Busking for ideas


Amanda Palmer paints an arresting scene, standing atop her plastic crate, holding out a daisy. She immediately draws you into her talk in which she details how she crowd funds her music. A very entertaining 12 minutes, she is certainly very watchable.

In a nutshell, the TED talk is about asking the crowd for what you need when you need it.

I am not going to unpick the fine detail in Palmer’s story, and leave aside just how far-fetched, naive even, this idea seems to me. I am going to take it at face-value and interpret what I take to be the wider message. Which is ask for what you need when you need it in exchange for something (like a busker I suppose).

I am thinking about the idea of asking and sharing more broadly as it applies to my H818 project. For my project, money does not need to be exchanged. What I need is people’s ideas and knowledge to help build up a shared open resource.

Even in the Twitter-sphere I hestiate before asking for help. I don’t have masses of followers but I do have enough for me to not want to have (more) tumbleweed moments.

I have Tweeted a couple of times about OER on blended learning. The first one yeilded no concrete replies, though I did get some re-Tweets. The second time I focussed on asking for case studies on blended learning in the global south. I got a reply on Twitter and an email (via one of the module tutors), this email rather excitingly originated from an academic whose papers I have read over the past number of years.

So what does this mean for me now?

  1. I think I need to be more focussed- and ask about specific countries to attract the attention of the people I need. E.g. tagging Pakistan, or Bangladesh. I will get the demographic list from my colleague to try and target these more.
  2. Also, learning from Palmer, I need to offer something in return for info. People do like to help people, but perhaps they need to know what they are contributing to and why their help is needed. I need to think about how to include this information in a Tweet. You don’t get many characters to play with.

Thoughts, comments and questions always appreciated!