A Different Kind of Crowdsourced Design

by francine Hardaway on June 19, 2009

In November, we’ll be hosting the Fourth Annual Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference, with a roster of great participants, cool networking opportunities, and even good food. But a web site that doesn’t brand the conference or do it justice. I put it up last year i a hurry, and I looked at it this year and hated it.azec So I called Brent Spore.

Brent’s one of the most creative people I know, and he had just started a web show called Starving Designer. to harness the power of the social graph to improve design.

Now this isn’t the old form of design competition, where you ask people to submit designs and you choose one, thereby honoring one participant and disappointing all the rest. Rather, Brent is using each design as a teaching tool, and a way designers can learn from one another, or non-designers can learn what makes a good design. It’s collaborative, not competitive. It’s transparent, open, and real time. And you can participate as much or as little as you want. Everyone learns, and often no one gets paid, as these sites are often done pro bono or for very little.

You should probably watch the evolution of our design on Brent’s own site.

First, he held a live design session. Then he took all the comments, incorporated them, and began posting the results on Flickr and Twitter. People offered comments. He tried them and posted them, and took more comments. Because he got so many people who had been to the conference to participate, the comments were like a focus group.

You should read his post to see how he got from what you saw on top to what’s below:

I’m exceedingly happy with it; especially with all the community input. As soon as we get the copy moved over, it will launch. Remember, you saw it first here:-)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

koerberwalker June 19, 2009 at 6:46 pm

The results that you can get through collaboration are amazing. I can’t wait until the new site is live!

What an improvement.

This is just one more example of what happens when a community comes together to make a difference.

Over the last 4 years, the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference (AZEC) has raised 100% of the operating capital for the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation (OTEF a 501c3 corporation) which in turn has produced entreperneurial education and mentoring programs for women starting over at The Seeds House, teens and young adults through Tumbleweeds, and currently BluePrint for Survival for workers displaced in the economic downturn.

Without Francine’s passion for this project and the help of great thought leaders who have given of their time, confernence sponsors whose dollars provide the funding to support the conference and OTEF’s year round operations, many dedicated volunteers, and innovators like Brent, none of this would be possible.

It is the results that collaborations like these produce that makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Brent and Francine. Thank you for what you are doing for our community.

Joan Koerber-Walker, Chairman, OTEF

p.s. Sponsorships are still available for AZEC09. If you know of anyone looking for an incredible opportunity for visibility to a community of entrepreneurs both in greater Phoenix and across the social media landscape here’s your chance to be collaborative.

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