Stumbled upon and enjoyed the following sites that point you to places where users are a part of the content creation process. Some of them have an explicit target of community building, some just exist. I’ve loosely classified them according to my mental categories. But some of them span domains. Hope you like them! Enjoy!
1. W5RAN: range of domains such as photography, life sciences, art and design, decor, literary stuff.
2. Dhonuk: Bringing Indian art to the masses. I am not art expert, but I love the option of viewing art online. With distance and time constraints impinging on our access to art galleries, these options are quite refreshing. Besides, through such forums art becomes more accessible to the masses in India.
3. Jaaga: Jaaga is literally a space where anyone can conduct an event, the only condition being that it is inclusive in its participation as well as ideology. I’m so glad we’re having more of these organizations in India, and better still, In Bangalore where I live..This month they have screening of documentaries on the Blues, some writer’s workshops, and so on. Check it out!
4. Livemocha.com: this is an interesting place to learn languages online for free. They have courses at multiple levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced), and a variety of them too – ranging from Bengali, and Hindi to Spanish, German, French and so on. you can use flashcards to just pick up words,and important phrases on one hand. On the other hand, you have options to learn, listen and even correct your pronunciation if you really want to get it right. You can submit your answers to quick quizzes (even speaking),which will be reviewed by other users and returned to you. What’re more, you can earn Live Mocha points by reviewing others’ submissions, and the points help you navigate more courses. Word of caution though – you get a lot of friend requests and random pop-up chats. I usually just don’t respond to these. But this could be irksome.
5. 8tracks.com: I love this place. So users can create their own mixes and upload them. These mixes are tagged, so you could hit on a mix that is categorized by genre or groups like happiness, morning music, summer, sad, mellow and so on. It’s free, and you needn’t sign up if you just want to listen.
Speaking about collaborative content creation and community participation, there has plenty of discussion over the merits of an open-peer review process in academia. For an insightful opinion on this, you can check out Brayden King’s post over at orgtheory.wordpress.com (dated April 14th) and for a detailed commentary, click here.. I see the merits of an open review process – shorter time, and review that captures the “wisdom of the crowds”. But as Brayden points out, how do we ensure that it does not fizzle out over time, and what about accountability to review then?
Well, there are plenty more going on in our world of communities – virtual and otherwise. IMDB, Rotten tomatoes, Trip Advisor, local restaurant review pages like Hungry zone etc are quite popular and I’m sure you have your own favorites. Besides those that are de rigeur, do you know of more interesting sites that draw on community participation? Do leave a comment.