The CrowdResearch Blog begins

Two years ago, crowdsourcing was fairly obscure in the research literature.  Now, the field has sped past its tipping point: suddenly, it’s hard to escape.  In 2010, many of the major computer science conferences (SIGIR, CVPR, NACL, NIPS, and Ubicomp to name a few) held crowdsourcing workshops, and many companies are looking to hire “crowdsourcing experts” – if such a thing even exists.

Part of the power of crowdsourcing is that it is applicable to so many diverse domains.  Although it is enabled by computers and the Internet, it isn’t limited to computer science or information science.  It is a tool to linguists, artists, computer vision research, search engines, and many companies.  And it is an object of study from a computational, economic, and humanistic perspective.  The current wave of interest in crowdsourcing is perhaps only a revival and re-envisioning of past efforts exerted long before the age of computers — stay tuned for more on that topic.  Maybe there really is no new thing under the sun.

Although history repeats itself, right now we are seeing a wave of new and interesting ideas right now in crowdsourcing.  So many, in fact, that it’s hard to keep track of it all.

The purpose of this blog is to present crowdsourcing developments, thoughts, and challenges across all domains of research. Our motivating question is:

What are the most important research questions and real-world problems in crowdsourcing, and how do we solve them?

To kick off over the next several months, this blog will be posting articles written by participants in the upcoming CHI 2011 Workshop on Crowdsourcing and Human Computation (May 8, 2011).

If you consider yourself a part of the crowdsourcing community, we welcome your views.