Crowdsourcing — not surfing

DwellFarmscompile

Dwell magazine is asking readers to help bring attention to small farms across the United States.

I’m always interested in how people use digital media. An increasingly popular, but not entirely new, trend among news media is the concept of “crowdsourcing.” In journalism, crowdsourcing refers to using Web 2.0 technology to find news tips or sources through mass collaboration. For example, I saw via Twitter that Dwell magazine is compiling a Google map of small farms across America and is asking people to nominate their favorite local farms for the list.

I think this kind of “crowdsourcing” can be a great way to get people feeling involved in a movement and to find out more about programs, places or people that might not otherwise get attention from such a broad audience. There is some debate in the industry about the appropriateness of relying on crowdsourcing for news production. I think it can be a valid way to keep an ear to the ground and find out what’s going on in a community, but a journalist should still follow through on tips the old-fashioned way before going to print — whether the ink is real or digital.

But I digress. The Dwell page also includes a list with a description and the location of each farm depicted on the map. So far there are nearly 100 farms on the list. I must admit I am familiar with some of them! Many of the farms listed look like pretty neat operations. So, if you’re looking for a local farm to visit or buy from, or want to nominate one for the list, you can read more by clicking highlighted link in the first paragraph.

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