theorycast.51 :: The Rise of Us – How Smartmobs Work


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As the fourth presenter at the “The Wisdom (and Vicissitudes) of Crowds: Web 2.0, Social Networking, and Higher Education” held at the University at Buffalo, I gave an updated version of my fun crowdsourcing presentation entitled “The Rise of Us”.

The first version of this presentation was featured in The Chronicle for Higher Education (see post from Nov 2006), while the second version added a bit more material (see post from Nov 2007).

In this year’s presentation, I talk about smartmobs, the architecture of collective intelligence and how crowdsourcing manifests itself in popular culture, in both positive and negative ways. You’ll hear examples of smartmobs in the Public Relations industry, citizen journalism, Black Friday websites, as well as in cyberterrorism, such as China’s “human flesh search engines”.

When it comes to ethics, smartmobs swing both ways. As my professor Alex Halavais once remarked, “Wait, you mean smart mobs sometimes behave as… mobs?”

4 Comments

  1. j
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    You are not Ali G. Let’s leave it that way.

  2. Posted November 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, I am not. Ali G rocks a lot! ;)

  3. olivier
    Posted December 3, 2008 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    about jean jacques Rousseau:
    the pronunciation is like “RUSO”
    bloody french language right! ;)

    hope you gone put your slide on slideshare very soon, with your voice over comments and add ons and further insights.
    I like your analysis

    Regarding the payback of some brands, it is not bizarre, it is just very logic. I explain:
    Basically and originally, the brands pays above the price of the product to be packaged, displayed, communicated, advertised and promoted, this cost regarding some brands or product or services concerns from 30% (for the best case) till 4/5 of the public cost of the product (POS, retail, distribution, etc…)( luxury goods_like jewellery, perfumes, fashion accessories_ margins regarding their real cost represent even more – industrial secret). Therefore, if customers find the product and then somehow promote it through their search, the rewarding of this customer is pretty fair but doesn’t cost a lot to the corporation, because it will bring even more customers to consume or use the corporation brand, product or service instead of competitors’ones.
    No losses, just a dime compare to what the brand will win with this customers’ trust and faith to their brand with his personal direct and related community.
    What customers pays today doesn’t represent the value of the product or service but more the cost of the brand marketing and communication: the brand value in cash version.
    Hope my explaination is quite clear cause my english is not my mative language (bloody french ;)
    I appreciate your job and look forward more insights from you. Thank you. Hope to get in touch in future.

  4. Posted December 4, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    oliver: Thanks for the pronunciation. Haha, I understand that the “cashback” would be part of the marketing campaign. It’s all about shifting the money around. ;)