongolian steppe in search of Genghis Khan’s tomb. The thrill of what new ruin or tomb could be found in the next satellite image kept the crowd enthralled. Who knows where Tomnod’s crowd will explore next…
Humans are social creatures. The explosion of social media has illustrated the value of community in technology. We enable our crowd to communicate with one another though public profiles, forums and chat. They assist each other in solving complex tasks: a shared Google doc for our Somalia project ran to over 50 pages of notes, comments, tips and jokes! This helps Tomnod tremendously to improving our design … but the interactions are more than that. Users make friends, form teams and compete with one another, blurring the boundary between real-life and online crowds.
Science & Education
In this information age, scientific literacy is more crucial than ever. Upcoming projects at Tomnod aim not only to get more people interested in science, but enable them to contribute to real research as well. Using the same platform as our crisis mapping projects, we visualize large datasets sent to us by scientists and send small pieces to the crowd. We teach the crowd what to look for and set them to the task: the crowd becomes part of the scientific team — and they learn as well!
Money & Prizes
Research scientists have rewarded study participants with money for their time for decades. The online crowd’s basic motivations are the same: building on tools like Mechanical Turk and Samasource, we offer small monetary rewards and prizes to in exchange for completing tasks. After all, everyone could use a little extra cash!
Fun & Games
Crowdsourcing projects don’t have to be all work and no play: we design them to be entertaining as well as informative. Herd It used a game experience to enlist humans to teach computers how to understand music. The crowd listened to cool music while playing mini-games that fed training data to improve our music AI. By turning tasks into games, we tap into the large and dedicated gaming community who love to
waste spend time playing online!
Using these seven strategies, Tomnod has engaged thousands of people to join our crowd and contribute to some amazing crowdsourcing challenges. We continue to grow the crowd as we offer more new and exciting reasons to get involved.
So what are you waiting for? Come join the crowd!