Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

Simon Willison – Building crowdsourcing applications

Web Directions @media 2010, Southbank Centre London, June 10 1.40pm.

Presentation slides

Session description

Crowdsourcing applications take indigestible tasks and break them down into digestible pieces, enabling a group to help plough through large scale projects in much shorter periods of time.

Designing and building crowdsourcing applications incorporates a fascinating range of challenges, from usability, psychology and interaction design to scaling applications for surges of traffic – all the while ensuring that contributors are rewarded, good behaviour is encouraged and the resulting data comes out in a useful format.

This talk will discuss lessons learned building serious crowdsourcing applications on newsroom schedules at the Guardian, and playful crowdsourcing features for WildlifeNearYou.com.

About Simon Willison

Simon Willison PortraitSimon Willison is a developer, speaker, writer and all-round web technology enthusiast. Simon works for Guardian News and Media as a software architect for guardian.co.uk and the Guardian Open Platform. Before joining the Guardian Simon worked as a consultant for clients that included the BBC, Automattic and GCap Media.

Simon is a past member of Yahoo!’s Technology Development team, where his projects included the initial prototype of FireEagle, Yahoo!’s location broker API. Prior to Yahoo! he worked at the Lawrence Journal-World, an award winning local newspaper in Kansas.

Simon is a co-creator of the Django web framework, and a passionate advocate for Open Source and standards-based development. He maintains a popular Web development blog at

Follow Simon on Twitter: @simonw

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