Milestone 4 Testset Empathy: Building a Crowdsourcing Platform with the Look of a Social Media Platform
Lack of empathy may ensue on today’s popular crowdworking networks because of anonymity and limited communication pathways. Thus, we propose that our future crowdworking platform borrow the look of a social media platform. Social media platforms, after all, are meant to encourage frequent communication (Facebook, for example, has chat, messaging, and commenting – all at once.) In short, we propose to attain empathy through instant, and more frequent, communication pathways.
This idea is related to our idea from last week, which was to create worker and requestor profiles that would tell each person’s story (Who are they? What’s their background? What are they motivated by?) Spamgirl also had a similar idea. We were inspired by the similarities of last week’s ideas, which all attempted to find ways to establish meaningful, long-lasting relationships between workers and requestors. Among the ideas’ differences (some proposed to establish this relationship in person while others, like ourselves, proposed creating worker/requestor profiles), we felt like elaborating on our profile idea – and expanding it into a social-media-crowdsourcing network – would be interesting.
Click here to see our idea from last week: 
Participants of this research project have all noticed it’s difficult to create a sustainable work environment when workers and requestors don’t get to know each other. Workers may be more likely to turn in lower quality work and requestors may be more likely to reject without reason. Thus, having a social-media-crowdsourcing network could get people to perceive each other the way they do when they use Facebook: when I’m on Facebook, for example, and I have a question about someone’s business, I can message their Facebook page that question. When they respond, I’m confident it’s a person responding to me and not a spam robot. This goes whenever I get a friend request – I never assume it’s a robot (but it’s a different story for Twitter, where I get spam robot requests all the time.)
In addition to our worker/profile idea from last week, this social-media-crowdsourcing platform would have a chat system like on Gmail where you can show or hide your visibility. You can also send people regular messages and participate in groups (like Facebook Groups) and public forums. To humanize people even more, video chat will also be available if workers and requestors would like to talk about a particular project or get to know each other more.
In terms of the limitations of this idea, it would be the fact that everything is still done entirely online, and people can still be anonymous even if they have an elaborate worker/requestor profile. Profiles that can humanize workers and requestors is a start, but just like Facebook, just because a technology platform allows you to communicate with people online doesn’t mean it can replace face-to-face interaction. However, we’re hoping a video chat option would help replicate face-to-face interaction at least a little bit.