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Nov. 10, 2008, 8:14 a.m.

Lab Book Club: Interview with Jeff Howe, Part 1

As part of the Lab Book Club, I interviewed Jeff Howe, author of the very interesting Crowdsourcing. We marched through the book’s chapters in an hour-long session in the Nieman Foundation’s basement; here’s the first 20 minutes, which cover chapters 1 to 3. Some of the issues we cover:

— Patterns in how different professions respond to the “threat” of crowdsourcing
— How a bad economy impacts enterprises that depend on audience participation
— What open-source software can tell us about the willingness to pay for news
— How the concept of trust changes in a crowdsourced environment
— Whether we’ll ever see a return to skill differentiation being rewarded, or whether the triumph of the amateur is permanent

Plus I bring up Marx’s theory of alienation of labor. Just try getting that from another blog!

My thanks to our own Ted Delaney for the shooting and editing. For more about the Lab Book Club, check here.

Joshua Benton is the senior writer and former director of Nieman Lab. You can reach him via email ( or Twitter DM (@jbenton).
POSTED     Nov. 10, 2008, 8:14 a.m.
PART OF A SERIES     Lab Book Club: Jeff Howe
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