There’s a lot of talk in social media circles about crowdsourcing, which could be defined as a distribution of tasks among a group of people. By allowing the crowd creative input and decision-making power, the end product is already well-vetted and in demand. Amazon is launching a new comedy series – six actually – and allowing viewers to weigh in on the pilots. Only the most popular pilot will survive. SNL allows crowds to help select hosts. But, how do you mobilize a crowd? With Christmas approaching and more than 280 days since the last snowfall in Cleveland, I decided to experiment with crowdsourcing a bit with a project I originally named the “Green Christmas Contingency Project.” I only had a few wintery pictures in my files – but if I could get a crowd to submit their pictures as well, I’d have enough to create a three-minute video that we all could enjoy. Days later a friend recommended I consider renaming the project because every time she saw “Green Christmas,” she worried we were asking for it. And thus the Virtual White Christmas Project was born.
I tweeted, updated my Facebook status with project details and included pictures of my own kids in the snow (from years past), and blogged about it. Though I’ve yet to receive submissions directly from the blog or Twitter, my traffic did increase. My Facebook friends were eager to join in – searching through their old pictures for a little snowy magic. I contacted my favorite singer-songwriter, Anne E. DeChant, to request permission to use her version of “White Christmas” in my video. Things seemed to be going well, but after a couple of days, I opted to pay Facebook to promote my posts ($7 per post) in an effort to increase the number of submissions.
Did it work? Tune in tomorrow to find out!!