The Crowd Disruption

The picture above should give you some ideas about the phenomenon I want to talk about: The Crowd Disruption.

The idea itself is fool-proof: More people equals more power. The mentioned service providers are considered as the best practices for User Generated Content (UGC) strategy. By successfully enabling individuals to create their own content, the firm can focus on their core strength, in this case is the digital tool, and create an entirely different experience for users at the same time. This is a win-win solution for everybody.

Imagine you’re the owner of a pizza store and want to make use of this concept. You rearrange the whole store: add in a few small stoves at designated tables, put in extra ingredients with a small locks. Instead of 3 cooks in the kitchen, you only hire just one guy who can overlook the business and collect a fixed sum for whoever wants to use the place. Your pizza store then turn into a gathering point, trading area for those who want to bake and sell for other hungry people. Now you want to expand the business and open the second store. With some help from an IT friend, you install a door code and whoever wants to access has to open with an application-generated number. Customers have to register online and pay electronically too. You hire a security company to monitor the stores 24/7. Your only part-time staff is the accountant girl. If you work hard enough, you might become the biggest pizza provider in town without hiring any chefs. Isn’t that cool?

Biggest pizza provider erhhhh?

So as a consumer, what is the entirely different experience? I bet all of us used Wikipedia at some points but not many people know that Wikipedia allows every one to contribute the content to it. With UGC strategy, Wikipedia has become the largest, most extensive encyclopedia that mankind has ever created.

Rather curious, I had my first attempt as a Wikipedia contributor yesterday. I added a section called “List of student associations” to my university’s Wiki page. It was pretty easy to edit the page even though my HTML skill is almost ground zero. From my point of view, it’s the sense of ownership gained from creating my own content that made me feel satisfied.

myedit

What do you think about UGC? Try to create/edit an entry in Wikipedia and tell me how it feels. Sharing is caring ❤

If you can answer this P5 math question in less than five minutes, you probably had a good education

The above Primary 5 Math question, which was put up on Facebook by Singapore media personality Kenneth Kong, has gone viral, stirring a lot of debates since last Saturday. It took me more than 10 minutes staring at the computer screen like mad to understand the explanation so yea, I was not that smart and fortunate.

Mockingly, the fact is that I DID HAVE a good education. I went to the higher-ranked schools and was always in the top ten. I’d always gotten ”Excellent” behaviour for being decent in the class and respectful to teachers. I had always got it right, to the given educational standards at that time. I remembered my recent conversation with my mom, when I asked her why she sent me for overseas study while my sisters still stayed at home, she answered instantly: ”Cos your study results were good” Now that was the flaw, almost every Asian parents have a mindset that their kids should go for foreign study because their school results were GOOD! But I still can recall my first months in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, being drowned in the new language, new study styles, new way of teaching. I survived that three years but all I did was studying by heart lectures notes, without any critical thoughts about its application. What am I doing with it now? I have no idea. There was the huge difference between traditional and modern-days education. Traditional education focus on disciplines and subjects. But in this complex, changing and challenging world, that kind of knowledge would definitely not make a good preparation.

In 2007 at the International Conference on Thinking, Dr. Perkins asked entire audience a question: ”What do you believe are some of the most important knowledge and skills for students to learn toward our complex future?” Top theme answers were: communication, empathy, environment, ethics and self-understanding. The general notion from this is: in today complicated world, for the kinds of lives today’s learners like us are living, it’s important to develop skills and attitudes that address some very broad challenges. Dr. Perkins named those as twenty-first century skills. They are personal and interpersonal know-how of general importance to many aspects of life, helping people to better manage themselves in the workplace, parties, promotion dinners, etc. Just being a decent employee and following a routine no longer suffices to hold a good position.

Saying that does not mean the entire education system is failing, only in some places. I’m sure the math question above is a challenge for kids in Vietnam who are taught to follow rules in finding a solution, but it’s not that a big deal for kids, let’s say, in Finland, who are encouraged to use logical thinking and be creative. Kids in developed countries have the access to an adapting education system while we, from developing world do not have that privilege. Isn’t that unfair when the way your brain is shaped is very much dependent on your parents’ address? Education should be, and have to be a claim for global equality. It’s a flat world after all.