We are powerful than we think

Have you ever use like, share and comment features of Facebook, Youtube, or tweet a hashtag on Twitter? Why do you do that? Do you really concern about the content? Or do you just follow your friends?

Any communicating feature on social media can generate profit by the collective metadata through massive users’ contributions (Dye 2010). Although users do it for many reasons, they intentionally or randomly provide resources to creators who broadcast requests via social networks. This process is called crowdsourcing.

What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsouring is a form of Mass Collaboration which is a process of gathering information from many Cyber citizens to produce the best qualitative products, services or invisible values, according to Tapscott 2009 (cited in Tvochannels 2010)

Crowdsourcing is a combination of ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’. Howe (2006), in his magazine article ‘The rise of crowdsourcing’, creates the term of crowdsourcing which happens when a crowdsourcer posts a defined mission and open – ended problems to known or unknown network of Internet users; and then these people will reply their information, ideas and solutions to solve the required calls. Crowdsourcing includes 4 models: crowdfunding, crowdcreation, crowdvoting and crowdwisdom.




Figure 1: 4 different models of crowdsourcing

The operating system Linux and the free encyclopedia Wikipedia present how crowdsourcing was practiced. They are not owned by any private sector; they are owned by everyone around the world (Tapscott & Williams 2006). Crowdsourcing changes the flows of information; so it impacts to everything. For example, it helps companies to improve business process like P&G (Connect & develop), or find a pot of gold like Goldcorp Inc.

Video 1: Crowdsourcing is the future

Viet Tan – Successful crowdsourcing

On May 13 and 14, a riot occurred in Binh Duong province with over 700 attendees to destroy foreign factories (TuoitreNews 2014). Due to Vietnamese citizens’s concerns about Chinese aggression on East Sea, Viet Tan provoke many people to participate the riot through Facebook (Tuan Hung 2014). Their statuses posted in Facebook are liked and shared by thousands people. Their values are spread in large communities. Their success is thanks to the power of crowdsourcing in which they engage hundreds of Vietnamese citizens in the riot. But this action is considered as illegal.

KONY 2012: Crowdsourcing drives Society, not Government’s decisions.

Kony2012 is a campaign created by Invisible Children Inc. that aims save African children from Joseph Kony – a famous Ugandan war criminal who kidnaps, abuses and kills of children in Africa by pressuring the U.S government take actions (Goldberg 2012)

Kony2012 becomes popular by broadcasting a 30-minutes film on Youtube viewed by 70 million times, after it went viral 3 days (Jones 2012). Its slogan is ‘Nothing is more powerful than an idea’. The, many people share it on Facebook, or tweet its links to the documentary; that is crowdsourcing. But, there is nothing changes after the campaign.

Video 2: From crowdsourcing to Kony2012

This is because Kony2012 makes many questionable problems. For example, Kony is not in Uganda, and it reinforces the idea that the U.S has responsibility to solve this problem (Curtis & McCarthy 2012).

Kony2012 gains more attentions, but less effective! One reason is that crowdsourcing cannot be a complete replacement of policy makers.

Doing ethical crowdsourcing

These two cases show how social media make unpleasant messages more effective. This also indicates the unexpected power of social media in the age of Web2.0

The flows of bad information in the Internet are uncontrolled leading to misunderstand and providing wrong knowledge to user. This may cause illegal practices such as riot or unethical thinking like Kony2012.

We are producers in digital world. We can change everything just by what we broadcast on social media is ethical or not through the crowdsourcing power.

(605 words)


Curtis .P & McCarthy .T 2012, ‘Kony 2012: what’s the real story?’, The Guardian, 8th March, viewed 6th August 2014,  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/mar/08/kony-2012-what-s-the-story

Dye .J 2010, Facebook “like” revolution, Econtent, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 12

Goldberg .E 2012, ‘Kony 2012: Invisible Children Campaign Pressures U.S. Government To Capture Joseph Kony’, Huffingtonpost, 3rd July, viewed 6th August 2014,  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/07/joseph-kony-invisible-children_n_1326759.html

Jones .M 2012, ‘Joshep Kony 2012 campaign now most successful viral video in history’, IBTimes, 12th March, viewed 6th August 2014, http://www.ibtimes.com/joseph-kony-2012-campaign-now-most-successful-viral-video-history-423988

Tapscott .D & Williams .A.D 2006, Wikinomics : how mass collaboration changes everything, New York Portfolio, New Yorks

Tuan Hung 2014, ‘”Việt tân” với chiến dịch tận diệt trên Facebook’, Nhandan, 21st July, viewed 6th August 2014, http://www.nhandan.com.vn/mobile/_mobile_chinhtri/_mobile_binhluanphephan/item/23840302.html

TuoitreNews 2014, ‘750 people to be indicted for riots in Vietnam’s Binh Duong Province’, TuoitreNews, 20th May, viewed 6th August 2014, http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/19754/750-people-to-be-indicted-for-riots-in-vietnams-binh-duong-province

Tvochannels 2010, SOCIAL MEDIA: Crowdsourcing – The Wisdom of the Masses, video recording, viewed 6th August 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSTurPXtDAw


Government 2.0

What is government? 10 years ago we define government is a group of people who govern a community by promulgating and exercising policies through laws, customs and institution within a nation. However the government, nowadays, is “Government 2.0”.

What is Government 2.0?

In 2008, the U.S president Obama declared a memo about an open government of transparency and collaboration by using innovative technologies across all levels of government with all nonprofit organization, businesses and individuals. It is the “Government 2.0”, in which citizens are empowered to actively contribute their values to a new civic architecture through Internet (Nath 2011). Thus, Data.gov is established to implement Government 2.0. Data.gov is the official open data portal provided by United State government to increase the open, transparent and accountable government by improving access to data. This tool improves the interaction between the government and citizens. Not only do citizens update news, analysis and reports of policies, environment, finance, etc. via this website but they also comment, ask government policies or discuss together at @usdatagov through Twitter. Also, thanks to the Internet development as well as smart phones, Data.gov now provides over 100 applications to make citizens actively access and share information.

Video 1: How does Government 2.0 use Internet as an innovative tool?

Mass Collaboration transforms government

Sharing information by both U.S government and citizens via these open data websites and online social network such as Twitter presents how mass collaboration act. According to Tapscott & Williams (2006) mass collaboration in the Web2.0 age is emerging aggregation of many Internet users to distribute information alongside the creation of benefit values. Moreover, Shirky (2012) believes that nowadays mass collaboration generates democratic government (cited in Ted 2012).

Video 2: Today’s government is transformed

Mass collaboration includes 4 characteristics: peering, sharing, openness and acting globally. Firstly, openness represents the transparency such what Data.gov do to public all information to citizens. Transparency openness is only one direct way to make democratic government (Shirky 2012, Cited in Ted 2012). In term of acting globally, Internet have important role to help users access information from anywhere around the world. Peering and sharing are determinants of mass collaboration, in which peering allows users to participate in the production, and to co-actively share information that enhance this production (Zaffars 2012). So, citizens and government are peers which likes democracy now. As the U.S government practiced, citizens can freely contribute and discuss laws, policies, economy, etc. through sharing their opinions at @usdatagov. In contrast, traditional collaboration has been governed through hierarchies; and citizens are controlled by government (Tapscott & Williams 2006). Consequently, the Web 2.0 has changed the political activities as well as the government’s operation.

Has Vietnamese government been Government 2.0?

Vietnamese government also follows the path of democracy. The Internet development leads the increasing number of users. In 2012, over 35% of Vietnamese population accesses Internet. Has Internet influenced Vietnamese government? Has Vietnamese government been Government 2.0?

Vietnam internet

Figure1: Internet udders in Vietnam

Last years, the government amends Law1992 basing on citizens’ opinions by applying innovative technologies. They create an application on Ministry of Juice website to present the regulations, and encourage online groups share ideas. However, it is received 299 comments that are too small to compare with the big number of Internet users. Government 2.0 plan is broken.


Figure 2: Vietnamese government applies an innovate tool.

Mass collaboration is not implemented because this application just creates one – to – one communication. Citizens can discuss ideas with each other leading to no peering as well as no transparency.

Vietnamese tradition follows high hierarchy and authority models. So, citizens are afraid to speak mutinous ideas. The non – openness will limit the existence of Government2.0

The technological revolution motivates Vietnamese government to be a smart government. However, they need to use Internet effectively, and changes traditional thinking among citizens.

Do you agree with my ideas?

Video 3: Using mass collaboration in right way

(593 words)


Nath .J 2011, Reimaging government in the digital age, National Civic Review, vol. 100, no. 3, pp. 19 – 23.

Ted 2012, Clay Shirky: How the Internet will (one day) transform government, viewed 5th August 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEN4XNth61o&list=PLTaP-2LVGtyqwKiwYKLJSXRNZQPeBpfUE

Tapscott .D & Williams .A.D 2006, Wkinomics: how mass collaboration changes everything, New York Porfolio, New York.

Zaffars .F.O 2012, ‘Creating a fit between open innovation and mass collaboration – A conceptual model’, The 35th information system research seminar in Scandinavia, viewed 5th August 2014, < http://gup.ub.gu.se/records/fulltext/162818.pdf >.

Crowdsourcing: opportunity or challenge for Vietnamese young generations?

Crowdsourcing is the breeches-buoy for Vietnamese young people today when the unemployment rate is increasing. Is the new way really good for graduate students?

I love books; and of course I follow a fanpage of Nha Nam publishing on Facebook. I always updated releasing schedules of forthcoming books, or read some interesting quotes from their books through this page. Most status was received roughly 100 – 200 likes. Recently, they make me be surprised by a designing contest for book covers which attracts more than 500 submissions and 600 likes in only 3 weeks. I see various ideas of book covers on its page and just think ‘WOW’. There are many designs are much better than the old ones. As I am a professional communication student, I do not deny a role of social network site to spread Nha Nam reputation in this case. But I aware of a new power of crowd is more important here: more people, more ideas. Nha Nam publishing gains more than reputation from this contest such as time, saving financial investment, many creative audiences’ ideas. I think not only is crowdsourcing new way for successful business in Vietnam, it aslo supports Vietnamese young people to express themselves and earn more money.


(Source: Facebook)

More than 500 ideas of booking covers are sent to Nha Nam in only 3 weeks.

Crowdsourcing means the act of outsourcing works which can be conducted inside an organization, or charged externally through business relationships to a huge amount number of actors (Hammon&Hippner 2012). Hammon and Hippner also claim that crowdsourcing happens when a free open call via the Internet is replied by large participants. These people can receive monetary or non-monetary if they are chosen. As I mentioned before, Nha Nam calls mass audiences to help them design book covers through Facebook, and gives them rewards at the end of the contest. So, crowdsourcing seems to bring many advantages to business as well as economy because investors get many outputs from the least amount of inputs.

My striking sample of crowdsourcing in Vietnam is FreelancerViet, a website uses platform crowdsourcing microtask to connect companies to freelancers. In one way, it helps companies find the cheap labour force. In opposite way, it is a new way to help freelancers find seasonal jobs. I think FreelancerViet is good if you are young with limited experience and want to earn money easily. However, the monetary is not equal with your effort because you are expected cheap labours from companies (Vn.Jockerpiece.Asia 2014). Furthermore, a significant impact of crowdsourcing is damaging freelancers’ career in the real life. Young freelancers may miss opportunities to find stable jobs, worthy wages and career development because of the dependence on FreelanceViet as well as crowdsourcing.




(Source: FreelancerViet.vn)

FreelancerViet is the breeches-buoy of Vietnamese young people

If you participate Nha Nam’s designing contest, you also have to face to a big trouble called Intellectual property rights. The entries are posted publicly on Facebook, and observed by mass audience. Therefore, entrants have to show their can forfeit ownership of their contents, even if they don’t win.

Although crowdsourcing brings more job opportunities to Vietnamese young people, it also creates many risks in today open world. Thus, these people need to protect their intelligence by themselves to avoiding the digital thrive.

(554 words)


Hammon .L & Hippner .H 2012, Crowdsourcing, Business & Information Systems Engineering, Vol.4, pp.163-166 < http://link.springer.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/article/10.1007/s12599-012-0215-7/fulltext.html >.

Vn.Jockerpiece.Asia 2014, ‘Khái quát về crowdsourcing ở Việt Nam’, Vn.Jockerpiece.Asia, 26th June, viewed 18th July 2014, < http://vn.jokerpiece.asia/khai-quat-ve-crowdsourcing-o-viet-nam/ >.