We have previously written about how the wisdom of the crowd or external problem-solvers can help the governmental or public service organizations to address their challenges or procure services (see here). A great example of what is currently being done in this space is a new Crowdsourcing app called CrowdSolve which is trying to help police force solve crimes using crowdsourcing.
The idea is a total departure from the heroic image of the solitary detective like Batman or Sherlock Holmes: In fact the founders of CrowdSolve want to turn the whole crowd into Sherlock Holmes!
According to a recent report by TechCrunch, “CrowdSolve’s goal with its Indiegogo campaign is to raise $50,000 to help pay the government and administrative fees associated with accessing public case files and other documents, and to build visualization tools that will allow a community to better make sense of their data.”
The discussions and contributions on the CrowdSolve community will be moderated with voting mechanism available to the members to favor the ideas which they thinks merit more attention. This will be very similar to social network Reddit: The best information and insights will rise to the top, and participants will build cases and theories that they can then hand off to others, or work on collaboratively and have vetted by the community.
Application of distributed processing approaches has had some success in the past with gene sequencing. This is not really different in terms of the setting but the key to success is the right combination of data availability, analytical tools, crowd participation and moderation of the comments.