Crowd Sourcing for Cruisers
Many of you may already be familiar with the term Crowd Sourcing. If not, Wikipedia describes it as “a specific sourcing model in which individuals or organizations use contributions from Internet users to obtain needed services or ideas.” That’s kind of wordy, isn’t it? I prefer the definition in the image above. In the past we’ve used this model for logo design, through websites such as Crowdspring, and have been happy with the results. What follows is a pretty cool cruiser-friendly application of basically the same principle.
We have some friends who are, at this moment, struggling with an engine issue. Their boat suddenly started overheating, and because of that, they are stuck in a spot with less-than-ideal services. The weather has also not been cooperating for them to easily sail to a spot that does have better services. So, given the cards that they have been dealt, they have been trying to find the source of their problems on their own. But here’s the thing, they are not on their own!
When you’re alone, but not really
Unlike in days past, where cruisers in a similar situation would have been stuck trying to muddle through issues like this all by themselves, or with the help of the crew from the 1 or 2 boats anchored nearby, our friends have access to the internet. Not only can they consult The Oracle whenever they have a question, they can also reach out to their network of friends for troubleshooting advice, and ideas. In addition to that, their friends have friends, some of whom happen to be very knowledgable when it comes to diesel engines!
You’ve heard the expression “Many hands make light work?”
Many minds working together can do great things too!
Take us for example: We don’t know much about cooling systems, certainly no more than our friends do. We do have a good friend* who’s a mechanic though, and using Facebook’s instant messenger, we can relay questions and answers back to our buddies so that they know, at least, where to focus their energies.
The downside to Crowdsourcing is that you have to “separate the wheat from the chaff.” In our logo projects, we found that the vast majority of the submissions were unsuitable. In the overheating engine case I just described, our friends have had to contend with countless people saying “it’s the impeller.” For the record, no, it does not appear as if it is!
At the time of writing this post, the solution has not been found. I am confident that it will though, and soon. Our friends are very resourceful, they are not afraid to get their hands dirty, and they have access to information that cruisers in days gone by could only dream of. Our fingers are crossed for them!