Last month, a team of ichthyologists sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History performed the first survey of the fish diversity in the Cuyuni River of Guyana. Upon their return, they needed to identify the more than 5,000 specimens they had collected in less than a week’s time in order to obtain an export permit. Faced with insufficient time and inadequate library resources to tackle the problem on their own, they instead posted a catalog of specimen images to Facebook and turned to their network of colleagues for help.
The increased internet access across South America and the massive recent growth of social networks has made tapping the world’s collective knowledge easier than ever. Based on this experience, Facebook offers a remarkably efficient free tool that can accelerate taxonomic identification substantially.
Founded in 2010, the industry website, Crowdsourcing.org, is a neutral organization dedicated solely
to crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. As one of the most influential and credible authorities in the crowdsourcing space,
Crowdsourcing.org is recognized worldwide for its intellectual capital, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding
practice expertise and unbiased thought leadership.