Chapter 17

Crowd Reporting: Using the Crowd to Gather Information and News

In This Chapter

arrow Using the crowd to get a picture of events and feelings

arrow Editing material to piece together the story

arrow Using the Ushahidi crowd reporting software

arrow Skirting around the pitfalls of crowd reporting

The crowd isn’t only a source of labour. It can also be a means of gathering news. It has eyes and ears and minds that can gather and process information. It can be deployed across a large geography and be organised at short notice. When you listen to the information that the crowd has gathered, you’re engaging in crowd reporting. This activity is essentially a form of microtasking, although it can include macrotasking as well.

The crowd may not be a perfect means of gathering information. To see its weaknesses, all you need to do is watch a Twitter feed for ten minutes and try to follow the rumours, repetitions and odd ideas that sprint across the screen. But even with its weaknesses, the crowd is often the best means for learning about the impact of natural disasters, for monitoring large social rallies ...

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