Crowdsourcing as a tool during disasters

The start of the internet era opened a lot of opportunities for people all over the world. People contact each other by social media and news sites can make use of these resources to spread the news of happenings in the world. If a disaster happens at the other side of the world, within a short time the whole world knows of this. The way people respond to disasters is changed because of the internet1. People are more willing to donate money, resources, food and clothing to charity organizations which work in these disaster area’s because of the shared online images and messages1. Because it happens by internet, it is a form of crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing is defined as the act of taking a challenge faced by a firm, organization or individual and […] where the firm, organization or individual broadcasts an open call to other individuals […] to solve this challenge2,3. One example of the use of crowdsourcing during disasters is the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor breakdown in Japan. Crowdsourcing platforms started to make maps of the radiation level in Japan and even on the west-coast of the US, where individuals measure these radiation and send them to the platforms4. This gave the citizens of Japan insight in how save it is for them to stay in their home town or if it was better to move to a place with less radiation. Another example is the use of these crowd-sourced maps to give relief workers a clear picture of the current situation, as it was done in Japan after the earthquake5 and after the typhoon in the Philippines in 20131. Continue reading Crowdsourcing as a tool during disasters A Foodies Paradise using Excellent Recommendation Agents

I recently came across an online platform that foodies (like myself) will absolutely love: This online food platform brings together recipes from all over the web to create the ultimate online cookbook. Searching for recipes that exactly match your taste and needs of the occasion, has never been easier!  Ok, so maybe I am a little behind on the facts, this yummy food platform was created in 2009 and has become the fastest growing food site in the world, with over 15 million users today.

So what is Yummly exactly?  According to their website:

Yummly was launched in 2010 by foodies on  a mission to invent the ultimate kitchen tool. Whether it’s finding a recipe or going to the store, Yummly wants to make it easier for foodies to do what they love – Cook, eat and share! Yummly’s mission is to be the world’s largest, most powerful, and most helpful food site in the World.

Funny fact: founder and CEO Dave Feller got the idea for Yummly because he couldn’t find a way to easily search for recipes that include mustard!

So what has been the success factor of this new platform, that has made it better than the many other recipe websites?

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The Social Gaming Revolution

Video game industry is changing fast. More than changing, it is expanding to new unexploited segments of the market. Since the 70’s, video games have being increasing in complexity, both in graphics and playability. The first video games, like spaces invaders were no more than a handful of dots gathered in a way that reminded you a spacecraft. Right now, video games such as GTA display near to reality graphics in huge virtual worlds. Also the learning curve to play those games became bigger, making almost impossible to fully control the game.

All this features are highly appreciated by hardcore customers, but they leave out of the industry basically everyone else. This left unexploited a huge segment of the population that also happened to be the segment with the highest purchasing power. With this in mind, Marc Pincus creates Zynga in 2007, one of the first social videogame companies and without any doubt, the most successful. The proposition? Easy to play games with simple graphics. The business model? Freemium: free to play games with premium content only accessible by payment.


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