Archive for the 'Crowdsourcing' Category

Mapping the criminal justice reform field in the U.S.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Over the past couple of years, I’ve become increasingly interested in issues relating to the U.S. criminal justice system and the urgent need for reform.

I recently started to compile a list of U.S. organizations working in this area, and I was quite surprised to discover how much activity there is already. The resulting spreadsheet is open for anyone to edit.

There are a number of useful things that could be done with such a directory. Hope to spend a little more time on this over the summer. Stay tuned.

German expressions for those OMG moments

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Here’s a little end-of-year krautsourcing experiment. I’m looking for a list of German phrases that express a certain kind of surprise, disbelief, irritation, annoyance or sometimes appreciation and compliment. When saying them out loud, they can or may occasionally be accompanied by a slap on the knee or standing one arm akimbo or other gestures (e.g. two hands raised to the head if it’s really bad).

Here’s a few examples (note that even though technically some of these may be questions the intonation tends to be that of a statement or exclamation, hence no question mark):

  • Ja, gibt’s denn sowas.
  • Ja, ist es denn die Möglichkeit.
  • Haste nicht gesehen!
  • Leck mich am Arsch!
  • Ja, do legs di nieda! (Bavarian, sp?)
  • Heilig’s Blechle! (Swabian)
  • Das schlägt dem Fass den Boden aus!
  • Das ist doch wirklich das allerletzte!
  • Da wird doch der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt!
  • Heiliges Kanonenrohr!

You get the gist.

Thing is, the junior finds these absolutely, completely hilarious and has the best of times when he hears them. He can’t seem to get enough and I’m quickly running out of variations.

Please help me expand this list. Let me know: what do you use when something like that just happened? What do your parents or grandparents use? Don’t be shy, some of these can get quite expletive. Give a little background (like region), too, if you feel like it.

Happy New Year!


More expressions that fall into this category (rhythm and melody wise):

  • Sapperlot!
  • Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn!
  • Mannomann!
  • Ach du liebe Güte!
  • Ich fass es nich’
  • Ich glaub, mich tritt ein Pferd
  • Zapperlot!
  • Ach du grüne Neune!
  • Grundgütiger!
  • Du meine Güte!
  • Jetzt schlägt’s Dreizehn
  • Ach, du ahnst es nicht!

Update 2

More good ones…

  • Leck mich in de täsch! (Rhineland)
  • Ich glaub, mein Schwein pfeift.
  • Mich laust der Affe!
  • Heiliger Bimbam!

Yahoo! Upcoming product feedback

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

So Yahoo! is asking Upcoming users for feedback. Here’s mine (the small portion that was free form):

There are ads on Upcoming, really? ;-)

If Upcoming could do private events, I believe it could replace Evite for many.

Automatic notifications (e.g. via SMS) for events that are becoming “hot” fast in my network. General measurement or visualization of “interestingness” for various events (kinda like Flickr does for photos).

For some events, it would be nice to have the option to have the event details be editable to other event attendees (with or without approval, not sure). The use case here is that I may have entered an event prior to the organizers, don’t have the time to keep it updated but trust that others will do so. Have experienced this many times. In fact, it sometimes keeps me from adding new events these days (the ones I don’t own).

Other than that, nice job! ;-)

We’ll see what happens.

Trupoli: First look at participation/engagement metrics

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Note: Article originally blogged on Flickr on Dec 27, 2007.

Earlier this month, Munich, Germany-based Trupoli ended their closed beta phase and officially launched the site to the public. Trupoli lets you capture, share and evaluate statements by German politicians (federal, state, local) along criteria of credibility, agreement, and importance.

Trupoli: Top politicians (sort by popularity)

Time to take a first look at some basic participation/engagement metrics (as of 2007/12/27):


Total # of registered users: unknown (was approx. 1,000 at the time of launch according to the press release)

Total # of politicians (profiles): 3,910
Total # of statements: 2,484

# of politicians with at least one statement: 344 (8.8%)

# of statements per politician: 0.6
# of statements per politician with at least one statement: 7.2

Top 50 politicians (sorted by popularity):

# of politicians: 50 (1.3% of total)
# of statements: 1,674 (67.4% of total)
# of evaluations: 16,891
# of evaluations per statement: 10.1


Still too early for these numbers to be meaningful, though the patterns of a long tail seem to be showing (less than two percent of politicians have more than two thirds of all statements associated with them, while over 90 percent of all politicians do not have any statements associated).

It certainly is an interesting project, and it may take some time for its value to become apparent. My guess is that we’ll have a much better idea where things are headed by the end of Q1/2008.

Playing with Listphile: “A good citizen is…”

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Listphile just came out and seems very nicely done at first glance:

Listphile is a free website that enables anyone to create collaborative lists, atlases, databases and more. Lists can be broad and ambitious (like a List of All Baseball Players Who Played in the Majors) or niche (Punk Bands from the Lower East Side, 1975-1980), or quirky or ridiculous. You can collaborate with other people to share, create, and make something that will benefit humanity.

I set up a little civics-related crowdsourcing experiment: A good citizen is…

Will be interesting to watch what kind of statements people suggest.

Via Techcrunch: Listphile: Lists On Speed

Civic sensemaking

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Just sayin’.

List of collaborative translation tools

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

I’m quite fascinated by the opportunities or large-group collaboration.

I recently thought about how crowdsourcing could best be applied to the translation process, and came across the following projects or services (may not all be active anymore, but listed here nonetheless):

  • Babels — Babels is an international network of volunteer interpreters and translators whose main objective is to cover the interpreting needs of the Social Forums.
  • Cucumis — Free online translation service
    Cucumis is a community of translators who share their linguistic knowledge and help each other online.
  • DotSUB — Any film in any language.
  • nativetext — nativetext is a free web service that translates RSS feeds from blogs and podcasts into foreign languages. (site defunct, archived version available on
  • Speakeasy — Speakeasy is an integrated internet and telephone service that connects new immigrants with a network of multilingual volunteers who answer questions, give advice, and provide language interpretation over the phone. Speakeasy’s novel approach to community networking leverages the ubiquity of cell phones to create a model of “just in time” civic engagement, enabling volunteers to remain “on-call” to their community wherever they might be.
  • Traduwiki — Anybody is a translator
    Traduwiki’s mission is to use the power of ‘we’ to translate the most interesting documents. Explore the thousands of docs already uploaded, contribute two phrases at a time and let’s spread the best stuff.
  • Worldwide Lexicon Project — Translating The Web To And From Any Human Language
    The Worldwide Lexicon is an experimental project to make translating websites, blogs and real-time IM conversations easy and accurate, using a combination of human and machine translation. The project was created several years ago by Brian McConnell, a telecommunications entrepreneur and inventor.

Anything else out there that should be mentioned? Feel free to leave a comment.