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UNIVERSITY OF ARTS IN BELGRADE Center for Interdisciplinary studies

OF ARTS IN BELGRADE Center for Interdisciplinary studies UNIVERSITE LUMIERE LYON 2 Faculté d'Anthropologie et de


Faculté d'Anthropologie et de Sociologie

LUMIERE LYON 2 Faculté d'Anthropologie et de Sociologie UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management Master

UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management

Master thesis proposal:

Connecting With The Audience: Implementing Crowdsourcing In Praxis Of Serbian Cultural Organizations


Goran Tomka


Milena Dragičević Š e š i ć, PhD

Belgrade, April 2011.

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Helen Keller


The main topic of this thesis is crowdsourcing and its usage in culture. Initially, crowdsourcing has been introduced by a Wired magazine journalist Jeff Howe as a business model in which a company outsources specific parts of its activities that are traditionally executed by the company itself or professional outsourcing partners to a large group of undefined individuals, usually customers. Quickly, crowdsourcing became a much broader theoretical concept used to mark a variety of practical methods and actions in areas as diverse as arts, medicine, computer programming, education and scientific research. What all these had in common was the initial idea that reaching specific goals of various projects and activities is best through active participation of customers and audiences and building of devoted communities which enable co-creation of ideas, narratives and meanings and produce sense of belonging and appraisal of the contribution.

Aim and Research Questions

The aim of this thesis is to offer possible models of crowdsourcing implementation in praxis of cultural organizations in Serbia. To reach this, thesis will (1) research a broad theoretical framework of crowdsourcing, (2) analyze successful cases of crowdsourcing in culture and arts, (3) map and evaluate current crowdsourcing activities brought out by cultural organizations in Serbia through field research and interviews and (4) elicit expert opinion. Considering the aims, main research questions of thesis are:

Question 1: Is crowdsourcing used by cultural organizations in Serbia, in what extent and in which ways? Question 2: What are the reasons or barriers for using crowdsourcing in culture? Question 3: What are the actions, models and ways which would lead to better usage of crowdsourcing by Serbian cultural organizations?

Relevance Of the Research

Crowdsourcing has proven to be a powerful tool for establishing meaningful relationships with customers through various co-creation processes. There are lately also numerous large scale community based projects in culture and arts (Artists Taking The Lead) that are made possible by using crowdsourcing. Engagement and active participation of audiences have

contributed to a high visibility of such projects and they constituted an important motivation for the target group. At the same time, most of cultural organizations in Serbia are facing those very problems: low interest of media for their work and weak penetration to nationwide media channels, low engagement and interest of general public in culture and art, closed circles of beneficiaries and audience members all leading to low overall visibility of activities governed by cultural organizations. Low visibility of activities and their impact leads further to narrowed funding options (e.g. individual and corporate donations are a true rarity in Serbian cultural realm). By implementing crowdsourcing into their praxis, cultural organizations in Serbia could reach their audiences in more engaging and meaningful way creating thus a lively community of supporters and collaborators and most of all raising their visibility. This is why this thesis is relevant to researched organizations, their audiences and finally Serbian cultural scene.

Theoretical Background

Since this thesis is exploring current and possible implementation of crowdsourcing (as primarily marketing tool) in culture, it is an interdisciplinary research based on theoretical background of several research ares including cultural policy, arts management, marketing, and communication. 1. In area of marketing various researches have shown that crowdsourcing, especially using internet as a medium, has been successful in reaching and engaging customers (Howe, 2008), encouraging innovation and using wisdom of crowds (Surowiecki, 2004, Kozinetz et. al, 2008, Dutton, 2008 and Sharma, 2010) and creating highly collaborative communities (Bacon, 2009). 2. In cultural policy research and specially arts, researches and literature on crowdsourcing are still scarce. However there are several books, case studies, articles and reviews that can be an important guide for researching the application of crowdsourcing in culture (Viš nić, 2008, Leah DeVun interview with Andrea Grover and exhibition “Phantom Captain: Art and Crowdsourcing” which offers range of significant examples). 3. Several papers are already offering models of implementing crowdsourcing in various areas, mostly in economics (Brabham, 2008, Sharma, 2010 and Viitamaki, 2008) and modeling a proposal in cultural management will be based on these models.

4. Lastly, this thesis will be based on results of the research project “Vaninstitucionalni akteri kulturne politike u Srbiji, Crnoj Gori i Makedoniji” funded by European Cultural Foundation which aims to map independent cultural scene in Serbia, FYROM and Montenegro and gain knowledge of difficulties, opportunities and abilities of participating organizations. Results of research will help better understand those organizations which will represent a primary sample of this thesis.

Defining Crowdsourcing

Using crowdsourcing as a basic concept in thesis bears many threats. First of all, crowdsourcing as a theoretical construct originated outside of academic circles and definition of it is very loose. Many questions are without answers: What is crowd? Is it defined by the number of members, or by complexity and depth of relationships amongst members of the crowd? Some of the typical examples of crowdsourcing include vast numbers of completely unknown people with no relation whatsoever like Wikipedia, others only few dozens. There is also o question of means and methods of contribution or “sourcing”: does it have to be digital and on-line like in the most of cases or crowdsourcing is not completely dependent on internet and can happen in live communication setting? If crowdsourcing is in its essence a child of internet than its application is highly dependent on communication culture and level of information technology development. Even more questions rise when one tries to implement crowdsourcing is culture and art mainly because it originated in mainly business environment. Using crowdsourcing as a method of art production questions not only the basic communication model artist - audience where artist or ensemble delivers all the content and meaning to the audience but the very significance and position of artist as a administrator or curator of a sourcing process. Coherent research will have to produce clear answers to the following questions:

1. What are the key requisites to qualify a group of contributors as a crowd? 2. What are possible ways of contributing to a crowdsourcing activity and is it exclusively internet based concept? 3. What is the role of artist / cultural organization in the crowdsourcing process? Answers might be found in all phases of research (More in Research Design): through analyzing case studies and research papers, as well as through interviews with cultural practitioners and experts.

Personal Motivation

As a youth activist and lately project manager and lecturer, I have been very much involved in participating and/or initiating project that are developed around principles related to crowdsourcing: co-creation, active participation, animation and community building. These projects included giving group text writing workshops (international text writing collective Loesje), publishing books made of numberless contribution from all over the world (Book in 1 day), setting up collaborative theatre-related internet portal, organizing on- line youth festival of short movies Pogledaj me and other. While managing these projects I have realized that a focused community of collaborators can produce great number of innovative ideas and level of visibility that is out of reach for any project or event that is based on the classical one way “organization - audience” communication model. Adding self- tailored experience and sense of belonging to that gives a series of arguments for building participative and interactive cultural projects. Large number of papers, researches and books that verify such an approach together with a wide trend in cultural praxis of West European and American cultural organizations and artists gave me additional reassurance and guidelines. What bothered me then was the fact that, to my knowledge, there are very few projects in Serbia that are based on community building and interaction. Why is that so? What are the barriers for such praxis? In carrying out this research I hope to discover and share experiences with other organizations and individuals in Serbia’s cultural sphere with experience in crowdsourcing. I would also like to introduce the idea of crowdsourcing as a powerful approach to conceptualization and realization of cultural projects because I believe that it offers an answer to some of the key problems of Serbian cultural organizations: low visibility and participation of audiences and target groups.

Research Design and Strategy




Ini$al'research Comprehensive'reading'of'scien$fic' researches'related'to'crowdsourcing' both'as'a'theore$cal'concept'and'praxis




















Field'research Conduct'a'qualita$ve'research'using' interview'as'a'tool'with'representa$ves' of'cultural'organiza$ons




















culture,'while'considering'specifici$es'of' experiences'of'interviewees'and'(4)'



Expert'opinion Propose'the'model'to'a'group'of'experts' Test'the'feasibility'of'the'proposal'and'














Sample and Cases

In the first part of the thesis, several illustrative case studies will be analyzed and presented to support the idea of implementing crowdsourcing in culture. These cases will be selected based on the possibility to transfer key knowledge and tools that were used to praxis of cultural organizations in Serbia (main criteria are size, experience and economic power of

organizations behind them and these should match those of researched organizations in Serbia). In the empirical part of the thesis, primary research group will be representatives of cultural organizations in Serbia. The selection of organizations is based on previous research done for the project “Vaninstitucionalni akteri kulturne politike u Srbiji, Crnoj Gori i Makedoniji". It is an informal network of independent cultural NGOs from Serbia recently brought together on the first National Conference of Independent Organizations and Initiatives in Culture. The rationale behind such selection is, primarily, because these organizations are presumably better acquainted with recent trends in marketing and management in culture than large public institutions and could offer valuable insight into usage of crowdsourcing and related methods. Secondly, focusing organizations rather than works of individual artists might produce an effect on Serbian cultural scene in a longer term through organizational learning and memory. In the last part, proposed model will be tested by experts who have large experience and knowledge about praxis of cultural institutions in Serbia and international trends in marketing and management in culture.

Collected Data and Presentation

This thesis will collect, analyze and present large amount of data. This includes:

1. Results of various theoretical researches,

2. Conclusions based on the case studies analysis,

3. Empirical data from field research using interviews consisted of opinions, knowledge and experience,

4. Expert opinions and suggestions on proposed models of crowdsourcing implementation.

All these will be matched, compared and presented in form of a proposed model for implementation of crowdsourcing in management of Serbian cultural organizations.

Suggested Resources

Angelika, B, Neyer, A, Rass, M. and Moeslein, K. (2010) Community-Based Innovation Contests: Where Competition Meets Cooperation, Creativity and Innovation Management, 19:290. Bacon, J. (2009) The Art of Community, Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media. Brabham, D. (2008) Crowdsourcing as a Model for Problem Solving, London: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 14(1): 75–90 Cveti č anin, P. (2007) Kulturne potrebe, navike i ukus gra đ ana Srbije i Makedonije, Ni š :

Odbor za građ ansku inicijativu. Dragičević Š eš ić, M, Stojković, B (2007) Kultura, menad ž ment, animacija, marketing, Beograd: Clio. Dutton, W. (2008) The Wisdom of Collaborative Network Organizations: Capturing the Value of Networked Individuals, Prometheus, 26:211. Enli, S. (2009) Mass Communication Tapping into Participatory Culture: Exploring Strictly Come Dancing and Britain's Got Talent, European Journal of Communication, 24:481. Howe, J. (2008) Crowdsourcing - Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business, New York: Crown Business. Kozinets, R, Hemetsberger, A. and Schau, H (2008) The Wisdom of Consumer Crowds:

Collective Innovation in the Age of Networked Marketing, Journal of Macromarketing


Lewis, S, Pea, R. and Rosen J. (2010) Beyond participation to co-creation of meaning: mobile social media in generative learning communities Social Science Information, 49:351. Sharma, A. (2010) Crowdsourcing Critical Success Factor Model - Strategies to harness the collective intelligence of the crowd, London School of Economics. Surowiecki James (2004) The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, New York: Doubleday. Tomka, G. (2009) Interpersonalna animacija, vodič, Novi Sad: Fakultet za sport i turizam. Viitamäki, S. (2008) The FLIRT Model Of Crowdsourcing: Planning and Executing Collective Customer Collaboration, Master Thesis, Helsinki School Of Economics, Department of Marketing and Management Viš nić, E. (2008) Kulturne politike odozdo, Zagreb: Policies for Culture. Zwick, D, Samuel, B and Darmody, A. (2008) Putting Consumers to Work: `Co-creation` and new marketing govern-mentality, Journal of Consumer Culture, 8:163.