Grassroots crowdsourcing of pop culture

There is a lot written about the concept of crowdsourcing or as some like to call it – the wisdom of the crowd. For a lot of people in social media it is one of the cornerstones of the web in our brave new digital world. In a lot of case I think it is more bullshit marketing that anything else as everyone gets all in a hump over making things go viral and using the crowd to get the word out.

At the opposite end of the spectrum though are some rather interesting ideas that are trying to use the vast numbers of people using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and other social media services to get a sense of what our cultural icons are when it comes to things like movies and music. The first one I ran across – via Friendfeed – is FlickChart and the idea there is for members to cycle through all the movies in the FlickChart database and select which one of two is their favorite movie.

You keep doing this and if you want also share each set you are picking a favorite from to services like Friendfeed and Twitter.

flickchart

The idea with FlickChart is to assemble a list of our culture’s most favorite movies. Not voted on by movie critics or listed by financial success, but rather by a true popular vote.

best-movies

Now today I happen to run across the same sort of idea for music (via David Griner at The Social Path) through a service called We Are Hunted. The idea here is that the site scours fellow social media services like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, forums, P2P networks and blogs to find out what songs are being talked about.

A new Top of the Pops

In the physical world, charts are built on shipped albums. Online charts have been a simple count of digital downloads. We Are Hunted is different. We discover new music from around the web and detect sentiment, expression and advocacy to understand what people like and dislike.

we-are-hunted

These two example are what I think of when I think about looking for wisdom of the crowd and I find myself much more likely to look to them for suggestions of what to watch or listen to than I am to critics and trade Top 100 lists.

What do you think of this type of crowdsourcing?

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