Crowdsourcing Vs ARG?

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Crowdsourcing Vs ARG?

Postby Trifecta » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:36 pm

The mission: real world, real life situations that need complex problem solving. A tonne of data is coming in through multiple mediums, clues a plenty, some relevant, others red herrings, sorting the dross from the gold needs knowledge, understanding and quick results before the data gets lost in the confusion of time.

Which is the best approach. CrowdSourcing or ARG and why?

Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people or community in the form of an open call. For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task (also known as community-based design[1] and distributed participatory design), refine or carry out the steps of an algorithm (see Human-based computation), or help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data (see also citizen science).

An alternate reality game, also known as an altered reality game (ARG), is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions.
The form is defined by intense player involvement with a story that takes place in real-time and evolves according to participants' responses, and characters that are actively controlled by the game's designers, as opposed to being controlled by artificial intelligence as in a computer or console video game. Players interact directly with characters in the game, solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and often work together with a community to analyze the story and coordinate real-life and online activities. ARGs generally use multimedia, such as telephones, email and mail but rely on the Internet as the central binding medium.
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Postby JackRiddler » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:14 pm

From "Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog"

Image

Hm, the area assigned to life may indicate something about how much of it can be understood through ARGs. Or crowd sourcing. You're dealing with a self-selected set.

Interesting set of graphics on that site:
http://blog.futurelab.net/2009/03/multi ... ia_di.html

Sounds like someone thinks they will go down in history (erm, sorry, WIKI) as Bernays 2.0.

You can see blow-ups of these on the site... This one's pretty cool:

Image

These, not so much:

Image

Image

Image
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Postby Code Unknown » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:42 pm

JackRiddler wrote:These, not so much:


Thank you, Jack. Your sanity is highly appreciated and all too rare these days [in the world at large].

Case in point:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/commen ... 877318.ece
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Postby Trifecta » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:05 pm

Ok, this is a serious enquiry for a number of reasons.

Jack, thanks for posting information I linked to in an earlier thread, but, hey no reason some of the backstory can not also reside here.

Twitter is a tool for engagement and the closer they get to real people the better in my opinion, same with other forms of engagement.

As, we seem to have a number of ARG players/contributors here and many of us confused and bemused about what the game actually is, lets see if we can harness the collective wisdom of the RI crowd.

So, lets take a real world situation beyond the TD/JB mindfuck.

How would a case like Madeleine McCann benefit from either Crowd Sourcing or an ARG, using the power of hundreds and possibly thousands?

Assuming information from official sources, media and the interwebs was collected and disseminated via either of these mediums?
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Postby Wombaticus Rex » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:20 pm

If you want to use these techniques to gain attention for important stories, I think that's awesome. The good news is, there is no secret sauce involved. All of these companies, contractors and self-professed masterminds are using the same templates and infrastructure. So the work, on your end of The Bargain, is strictly organizational: you can map out any ARG you want to model, and start substituting your own content.

Whether you're working in an open or closed format, you're dealing with centralized monitoring, feedback and communication flow. Simply because of the technology involved, the numbers and metrics get kept, you can get as involved with that as you like.

Conspiracy culture has been pulverized into a dumb-simple demographic in the past 10 years because they've been the initial model for most of the ARG and viral marketing experiments and landmarks. You seed the interest on high-traffic and high-influence sites and circles, and you feed the content out according to a plan, a schedule. This is true for record labels, PR firms, internet marketers, or the Pentagon's Information Operations bullhorn: you plan the work and you work the plan, and you watch your numbers.

Framing is everything.

We tend to dump on people: this and this and this and so therefore that. It takes some un-thinking to get used to framing everything with hooks: take the most outrageous detail, and then just ask, "what in the hell is going on here?

Look for what people can personally relate to, look for acts of courage or obviously evil deeds, and emphasize the narrative...but even running through it in my head, I think the format is poisoned. Ultimately you'd do whatever issue or indicident you want to publicize a dis-service.

The open model is more interesting: set up a collaborative wiki with the evidence and get people interested enough to start building it up. There's a rock solid little book on building wiki communities, called wiki patterns, which is also a website...that has the whole book's content for free. http://www.wikipatterns.com

I think the idea of focused, collaborative open projects works -- I'm doing one right now at Urban Evolution and it's been energizing, inspirational, and useful in the real world. I also think the RI forum is a great example of a collaborative research community. The balance of biases here is rare and fantastic.
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Postby nathan28 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:45 pm

Wombaticus Rex wrote:If you want to use these techniques to gain attention for important stories... the numbers and metrics get kept...

You seed the interest on high-traffic and high-influence sites and circles, and you feed the content out according to a plan, a schedule. This is true for record labels, PR firms, internet marketers, or the Pentagon's Information Operations bullhorn: you plan the work and you work the plan, and you watch your numbers.

We tend to dump on people: this and this and this and so therefore that. It takes some un-thinking to get used to framing everything with hooks: take the most outrageous detail, and then just ask, "what in the hell is going on here?

...but even running through it in my head, I think the format is poisoned.


I had to re-read this to catch that last bit.

I don't know that it's "poisoned." To some extent any online presence of any sort will go through those hoops anyway, just by virtue of the intertubes' nature. I think a more accurate word is "mediated." But at the far end of mediated is almost always "controlled."
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Postby Trifecta » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:36 am

In any form of knowledge wealth we would have to find a fat controller, my question is by which means can this be used for the benefit of a worthy cause?

I am under an NDA (non disclosure agreement) so cannot be too specific.

Wombat, thank you, that info makes me feel this is the right approach to take, even tho at some point it feels like it may cross my ethical boundary, but, by being open as much as possible that is lessoned.

Genuine enquiry here, to ARG or Crowd source, that is the question?
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Postby Trifecta » Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:04 am

This is a nice presentation of the idea http://www.nanocrowd.com
About Nanocrowd

We listen to the crowd so you can find your place in it
Nanocrowd is a group of nerds who wondered about a couple things:

With all the viewer commentary about movies, why is it so hard to get a sense of what movies I’ll enjoy?
When I go to movie sites to find a movie, why don’t their recommendations make sense?
We decided to put those two things together and use movie commentary to recommend movies people would like.

Our approach is new and different. We write magical search algorithms that interpret comments people like you have written about movies. No editors. No movie critics. We analyze the millions of viewer comments from all over the Web to gain exciting insights into what movies are really about and what people think of them. Based on those insights, we find movies that you’d like to watch.

So, have fun, find movies, and let us know what you think. You can read more about us and send comments on our blog. Tell your friends so they can tell their friends, and so on, and so on.
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Postby JackRiddler » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:02 am

Trifecta wrote:Jack, thanks for posting information I linked to in an earlier thread, but, hey no reason some of the backstory can not also reside here.


Sorry! Honestly, I still had that page up on a browser tab and no longer knew who at RI had first pointed me to it. So thanks.

As, we seem to have a number of ARG players/contributors here and many of us confused and bemused about what the game actually is, lets see if we can harness the collective wisdom of the RI crowd.


Okay, can we finally have an explanation of this? Because I keep reading something to that effect, from several people other than you, and still no one has just given us the punch and judy of what they think (at least, that I saw).

Who is an ARG player here?

Do you (or others talking about this issue) mean that some people are playing an ARG in their RI posts? I mean, do you (or others) that they're here specifically to play an ARG?

How do you (or others) know this? Has anyone confessed? What's the ARG being played? To what end? Is trolling or sock-puppetry or mere joking around being confused here with an ARG?

Etc.

Pretend I'm dense, because I often am!

Thanks!

.
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Postby Trifecta » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:20 am

I guess the players sense a trap, alas this is a genuine enquiry to tap those in the know brains .... will have to dig deeper elsewhere, there is a few bucks in it and a genuine good cause.
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Postby elfismiles » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:39 pm

JackRiddler wrote:
Trifecta wrote:As, we seem to have a number of ARG players/contributors here and many of us confused and bemused about what the game actually is, lets see if we can harness the collective wisdom of the RI crowd.


Okay, can we finally have an explanation of this? Because I keep reading something to that effect, from several people other than you, and still no one has just given us the punch and judy of what they think (at least, that I saw).

Who is an ARG player here?


"That, would be telling." - No. 2 - The Prisoner

"How the hell should I know." - Fox Moulder - The X-Files

Naming names might be considered calling someone an agent and could result in an accuser's expulsion from RI.

I've never consciously participated in an ARG. However, I've been fascinated by them since first learning about them 8 years ago.

I'm fascinated by them as games and play but also there implications for viral marketing, meme management, psyops and ... as this thread explores, problem solving and learning.

The idea of using specialized communities as Collective Detectives is debatable but seems doable and worth pursuing. That is precisely what groups like CyberSleuths and others have tried to do. While CS is not coming from the arg angle there have been ARGs such as "World Without Oil" to address the peak oil / climate crisis as well as the interactive learning ARG for homeland security / intel training known as NeverRest.

JackRiddler wrote:Do you (or others talking about this issue) mean that some people are playing an ARG in their RI posts? I mean, do you (or others) that they're here specifically to play an ARG?


That was one version of DreamsEnd's hypotheses. But what the nature of such a thing might be, an actual parapolitical covert-op, a simple "game" or "role-playing" gotten out of hand, use as a testing ground or brainstorming / research arena for game designers, or stalking ground for pedo-ra-perps, is anyone's guess.

You have seen there are folks here who assert contact in the real world with other users from this forum who have game industry connections and/or mil-intel connections. And that said users are either game developers trolling for material and/or actual perps of ra and mk tracking and manipulating other survivors here. That's basically what Hava seems to be saying.

DreamsEnd believed that a group of such "game players" was behind certain online stalking and harassment of him and claimed RA/MK survivors and Alien Abductees.

Trifecta wrote:I guess the players sense a trap, alas this is a genuine enquiry to tap those in the know brains .... will have to dig deeper elsewhere, there is a few bucks in it and a genuine good cause.


JackRiddler wrote:How do you (or others) know this? Has anyone confessed? What's the ARG being played? To what end? Is trolling or sock-puppetry or mere joking around being confused here with an ARG?


I certainly don't know if any of these worst accusations has merit. I really don't want to believe they do.

I know that this is a diverse community of VERY intellectual and skilled people. Many of whom have real world jobs in media, art, entertainment, medicine, activism, games industries and who knows what else.

It is easy for me to believe that the synchronistic nature of information, the internet and a community of minds such as this at RI coupled with the witty nature of online discourse could weave together the synchromystic trappings necessary to ensnare most anyone in a cycle of noia gnosis that might convince them that there are such nefarious things going on here and various other communities.

And the tricksterish nature of anomalous phenomena (the Universe itself?!) and the strange attractor nature of consciousness within it (a la Vallee's ideas of the Cosmic Bulletin Board expressed in Messengers of Deception) ensure that there will be a feeling of "play" and "conspiracy" at work.

PLUS, the tricksterish nature of the Culture Jamming, Art Hoaxing, Discordian "worshipping" communities further enhance the sense of play at work here (pardon the pun).

But sock-puppetry and astro-turfing and the shenanigans that were being tracked by DE and are still being tracked by various of us around here ... seem to point to something on top of simple witty internet repartee.

But there are so many witty people here, who the hell can say for sure.

Not I.

:?
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Postby LilyPatToo » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:05 pm

That was a thought-provoking post, elfsmiles. (I'd appreciate a definition of "noia gnosis" though, for non-gamer types like me)

Since Dream's End inexplicably lashed out at me on his way out the door here, I've been trying to (belatedly) learn as much as I can about ARGs and about the labyrinthine tangle of personalities involved in whatever it was that was perpetrated upon him back then. And not simply to figure out how to clear myself of culpability, either. I too have run into some extremely toxic people in the online Fringe and I'd feel better--safer--if I could make some sense out of their attitudes and actions.

You said:
DreamsEnd believed that a group of such "game players" was behind certain online stalking and harassment of him and claimed RA/MK survivors and Alien Abductees.


Are you saying that he believed the stalking was BY them? (that they were behind it?)

That was one of the (probably many) things I missed hearing about back when he was imploding. I'm sorry that I did, since I'm a survivor of what appears to have been a succession of government-connected mind control programs and for many years I ignorantly blamed my missing time on "alien" abductions. So it might partly explain DE's sudden turning on me, personally.

Like JackRiddler, I wish there was some way of figuring out who the people gaming unwitting others really are and whether they're doing it for their own malignant narcissistic/sociopathic fun OR whether there are actual psy-ops types pulling their strings. Or both, I guess. But I do understand why, on a parapolitical board like this one, labeling people as "agents" is forbidden...it's just unfortunate that the policy serves to enable troublemakers.

My life experiences have left me with a violent allergy to all games and especially to manipulative people--tricksters--no matter what their excuse is for being less-than-honest about who they are and what they're doing. So I doubt if I'll ever be able to come to terms with ARGs, no matter how highly-principled the excuse for playing one happens to be. I get that most people seem to love to play games of all sorts, so they should be free to do so...as long as those of us who would prefer to abstain are able to do so.

But since there is no way to do that at present, it takes a real effort of will to control my own paranoia sometimes....

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Postby elfismiles » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:35 pm

Lotsa links in the OP at the link.

LPT ... sorry I didn't ever respond to your questions and comments. I will try to do so - sorry it has taken nearly a year.


Innovation: The sinister powers of crowdsourcing
12:42 22 December 2009 by MacGregor Campbell

Innovation is our regular column that highlights emerging technological ideas and where they may lead

When an ad hoc team of 5000 people who assembled in just two hours found 10 weather balloons hidden across the US by the Pentagon's research agency earlier this month, it was just another demonstration of the power of crowdsourcing – solving a task by appealing to a large undefined group of web users to each do a small chunk of it.

So far crowdsourcing has been associated with well-meaning altruism, such as the creation and maintenance of Wikipedia or searching for lost aviators. But crowdsourcing of a different flavour has started to emerge.

Law enforcement officials in Texas have installed a network of CCTV cameras to monitor key areas along that state's 1900-kilometre-long border with Mexico. To help screen the footage, a website lets anyone log in to watch a live feed from a border camera and report suspicious activity. A similar system called Internet Eyes, which pays online viewers to spot shoplifters from in-store camera feeds, is set to launch in the UK in 2010. An Iranian website is offering rewards for identifying people in photos taken during protests over June's elections.

Crowd chilling
Some people have declared those examples chilling. Now Jonathan Zittrain, a Harvard University law professor and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, says the next step may be for such efforts to get web users to help out covertly.

In a recent talk, "Minds for Sale", at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, he pointed out that this could be done right away, using Amazon's Mechanical Turk, a service that provides a platform for anyone to farm out simple tasks.

In a speculative example, Zittrain has calculated that, assuming a population in Iran of around 72 million people, it would cost around $17,000 for the government to use Mechanical Turk to identify any arbitrary person's picture, without the users that are doing it realising the cause they have enlisted in.

The scheme would show "Turkers" a photo of a protest, or just faces extracted from one, along with five randomly chosen photos from the country's ID card database, and asked to say whether or not there is any match.

Users would receive a few cents each time they contribute. Furthermore, Zittrain says that such a task might be made into an addictive game, similar to Google's image labeller.

"The people making the identifications in India or the US, idly doing this on their lunch hour instead of Minesweeper, would have no idea of the implications of what they are doing," Zittrain said in the talk. "I think people ought to know how their work is being used," he told New Scientist.

Crowdsourcing's power to compartmentalise and abstract away the true meaning of tasks turns human intelligence into a commodity. Zittrain's thought experiment shows how it could potentially entice people into participating in a project that they otherwise wouldn't support.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... rcing.html
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Postby elfismiles » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:36 pm

OSI: IT team wins Darpa's treasure hunt in less than one day
http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board/v ... hp?t=26217
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Postby Wombaticus Rex » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:51 pm

...and what happens when an ARG, like a military training drill, suddenly "goes live" on orders from Who Knows Where? (That to was my personal conclusion, post-TD/JB drama.)

Once you get into the business of pulling this off professionally, you will start reaching a point where you can just let it...be reality. Once a product is introduced, once the movie gets connected, your spell is broken. I'd propose that there are threshold points where the team behind Blair Witch, for instance, could have walked away and let it "become real."

I definitely saw that kind of scenario at work for the ARG promotion of "The Fourth Kind" and "2012" -- keeping an open channel like I do through Brainsturbator and Skilluminati, I get tons of email from people asking earnest questions about this stuff. If those teams had cut it off at an earlier phase, it would still be getting discussed as reality, or at least conspiracy theory mythic debris. But that's reality a lot of folks.

I am also considering that even after it's a movie, people will still believe. Barnes and Noble still has a whole display of "2012" books that was looking mighty picked-over this past Sunday. Pinchbeck was on there, too...definitely a man trying to participate in a massive ARG-style marketing campaign. 2012 is the new Secret and smart hucksters want in.
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