Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mass Collaboration

This concept is where large numbers of individuals work independently, but combine their collective knowledge in order to produce a project. The power of the internet has allowed this to become an idea that many of us are familiar with, for example Wikipedia.

Mass collaboration can be researched further here, where the article refers to these 4 important points
  • being open
  • peering
  • sharing
  • acting globally
In fact, with a world first, the New Zealand Government in late 2007 gave the public the opportunity to directly contribute to law making, by launching an online wiki where people could make suggestions to the wording of a new police act.

This form of collaboration certainly covers the four points mentioned above. It is open, as anyone with access to a computer can contribute. Peering means that any contributers who write "nonsense" will be sorted out and discarded by the self-policing nature of a wiki. Sharing means that certain products (in this case the product would be the new act) can be brought to the market more quickly, because the open and peering nature of the process allow information to flow more freely, with less restrictions. As for acting globally, in this case it is certainly acting country-wide.

This type of collaboration may be new with respect to writing laws, but other examples exist in recent history. They include other important issues such as the human genome sequencing project.

In fact, with regard to writing laws, there exists the potential to have an entire government designed mass-collaboratively. This is a theoretical from of governement, but, as the New Zealand example shows, in the near future we may be set to see profound changes that will change the way we do everything; from mixing music and maintaining health to determining government policy.

1 comment:

  1. Running a government this way would be easier than running a school this way, enough competing interests to balance it all out.