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5.5 Designing your own

Five principles for building a mass collaboration project: motivate participants, leverage heterogeneity, focus attention, enable surprise, and be ethical.

Now that you may be excited about the potential for mass collaboration to solve your scientific problem, I’d like to offer you some advice on how to actually do it. Although mass collaborations are less familiar than the techniques in earlier chapters, such as surveys and experiments, mass collaborations are not inherently any more difficult. Because the technologies that you will be able to harness are developing rapidly, the most helpful advice that I can offer is expressed in terms of general principles, rather than step-by-step instructions. There are 5 general principles that I think will be helpful to you when you design mass collaboration research projects: motivate participants, leverage heterogeneity, focus attention, enable surprise, and be ethical.