I chose “Talking Points Memo U.S. attorneys” case since the word “left-center” which Muthukumaraswamy mentioned attracted my attention. I am curious about the credibility of the result of crowdsourcing when the website has certain ideology. Will the result be biased when the “crowds” of the website have common ideology? Or will the common ideology strengthen the users’ determination to find out the truth? In my opinion, I think that bias in crowdsourcing can sometimes be devastating. Diversity in the crowd should be important. The link addressed that diversity of opinion among crowd need to be ensured to bring the potential of the crowd into full play. The crowdsourcing way which Speechology uses may be able to reduce the biased risk because the website invites their users to provide “videos” as testimonies. Speechology becomes an “archive of videos” showing what politicians had actually said which diminish the risk of bias.
According to Muthukumaraswamy (2009), TPM “has capitalized on these services by utilizing simple reader alerts and extensive analysis by its robust audience.” And the author also mentioned that “most readers of TPM are well connected, and have expertise in specialized fields such as law, policy and national intelligence” (Muthukumaraswamy, 2009, p.53) However, I could not find any contributors requirement on TPM website when I sign up. I wonder about how they do the contributors screening process to “recruiting an expert audience” since I do not think that the TPM has the right to ask audience providing their personal information when audience contributes. If the TPM is just screening audience’s contribution by their employees, then I do not see that there is difference from other “general audience” generating website. Therefore, I do not think that the subheading “wisdom of crowds in general-interest reporting by recruiting an expert audience” is suitable. “Wisdom of crowds in general-interest reporting by recruiting generalists” may be more suitable.
Crowdsourcing is definitely a good way to supervise government. Besides the TPM provides a platform for their audiences to gather and contribute information about the government, there are more and more websites also try to supervise government. Therefore, the U.S. government started to “embrace crowdsourcing.” Besides “the President Obama’s goal to create a more transparent, participatory and collaborative government” declared by the White House. I also found many government websites such as St. Louis County Crime Incident Map and Ideas for Seattle. The crowdsourcing trend may change the old administrative way of government.
To sum up, I do not think that the TPM is a good example of crowdsourcing because I cannot be sure that the information on the website is really from “crowd.” Unlike the Ushahidi website has clear way for audiences to contribute information, I do not understand where the “open-source” of the TPM is. To me, it is more like regular news website where users can comment.