Flocks and movements
Benkler on TED

Galaxy Zoo

Hmm. I could imagine a traditional organizer interviewing the folks organizing the astronomy research at Oxford.


Q: Tell me about your project?

A: We need to do a lot of research.

Q: How much?

A: Well it is like counting and looking at stars in space.

Q: How long will it take? How many staff would it take? How much?

A: Not long. Only a few staff and a big network. Most of the research will be free.

Q: What do you mean?

A: We distributed the work to the network. We asked them to do little bits, check each others work and built our research from the results.

Q: what did they find?

A: "Armchair astronomers using the galaxyzoo.org website have identified over 500 overlapping galaxies in the local Universe when astronomers had previously only known of 20 such systems."

Can you design a similar project? Would you have funded it? Would you have supported it in your organization? Why or why not?

This is network organizing. This is different than thinking about how to organize or build an organization. This is different than grassroots organizing. This is organizing projects to run across massive connected networks of participants using their skills and intelligence.

I look forward to getting out advocacy network based projects moving again. And please check out the Galaxyzoo.

Link: Home | Galaxy Zoo.

Thanks for making Galaxy Zoo such a success!

With your help, we've been able to collect millions of classifications, with which to do science faster than we ever thought possible. We are currently preparing the first science papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals and we will keep you posted on the progress of the papers on the BLOG and the FORUM. From now on, if you classify galaxies on the ANALYSIS page, your classifications will continue to be recorded and will be part of the public release, but it won't be part of the first round of papers. Don't be alarmed if the galaxies are odd, this is part of the process of checking our results.

But we still need you! As part of our follow-up work, we need volunteers to review our set of possible merging galaxies. If you're already familiar with basic Galaxy Zoo analysis, click here to read the instructions and click here to take part. Galaxy Zoo 2 will go live in the near future featuring a much more detailed classification system, while further off we plan GalaxyZoo 3 with lots of exciting new data. We'll notify all of you via the newsletter when we're able to start these two new endeavours.