Homer Simpson climbed out of a television set on the second floor of Lewis Hall, walked down the stairs, strolled onto Flagler College campus and asked the first person he saw, “Hey, where can I get a beer?”
A Million Penguins, launched Feb. 1, 2007
Goal: A Single Narrative. The question: Can a community write a novel?
Reaction: “The man was clearly mad! No rules? It would never work! You may as well get penguins to write a novel!”
- 10 hits a second for the first few days
- Nearly 1,500 people contributed to the writing and editing
- 75,000 people visited the site; more than 280,000 page views
- Rewrote sections of the wiki-novel along a banana-based theme.
- Example: In one scene, describing someone getting stabbed with a “stiletto knife,” Bananaman changed it to “a sharpened sliver of banana.”
- The completed novel features a banana version.
What organizers learned
- There never was a single narrative thread
- The output was massive: 1,031 pages
- Dominant themes: Freedom, opportunity, challenge, generosity and fun
- “Not the most read, but possibly the most written novel in history.”
Other examples of crowdsourcing
- Beastie Boys. Concert movie, “Awesome, I Fu*kin’ Shot That!” Fifty fans with Hi8 cameras shot it.
- SportingNews.com. Blogs and social networking are the foundation of the site.
- Threadless.com. Prints T-shirts with designs submitted to its Web site. It expected to earn $20 million in earnings in 2007.
- Second Life. Residents of this online world spend more than 22,500 hours on the site every day, stocking the virtual world with everything from giant tree houses to ninja armor.
- Zazzle. Users submit designs and the company puts them on mugs, posters and shirts. If other people like your design and order your product, you get a cut.
- Lego. Customers design robot operating systems and more.
- John Fluevog Shoes. Fans of the shoes submit their own designs. So far, 10 customer-created designs are in production.