How The Guardian’s Crowdsourcing Experiment Ran Out Of Steam

This morning, news of a crowdsourcing success. This afternoon, a high-profile example seemingly a little stuck in the mud.

Six weeks ago the Guardian invited its readers to help it trawl through hundreds of thousands of expense claim documents released (in redacted form) by Parliament.

Within three days 20,000 people had helped classify 160,000 pages. The paper was rightly proud of its crowdsourcing experiment and splashed the news across the front page of its Monday print edition.

But now it seems user involvement has slowed to a trickle.

These are the bare facts:

We have 458,832 pages of documents. 23,185 of you have reviewed 201,587 of them. Only 257,245 to go…

By my reckoning, around 500 documents were processed last week. At this rate, we’ll be nearing 2020 before the project is complete.

This is not to say the experiment has failed but the paper does need to work out how it ties up some loose ends. If it cannot re-energise the crowd, that is.

 – Is That The Sound Of The Crowd? Just Maybe.
 – Crowdsourcing 1920s-Style
 – What MPs’ expenses tells us about the clash between new and old media
 – The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and BBC: Lessons in Crowdsourcing
 – BBC Goes Crowdsourcing To Save The NHS

2 thoughts on “How The Guardian’s Crowdsourcing Experiment Ran Out Of Steam”

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