New version of YouBongo with tag cloud and hash tags

After a period of beta testing we’re launching YouBongo in an updated version with the ability to tag observations using hash tags. These tags allow building of local tag clouds with keywords that make it easier to find specific topics. Observation has always bean able to be categorised which groups them horizontally. Through the latest update, it is now possible to tag  observation with one or more hash tags. Which makes it possible to also search for observation vertically across several categories.

Tag Clouds and Hash Tags (swedish content)
Tag Clouds and Hash Tags (swedish content)

Tags are controlled entirely by the user and makes it easier for others to find observations in a specific geographic area. It also makes it easier for groups and individuals to collaborate by tagging observations with certain keywords depending on the current topic.

Several other new features will be presented during the year according to plan. Should you miss any function or come up with a great idea, it is possible for users of YouBongo to submit a request. We go through our own request and ideas as well as the once we receive to come-up with useful new functions. If you are an organization, you can sponsor functions that you request or think would be important for your organisation.  Sponsored functions will get prioritized and will be addressed before other updates.

How to use crowdsourcing in public sector

This is the first article about how to use the power of crowdsoucing to create value to the public and public sector.

There are many good examples on how to use crowdsourcing in public sector. In a previous article, we described how US emergancy agency used crowdsourcing during hurricane Sandy to categorize and prioritize work depending on the information that the public sent to the command center. To understand what problem you have is just the first step of many needed to succeed in crowdsourcing and the ability to tap into the potential of distributed problem solving where the public can participate.

But to use and engaging the public is a bigger problem than just providing an app or a web service. There must be a clear objective of the task and what you want the public to contribute with. To do this, the organisation that initiates the task need to know what type of problem they need help with. Daren C. Brabham and others (2013) have developed a decision tree to assist and clarify the task that is at hand.

Type of crowdsourcing tasks
Type of crowdsourcing tasks

In the following articles we will describe in more detail what kind of tasks you can initiate in the four different categories. Based on our experience and that of scholars like Brabham and others. To give you some idea you need first to find out if you have an information and knowledge problems, or if you are looking for new ideas or solutions to problems. Information and knowledge problem may result in that you need help structuring existing information that you already have or to gather new information. The other part of the problem solving deals with tasks like empirical research, aesthetic proposals, draft new policies or vetting design of products. More on what this means and what tools and processes that are best suited will be discussed in future articles.



YouBongo updated with weighting functionality

The last release of YouBongo provide a new option for users to weight observation as important/informative, unimportant/uninformative or offensive. With the new option users can now start to earn kudos and reputation as an active social observer.

Weighting observation importance
Weighting observation importance

Observation that is weighted important by users will be display with graphical starts depending on standard score over mean value, this is done in real-time and geographic dependent on the current search area for the user.

Frequent users that contribute to others observation even more kudos and will open up new function that these users to moderate and create more complex observation. More about this functionality will be addressed in future post.

US Emergency Agency (FEMA) Uses Crowdsourcing for Crisis Management

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) updates its mobile application with functionality that allows citizens to contribute with images to crisis response.

FEMA Smartphone Application
FEMA Smartphone Application

When Hurricane Sandy hit US in 2012, there where more than 4,000 on-line volunteers who helped FEMA to classify and categorize photo that citizens had sent in to help the authorities. FEMA says it is usually citizens who are the first on site and can provide important information at the beginning of a crisis event. As a result of the successful crowdsourcing effort during Hurricane Sandy, FEMA has now included the functionality for citizens to upload photos with descriptions and geotagging in their smartphone application.

FEMA Sandy 2012 – Crowdsourcing Mapping Video

YouBongo already had this function one year ago, where it’s is possible for users to upload pictures to an observation (with geographic coordinates and time) that citizens creates. Everyone can take part of the observation description and the pictures uploaded in YouBongo without an account. For users who have an account (easy registration via YouBongo) can classify information as important, informative or unimportant, offensive, etcetera. This lets users collaboration (crowdsourcing) on observations of the public space or social issues. The crisis management during hurricane Sandy shows that crowdsourcing can be an important tool to get access to information from citizens, that helps the authorities to plan and coordinate the response.

How citizen interaction and crowdsourcing can create sustainability

To understand how crowdsourcing can bira to sustainable development in the democratic process, we must first understand the meaning of the concept crowdsourcing. Many have heard of crowdfounding as it appeared in the media some later time. Crowdfounding is part of crowdsourcing, which is a broader concept and includes several other categories. What you mean with crowdsourcing is that it is a model for distributed problem and production solution that is almost entirely on-line. Daren C defined the modern definition of the term.

Crowdsourcing design -
Crowdsourcing design –

Crowdsourcing involves a network of users that are working together to solve a problem or perform an action. One of the most important components in crowdsourcing is that all participants get a mutual benefit of participating in the activity. The satisfaction of getting involved with his knowledge and experience which is usually not justified by monetary means but it wont be for social contact, intellectual stimulation, personal interest, recognition, and more.

Clear Byte works to bringing together the components of crowdsourcing and citizen dialogue, where the citizen creates the content and collaborate together. There are many examples where you create a digital forum in the hope that people will spend time and contribute with knowledge without receiving something for their sacrifice. There are also many websites with with low usability and poor scalability, which makes many give before they get started. The demands we make on our services is to provide experience and interactivity for users. The services must not exclude users access to specific technological platforms as smartphones and tablets. They must be usable by standard web browsers a swell as we offer specific interface designed for users with smartphone and tablet devices.

Through good design and interactivity can Clear Byte building digital forums that contribute to sustainability and entice citizens to use the service YouBongo that rewards and motivates frequent users.

PS. Note that the debate about crowdsourcing for monetary and commercial drawing on other motivators than that of non-profit and volunteer-based work.

Social entrepreneurship at OxfordJam 2013

Clear Byte was in Oxford last week to participate in OxfordJam 2013 and learn how social entrepreneurship looks like in United Kingdom. Social engagement is more common thing in UK people is not only relay on authority to manages all aspects of social service. In contrast to Sweden where people up until now, relied upon that the government manage social service.

The importance at OxfordJam is not to promote organizations’ own projects or programs. It is a meeting place where people via interactive sessions allow participants to share knowledge and learn from each other. Some session themes were recurring, like how to measure the impact of social projects and programs. But also that you think about the people people surround themselves with in their organization to complement each other to succeed as a social entrepreneur. Where resources are scarce and where you are forced to be innovative to succeed in your undertaking.

YouBongo – Visualizing Open Data

After intensive work we now publish a new module for YouBongo to visualize the open data. This is a continuation of our commitment to making open data useful for the users. We focus on creating opportunities for collaboration and comment on open data. The first providers of open data is Swedish Transport Administration service for traffic information. The module for visualization is a beta version and we expect a period of fine tuning before we got all the details in place.

You Bongo - Traffic Info
You Bongo – Traffic Info

The module for the visualization of open data, shows the user’s current location and how far it is to different traffic situations and incidents. This makes it easy for the user to focus on what is near or on the literary he or she intendant to make.

We will continue to look for interesting provider of data that we can adapt and visualized in an attractive way for the user. We want to thank the Swedish Transport Administration for answer our questions during the testing phase.

Partially translated by Google Translate

YouBongo – Service for social observations

We are excited to finally introduce a cloud service for observations. YouBongo is a service to store, share and collaborate on observations we make on a daily basis, as a hobby or to inform others. As a user, you can contribute with information to others’ observations that you think are important, to rank them higher within the relevant geographical area. YouBongo is integrated with social media (Twitter, Facebook and Google+) to raise awareness for observations in other forums. The service does not have a like button or similar, it requires a bit more from the user to comment and contribute with valuable information to the observations.

You Bongo - Crowdsourcing
You Bongo – Crowdsourcing

YouBongo has a geographic search engine that enables precise searches within a specific geographic area. The user searches within a certain radius, and can filter on categories that he / she thinks is interesting. You Bongo will soon connect to public databases (i.e. open data) with government and community information to increase the usability of the service. YouBongo is a developable platform that will be expanded with functionality that we think is interesting from a social development and technological perspective. Please contact us if you have any suggestions on interesting areas for further development ( Some date is recorded over central Gothenburg in Sweden if you want to try to search for observations.

You Bongo - Social Media
You Bongo – Social Media

Partially translated by Google Translate

Sociala media version 2.0

Social media is the most useful tool to disseminate information quickly and can get a virile spread within a few minutes. But much of the information disseminated on social media are usually short-lived and rarely rich in content (although it can refer to the links with text, images, videos, etc..) But we are so much wiser that information spreads faster and faster without we consider its origin and context in which it is created.

View as tight turns up to any politician or famous person who makes an unsubstantiated statement. As he or she may later deny or undo publicly. Or that rumor carousel goes so fast that it becomes a reality (internet kills several celebrities) before any time to rebut or respond when rumors spread virile.

Next generation of social media

The next generation of social media (we can call it 2.0 temporarily) need to create more functionality than simply offer new channels for disseminating information quickly. It must offer opportunities to collaborate on information (crowd sourcing) to create a richer content and put it in context. For information should be comprehensive and provide added value, it takes more mental power than just pressing a like button or pass it in the new forums and channels.

Social Media 2.0 also needs to be more integrated with other networked applications to create a better experience for the end user. To use information from a forum as an input to another. Without the user must link manually references to sources. For example, it may be to discuss a new song from their favorite band and automatically linked band schedule in the geographic area where the user is located. For this to happen, information must be tagged with meta data to be moved between systems. A computer does not know if the words “Artic Mokeys” refers to a musical group, or if you find monkeys on the Antarctic. Not until we have created true artificial intelligence in the truest sense. Which means that the user must provide some references to the information he nor she creates.

The question then is whether the creator of information to or have the time to add references or tags to what is being discussed. This may depend on which forum the information is addressed to and if it is used for private or professional purposes. What we already know is that social media has already found its way into our public authorities and parliament.

This article is designed to highlight the issue of how to use information from social media today. Are there any areas where it fits less well or should we implement it at all levels of our society?

Partially translated by Google Translate