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February 28, 2007




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"It's only when you get a multilateral flow of information between this group of individuals, each shaping and enhancing the thoughts/work of the others, that the true "wisdom of crowds" starts to emerge."

But isn't that what's going to happen? Nike doesn't have to encourage that sort of interaction do they? Seems to me that by linking up with Sneakerplay, they're effectively keeping the "crowd" inside a relatively small sandbox where participants are almost certain to shape each others' efforts. I would expect community members will post screenshots of their designs, critique each other, and provide guidance.

As a product designer, I'm aware that the shoe design community is amazingly tight, and also cooperative (stop into the Core77 design forum to see what I mean). I suspect the amateur designers out there aren't all that different.

Nox Dineen

Bill is absolutely correct in pointing out that this is hardly crowdsourcing. In fact, most of what's being called crowdsourcing nowadays isn't, it's just become an easy term to apply to a project when one needs to add a hint of buzzworthiness.

Sourcing work or input from individuals, even thousands of individuals, doesn't really fit the bill. It's only when you get a multilateral flow of information between this group of individuals, each shaping and enhancing the thoughts/work of the others, that the true "wisdom of crowds" starts to emerge.


I agree this is a contest, but it reminds me of Digg. Seems everyone is jumping on the "ratings" system solution and I can imagine Nike sensing an opportunity to do the same.

Frank Piller

Bill, you are right! Thanks for the comment -- I was stuck in "crowdsourcing" thinking! But different to a conventional contest, Nike provides with its configurator a different way for participants to create the designs.

Bill C.

You seem to be miss informed. This is a contest, not a stab at a "threadless" or crowdsourcing model. Coolhunting made that comparison in passing. I've just looked at NikeID and it looks like this contest is promoting their new teamLOCKER feature.

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