Think Tank Taps Crowdsourcing for New Methodology
|June 24, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Policy, Research, Technology||
There is now evidence to support utilizing social media to harness large groups to help inform policy-making and other far-reaching decision processes. RAND Corporation recently released findings from early testing of a model that combines online technology and social media to conduct cost-effective data gathering exercises designed to advise planning and policy around current events or issues.
The system, ExpertLens, combines three methods, the Nominal Group Technique, the Delphi Method and crowdsourcing – a public request for input directed to a large segment of people, usually by way of social media outlets. This approach is expected to increase expert input as well as enable faster information compilation and analysis.
Innovation is driving new and better approaches to research design – my inner research geek rejoices! I especially love how concepts plucked from a social media phenomenon such as crowdsourcing are being used to improve think tank practices. My hope is that additional work is done around how crowdsourcing can be successfully (and reliably) used outside of the ecommerce and marketing arenas. In my opinion, the social sciences need not take a “wait and see” approach.