There are many projects online that offer opportunities to participate in crowdsourcing data. Rather than assigning one project for our entire class, as we did for the APWA transcriptions, I would like you to search the web for a digital activism project that you would like to contribute to through crowdsourcing.
There are 3 steps to this practicum:
- Search the web and find a project that you would like to contribute to. The project must meet our criteria for digital activism.
- Participate in that project by contributing data in the manner and according to the rules of that project. Make some substantial contribution that will help the project and also offer an opportunity for deep critical thinking.
- Write a 350-500 word reflection on the work that you did for that project. Publish this in a hastac blog post. Your reflection should answer the following questions:
- Provide a thorough description of the project you contributed to and link to it.
- You were part of the crowd! Describe the process of how you contributed data to the project. Did you transcribe a document? Did you upload a photo? Did you “tag” or provide key words for a photo? Did you play a game?
- Think critically about what you contributed: why was this activism? what good will your contribution do?
- Did the work seem or feel like activism? Why or why not? For example, tiltfactor.org has a collection of games called “Metadata Games” that are fun to play but also collect data for various causes.
NOTE: If you are uncomfortable participating in a crowdsourcing project, that is okay! Pick a crowdsourcing project to study, but you do not have to participate or contribute data. Select someone else’s contribution to study and reflect on in your blog post. In your reflection, please explain why you chose not to participate. Let me know if I can help in any way.
Some crowdsourcing projects to consider (this is not even close to a full list – explore the web and find more!). Some of these are more activist than others.
- Metadata Games
- Where Were You on 9/11?
- The Zooniverse
- War Department Papers, 1784-1800
- Living with Railroads
- A list of 10 crowdsourcing projects that help preserve history
- The web is your oyster – find a different one that meets your particular interests and expertise.