All posts by myamarlee

Adopt a Priest !

You have certainly heard about it, the Catholic Church is in decline in most western european countries. Less and less believers go to the office on Sunday and the figures are even worse for the seminarians – the “students” to be priest. As a consequence, less and less donations are made for the restauration of the roofs, the payment of the priests, …

Three dioceses in Normandy (France) have decided to use crowfunding to fill their empty buckets. They just launched this Friday “Adopte un curé” (adopt a priest) as a parody of the dating site Adopt a guy.

Adopt a guy is a french dating site (Adopte un Mec) that “gives power to women” and enables them to pick up their prince charming like in the supermarket. Guys that would like to meet a nice french girl register on the website, set up an account and wait till the women of their dream send him a message. This platform has gained more and more popularity in the past few years, especially since they opened a temporary boutique in Paris where women could go and do their shopping. The marketing stunt proved to be extremely efficient as even the BBC came to the aptly name street of happiness in Paris to do a report of the phenomenon (see here). Soon a british, and later a german website emerged.


“Ladies, find great deals at the supermarket of love” 

Inspired by this successful marketing action, the three norman dioceses decided to apply these concepts to the church, in a nice parody.

Continue reading Adopt a Priest !

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Have you ever dreamed about being a successful crime solver? Have you ever envied this old M. Holmes- or dreamed about cracking mysteries like in Criminal Minds?

Well fiction is not so far from reality as police investigators sometimes feel like they are getting nowhere and could make use of some help. As has been shown lately, the input of thousands of individuals could be as good as the one of experts, the so-called Wisdom of the Crowd. But how is this relevant to police investigations? Well, like the FBI did in 2011, investigators can sometimes seek help by crowdsourcing some of their unsolved cases.

On 30th June 1999, the 41-year-old Ricky McCormick was found dead in St Louis, Missouri. While the nature of the death was undoubtedly from criminal activity, two strange coded notes found in his pockets quickly caught the attention of the policemen. Twelve years later, despite the relentless work of the CRRU- the Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit of the FBI- those notes remain a mystery, forcing the FBI to crowdsource the problem on the internet. The collection of solutions presented by the population will be reviewed by the FBI, following a hierarchical system. No reward despite the self-satisfaction and the glory of helping the FBI is offered.


Two years later, the FBI again resorted to crowdsourcing to identify the authors of the horrifying bombing in the Marathon of Boston. An unprecedented number of calls, pictures and help from the population ensued from this open call, leading to a quick arrest of the two terrorists.  Following the same lines, numerous cities have developed apps allowing their citizen to report crimes from street disturbance to murders. Continue reading Elementary, my dear Watson.

In the aftermath of the 9/11, Scott Heiferman felt that something had changed in the way people interacted together. They would start to care about each other and talk in the streets while neighbours would meet for the first time after years of living in the same street. He felt that most of the time, people didn’t even came across each other while living in the same area as they didn’t have the opportunity for. He then decided to found, a website that would “use the internet to help people get off the internet” and connect communities together. There we were, 9 months later, the baby of the 9/11 was born. is a platform where you can register and attend any kind of events. The users don’t pay any registration or participation fee, making the service free for 90% of its users. On the other hand, organizers of meetings have to pay a premium, making it an unusual freemium model as Meetup does not even run ads. However, the main revenue for the organizers themselves is the recognition and fame to be part of the “organizer community” as well as the possible future benefits generated by the meetings. In accordance with the principle explaining the success of collective intelligence systems, money is thus not the only reason behind the success of Meetup. Furthermore, all the meetups are completely independent, giving all creativity and decisional power to the users.

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