When people crowdsource, they solicit ideas, facts, and views from the general public and official sources in order to improve their products and services. You may draw into a large group of people’s experience and skill sets through crowdsourcing, assuring diversity of opinion, accelerated productivity, and cost-cutting.
The practice came into light after the Guardian requested people to crowdsource information about their MPs related to official expenses. The data collected from the House of Commons included over 700,000 documents covering every parliamentarian. In the data, you could find information on mortgages, home buys, and any fittings the MP made.
It’s a large data dump that manages to be both tremendously open and horribly restricted at the same time. Open because it provides us with unparalleled access to MPs’ assertions over a long period of time. Restricted because crucial addresses and personal information are obscured and unavailable to analyze.
Crowdsourcing intends to make the information available to as many individuals as possible. Then the readers could assist each other in analyzing it and uncovering the fascinating stories hidden among the duplicated handwritten receipts.
In their system, the Guardian could allow the reader to find their MP or any other parliamentarian and access their records. You could:
- Comment on particular expenses
- Highlight the expenses that interest you
- Inform other readers about the interesting aspects
- Record information on the page.
The whole process highlights the importance of crowdsourced information. Using the content, people could piece together a narrative of how parliamentarians’ expenses and claims have developed over time.
At the same time, crowdsourcing provides a unique way for people to engage with each other over particular issues. It is also a way for citizens to interact with the government officials who should present information related to various topics, such as MPs expenses. In the end, it leads to more transparency and openness between the electorate and the elected officials.