The Crowdsourcing Project: Kick-Off

This is a guest post from Coleman Foley, one of the participants in Mozilla Labs’ Crowdsourcing Project:

Today, volunteers from California to Sweden came together to discuss how to improve crowdsourcing, responding to a call from Mozilla Labs for volunteers to “Crowdsource Crowdsourcing“. We are practicing what we preach here. Pretty much everybody had a say in our initial discussion. Pascal Finette of Mozilla Labs got us going by telling us we should split up into three groups. From there, we took over. We got into the groups we wanted, then each group chose its own way of communicating and decided how to proceed until all the groups reconvene in two weeks.

For example, my group, which is trying to define best practices for crowdsourcing, decided to sign up for and participate in some crowdsourcing sites, and to report back on Thursday with initial findings. A second group is analyzing past Mozilla Labs Design Challenges to figure out what went wrong and what went right. The third is diving into crowdsourcing theory. We plan to fuse our findings when we get back together.

We have a wide variety of interests and backgrounds here, with an entrepreneur, a biophysicist, an electrical engineer, a couple of psychology majors, and, of course, many designers and programmers.

  • I am a computer science major at Chico State who is all about usability. I blog at
  • Roei Yellin is an Israeli entrepreneur working on a crowdsourcing startup.
  • Matt Evans is Mozilla’s QA Director.
  • Jan Dittrich is studying for a Media Arts & Design B.F.A. at the Bauhaus University in Weimar.
  • Abraham Taherivand has an Information Systems BS and an Information Management and Engineering MS. He has done a ton of things in innovation, which you can learn more about at his website.
  • Jimmy Chion has a bachelors’s degree in Cognitive Science Stanford and is now near completing a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Chao Xu is majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics at Stony Brook University.
  • Piyush Kumar majored in Electrical Engineering and minored in Computer Science for his BS and is going to get an MS in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Ryan Bubinski is studying studying biophysics and computer science at Columbia.
  • Peter Organisciak is working on an MA in Digital Humanities at the University of Alberta and is going on to study Information Science at the University of Illinois. His thesis is on the motivations of crowdsourcing participants.
  • Zach Williams is a Psychology major at Tarleton State University in Texas, with a passion for web design and user experience, which you can see at his beautiful website.
  • Joao Menezes studies Graphics/Interaction Design at UNIVILLE University, Brazil. He has participated in several Mozilla projects.
  • Ola Moller studies Social/Digital Media & Concept Development at Hyper Island in Stockholm. He has led and participated in two creativity crowdsourcing projects in Sweden, which you can learn more about at his website.
  • Eugenia Ortiz (who goes by Euge) is another student from Argentina. She is big on User Experience. Learn more about her at
  • Ajay Roopakalu is a computer science major and applied mathematics minor at Princeton University. He blogs at

This is how you crowdsource crowdsourcing: gather volunteers from every part of the world and many backgrounds, let them organize themselves, and watch the magic.