Using Social Media in Real Time for Crowdsourced Research

How useful can social media be for work? This afternoon I had a wonderful time writing a post over at ReadWriteWeb called Toward a Value-Added User Data Economy with the help of probably 15 people around the world, in real time. I started up a live video broadcast on UStream over EVDO from a cafe in downtown Portland, started writing the post on a publicly available wiki and then Twittered both URLs inviting people to join me. Over the next two hours a got all kinds of help, feedback and semi-related conversation to help round out what I think became a very good post. At one point I sent out a message over Twitter requesting that anyone with a background in the philosophy of economics call me to discuss a question I had. Two qualified and helpful new friends called me on the phone and are quoted in the post. Here’s the last 10 minutes of putting the post live.

It’s true that these tools were as valuable to me in this case as they were because I’ve already built up a network of friends on Twitter and ReadWriteWeb – but I think there is a lot of potential for other people to use these tools in similar ways.