Washington Post explores crowdsourcing eatery ingredients
July 28th, 2008

A Washington Post article this weekend is a case study in crowdsourcing. In planning and preparing to open a new restaurant to be called Elements, its developer Sharon Greenspan is using a new approach made possible by the ingredients of our richly connecting world:

. . . the model for Elements is unlike any other Washington restaurant, and, as far as the founders can say, unlike any other restaurant in the world. If it successfully opens, Elements will be the first “crowdsourced” restaurant, conceived and developed by an open community of experts and interested parties.

The term was coined by journalist Jeff Howe in a 2006 article in Wired magazine. It’s essentially the application of open-source principles to fields beyond software. Instead of outsourcing a task to one person or expert, it is outsourced to a crowd. (Get it? Crowd. Sourcing.) The process uses the group’s intelligence to come up with the best ideas, then distributes the tasks to people most suited to perform them. Crowdsourcing puts the wisdom of crowds to work.


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