Tag Archives: Crowdsourcing

Domino’s uses crowdsourcing to find innovation and ideas

Domino’s has empowered its user community to steer the direction of the brand by launching its new crowdsourcing app, ‘Think Oven’ on Facebook

Think Oven has 2 parts,’Projects’ and ‘Idea box’

The Project area encourages comments and suggestions around a current project – at the moment its around the Domino’s uniforms.  The Idea box is a place for suggestions – that might turn into future projects.


The idea mirrors the My Starbucks Idea project that has been running for some time now.  Although we celebrate community collaboration like this, Crowdsourced ideas are not new.

Back in the ‘olden days’ the company suggestions box had the potential to turn up some innovation. Now everything is done online. With voting, comments and suggestions enabled in the Domino’s app the brand can get a really good idea about what its fans really want.

Using the army of Facebook fans to garner ideas is a good move for Domino’s.  We are used to interacting on Facebook, we are much more likely to interact with the brand in this way.

Hopefully Domino’s will implement some of the better ideas and report on its success.. Perhaps more brands will take up the initiative and work towards getting better customer service levels, new products and a re-energised business…

Meanwhile, Domino’s… I have an idea… Smile

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


Quirky: Using influence to create new products

I like the idea of using your influence to contribute to and create new ideas and products.  New York based start-up Quirky allows you to submit an idea, have it reviewed and evaluated by the community, and based on their feedback, either refine and redesign the product, or take it forward into production.

The web site also encourages social sales in addition to direct sales.  Users are more likely to purchase a product where they’ve influenced product design or manufacture either directly or indirectly.


There are some great ideas on the site already too – like this cord grabber to stop your cables falling off the desk.  There are related products to buy too.

Will this new way of product design evolve using social collaboration?  Internally, it would certainly get round the interminable product review meetings that companies have.  Meetings where half the team are pushing for their component to be included in the mix and the other half processing their email and not contributing to the meeting.

Perhaps your design could fall victim to the Wikipedia model, where any changes are instantly reverted by the page owner and new ideas are drowned in a sea of conformity.

Or are we poised to change the whole way that products are created – and allow innovation to lead the way?

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Crowdsourcing works: Producing the mobile 3G map of the UK

Rory Cellan Jones at the BBC has done an interesting experiment using crowdsourcing to discover the true coverage of 2G and 3G in the UK.

They produced a mobile app for Android, and asked users to download it to their phones.  They then collected usage data about mobile data coverage.

The results appeared to show differences from published coverage of data.  Here’s the map of the data showing coverage in my area… Unfortunately my coverage veers from 2G to no coverage.  Damn you purple square!


But even so, I’m in a good area compared with the rest of the UK.  What makes this survey interesting is:

Crowdsourcing works even without monetary reward. The community wanted to contribute to the test and 44,600 volunteers downloaded the app and voluntarily used it to collect data to upload the the BBC

Crowdsourcing works if there is media involvement in the campaign.  I heard about this on the radio, the website and the blog.  Announcements across several social channels spread the word

Crowdsourcing works if there is value in the end goal.  The map of 3G coverage in the UK was the result.  You can now say you contributed to the sum of this knowledge (if you downloaded the app)

Other companies use crowdsourcing too – The Geeks are sexy blog has a visual explanation of crowdsourcing showing several other companies that have benefitted from crowdsourcing. 

Perhaps it would work for your business too?

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

The London riots: Using social media as a force for good


An amazing, terrifying image of a woman jumping from a burning building in Croydon last night. Image credit: GSandhu

It’s hard to know what to write this morning. 

My Twitter stream is full of comments about last nights riots in London and truly terrifying images like the one above.  Last night, the news streams were vilifying social media, and especially BlackBerry for their BBM private messaging system which could have been used to organise further outbreaks. The Evening Standard blamed Twitter for the riots (thanks Tac for the photo).  The Guardian speculated that BlackBerry Messenger played a key role in the riots and the Telegraph talked about how messenger was used to plan two nights of looting. RIM offered to help the police ‘in any way we can’ but in the main social media was being vilified for spreading of information used to incite further unrest.  All seemed gloomy.  all seemed to point to the use of social media as a force to incite the masses.  Social media platforms were blamed for the rapid spread of riots.


This morning, the same social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are now being used for a completely different reason. 


London folk have organised a cleanup of areas affected by the riots.  Normal community spirited people.  The community cleanup program has a Wiki for the clean up, which is regularly updated with locations and times of cleanup.  Communities come together and respond to the the riots with #riotcleanup.  

Ordinary people with camera phones are uploading images of those involved in the riots.

They are uploading photos and videos onto Facebook pages like Catch a Looter.  The Catch a Looter Tumblr site is filling up with photos and videos of looters involved in raiding shops and businesses.  There are many Riot Clean up pages on Facebook showing great community spirit.

The Metropolitan police has uploaded photos of rioters to their flickr Stream and there are some Twitter accounts which have now been deleted appearing in the #nameandshame stream. The hashtag #riotcleanup is trending worldwide – with information flooding the stream that is too quick to read.

The community in London is using social media for good.

The same online social behaviour which was slammed last night for inciting riots, is now being praised for helping to restore balance and order. 

Real time information, images and videos are being uploaded to attempt to find those involved in the destruction last night.

Social media may have had a role to play in the riots – but it also has a greater role in the clean up and restoration of order afterwards. 

It has also a positive role in the identification of looters, and has helped the police do their jobs to identify the rioters and hopefully bring them to justice.



This Tweet from Mcsleazy seems to capture it all really.

*** for those of you reading this blog from outside of the UK, The Wombles are furry characters who keep the streets of London clean***

Eileen Brown is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.