Getting to 1: Assembling Both Halves of the Nonexistent Access Findability Directory

The crowdsourcing process in eight steps.

Image via Wikipedia

Every community of practice (CoP) gropes through its enthusiasm stage to arrive at shared knowledge learned by trial-and-error. 

As the Inclusive Tourism CoP attracts new waves of enthusiasts a predictable number cluster around the findability-of-destination-accessibility-information problem almost as a rite of passage. 

This is most often before they discover that the CoP, most notably Simon Darcy and Bruce Cameron, have studied the issue thoroughly and can identify several strata of identical "new ideas" appropriately buried hundreds of pages deep in a Google search. Simplistic solutions mask the problem and delay action toward resolution.

So, as a public service to coming generations I recommend a side trip to Accessible Tourism Research. Read the literature and think through to a full solution.

I also offer this summary of crowdsourcing - the easy half of the answer. It is the half-step that occurs to the one-person-traveloguer who sets out to catalog the world and meets up with reality along the way. (The hard half is convincing the tourism and hospitality industry that it is in their economic self-interest to produce and feature their own accurate accessibility data about their venues.)

The Character of a Crowd

1. The Crowd Is Dispersed
This would-be workforce needs to be able to complete the job remotely.

2. The Crowd Has A Short Attention Span
Jobs need to be broken into "micro-chunks." 

3. The Crowd Is Full Of Specialists
For Procter & Gamble, the crowd is the world's scientific community; for VH1 it's any ham with a camcorder.

4. The Crowd Produces Mostly Crap
Any open call for submissions - whether for scientific solutions, new product designs, or funny home videos - will elicit mostly junk. Smart companies install cheap, effective filters to separate the wheat from the chaff.

5. The Crowd Finds The Best Stuff
Even as a networked community produces tons of crap, it ferrets out the best material and corrects errors

Source:

Communicating With a Crowd

The key to effective crowdsourcing is effective communication. You communicate with your crowdsourced workers so that you can train them.  Training has a measurable cost, and you want to minimize this cost to make most effective use of your time and your budget...  So how can we effectively transfer knowledge to workers who may only be spending a few seconds on your task? 

1: Be Consistent
Use similar phrasings and images for all of your task descriptions. This allows workers to come up to speed in a minimum amount of time.

2: Use Variables
Workers like to have lots of very similar tasks. 

3: Batch Tasks
Crowdsourced workers like batches of similar tasks because it presents an opportunity for them to set up a workflow.

4: Be Visual
Images are very information dense, are more friendly to scanning, and are able to more quickly communicate non-linear process structure when compared to text.  
5: Use Flow Charts
By presenting your task graphically and in a formal way as a flow chart ... users will do more work for the same price because you've made it easier for them.  

6: Know What You Want - Be Unambiguous
Make each task so simple that it's virtually impossible for a worker to do it incorrectly.   Ideally one task = one decision.  Make each task closed-ended.  

7: Improve Through Iteration 
Iteratively remove ambiguity.  

8. Build Validators Into Your Tasks 
Make sure the worker's work is validated before it gets to you.  
Source:

From Crowd to Community: Back to Interdependence?

Crowdsourcing can contribute to the formation of community through collaboration. It is an affirmation of interdependence.

Still, the responsibility for disseminating foundational accurate accessibility-of-place information lies with property owners as a fundamental prerequisite of non-discrimination. 

The industry must become familiar with our CoP's research:

Inherent Complexity: Accessible Accommodation Room Components

Enabling Access to Tourism Through Information Schemes

Access Classification Schemes and Accessible Tourism Information Provision http://accessibletourismresearch.blogspot.com/2010/02/access-classification-systems-and.html

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