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Mar 10, 2008

New platform for crowdsourcing

Via TheAppGap 

Kluster is a platform for crowdsourcing and then organizing and putting to use skills, energy and availability on projects and initiatives.  From the ReadWriteWeb review:

Kluster Launches at TED: A New Product in 72 Hours

Crowdsourcing firm Kluster officially launched yesterday at the TED conference, which is underway this week in Monterey, California. Founder Ben Kaufman, who bankrolled the company in part with money from the sale of his last company Mophie, has organized a gimmick over the course of the TED conference he hopes will prove Kluster’s worth. Kaufman intends to let TED attendees — and users from around the world — design a completely new product over the course of 72 hours.

The idea behind Kluster is that a group of passionate people working together can come up with better solutions for any decision-making problem than a single person. Whether that is planning an event, designing a new logo, or creating a new product, Kluster believes their system can.

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The Kluster system works by breaking down products into manageable chunks. For each chunk (or "phase"), people submit what are called "sparks." Sparks are proposed solutions for that phase. For each spark, other participants can submit "amps" — which are improvements to that idea. Users also assign "watts" to sparks and amps they like. Watts work kind of like investments. You accrue points based on participation and other factors, and can invest those points (watts) in ideas you like.

Then an algorithm that takes into account "each user’s successes, failures, reputation, areas of expertise, and overall history" goes to work to determine which sparks are the best. Companies interested in using the Kluster system, put up cash prizes that are doled out along the way (at the completion of each phase).

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