Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people. While many consider it to be a modern invention relegated to the internet the practice goes back a very long way. During the publication of the first Oxford English Dictionary 800 volunteers catalogued words.
Today of course it's far easier than it was back in the day.
We have two great tools for crowdsourcing here at Bull Run, "Fan Posts" and "Fan Shots". How do you use them?
Fan Posts are best used when you really want to get something off your chest. If there is a facet of UB sports which we are not covering, or if the editorial staff is completely wrong about something then you can write up your own post.
Other members of the community will see your thoughts and be able to comment on it. Also if the post is interesting, informative, or funny then an editor may throw it up on the main page in a prime spot.
In the past people who have been on the fence about being Bull Run writers have used fan posts to get their feet wet.
Matt has already put out the call for new writers and if you're on the fence after reading his piece then fan posts and shots are a great way to find out if you're interested in writing about the Bulls.
A great example of a fan posts came after Operation 6000.
#Operation6000: A True Blue Perspective - Bull Run
The senior recognition is always good, but I also noticed that the whiteout worked better than I had expected. I'm sure the free white #UBMopGuy t-shirt helped, but even the general public participated. I'm usually not a huge fan of whiteouts, especially during Buffalo winters when it is very tempting to keep your jacket on, but this one worked.
But Fan posts don't have to be sunshine and lollypops. There is room for gripes and sorrow as well.
VB: What Do We Know About Tahleia Bishop's Absence? - Bull Run
I'm sure you can think of a half-dozen reasons why a player would not accompany a team, as can I. But as far as I know, there has been no public explanation. (Although if your list of possible reasons includes "abducted by space aliens", that's not it, today I have spoken to every space alien I know and they all deny any abductions in the last week or so.)
Fan Shots are links, quotes, images, or videos which are not you're but are things you may want to share with Bull Run. They take all of a minute to put up, similar to a facebook post or a tweet.
Like fan posts they may end up "above the fold" on Bull Run if it's interesting or big news. Shots also help us, the Bull Run Editors, to stay up on top of the news.
Here is how we tend to use fan shots.
A news update:
Mike Morgan selected to represent USA at Thorpe Cup in Germany - Bull Run
Mike Morgan selected to represent USA at Thorpe Cup in Germany
An article, image, or video that is not news but is interesting:
Geltz takes a pitch and gets a kiss from Paula Abdul - Bull Run
Geltz takes a pitch and gets a kiss from Paula Abdul
Most of the submissions make it into our "Talking Bull" hub near the top of the main page and we are playing with the idea of having the editors pick a fan posts or shot which needs to be talked about during our weekly pod cast.
If it's "milk through the nose funny", an awesome opinion/rant, or a bit of news not being widely reported in UB land then we want to bring it up during the show. The only problem right now is that 75% of the Fan Shot content is coming from Matt, John, or Myself. I'd love to see 75% be coming from our readers.
So take a shot, a fan shot.. Start posting here!