This Poor Breton Peasant’s Autobiography, an International Best-Seller

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The life story of an ordinary, brilliant, anarchist peasant from Brittany

Exactly 112 years ago, on January 6th 1905, a Breton peasant neamed Jean-Marie Déguignet wrote the last words of the story of his life, and died shortly after. He ended over 4,000 pages with these words : “I wish humanity  the power – even the willpower – to become truthfull and good people, able to understand and get along with each other, in a worthy and happy social life.” His own life has been neither happy nor worthy, which is why this best-selling autobiography is such a fascinating account of rural life between 1834 and 1905. I’ll try to make this review worth reading. Continue reading →

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I Read This Book About The Importance of Wasting Time on the Internet

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Are we becoming lazier and dumbing ourselves down with silly content on the internet? Should we be scared that most of us look like sleepwalking zombies when walking while staring at our smartphones? Many believe it, and countless articles are written around that narrative. Not much room for optimism. Kenneth Goldsmith, a poet and artist from New York City, believes that more good than bad stems from our increased connectedness – and he wrote a book about it: “Wasting Time On The Internet.” Continue reading →

Recruiting Individuals to a Crowdsourcing Community: Findings From an Ad Copy Test

Video Contest Website Landing PagesRecently, a counterpart contacted me to get some insights about how to attract and activate “solvers” on a platform. That person had validated a business need to create a crowdsourcing platform, but was now looking to assemble the community to respond to the challenges he would launch on its platform. How do you assemble a community? Some tips are already available in this book, but it’s a bit dated. Here are some findings from a project that we just published as a book chapter, along with Daren Brabham and Jean-François Lemoine. Continue reading →

Cool: Holding Our First Book Chapter In Our Hands

Click to get to the chapter page

Click to get to the chapter page

A book chapter is “peanuts” on the resumé of an academic, but when you hold the first copy of your life in your hand, it’s cool. The chapter about crowdsourcing in video advertising, which we write with Rosemary Kimani, has just appeared in the book International Perspectives on Business Innovation and Disruption in the Creative Industries co-edited by Robert DeFillippi and Patrik Wikström. The volume examines how disruptive innovations are reshaping industry boundaries and challenging conventional business models and practices in the industries for film, video and photography. Continue reading →

My Short Review of “Crowdsourcing, One Step Beyond”

crowdsourcing book one step beyond lebratyThis is by far not the first book I read about crowdsourcing (the last is Daren Brabham’s Crowdsourcing at MIT Press) but it’s an interesting one. Why? Because, to my knowledge, it’s the first piece in English by the French crowdsourcing researchers Katia Lobre-Lebraty and Jean-Fabrice Lebraty, whose work I already blogged about – in English. Their paper Créer de la valeur par le crowdsourcing: La dyade Innovation-Authenticité (in French, but here is a summary) is one I liked because it really resonnated with my own experience of crowdsourcing. Now, this book finally brings their research to English-speaking audiences, which I think is great to feed the literature and discussions around this field of research. Continue reading →

My Review of “How Emerging Market Brands Will Go Global”

brand-breakout-bookIn October 2009, I covered the publication of the Best Global Brands ranking, underlining that none of the 100 brands came from emerging market countries in 2009. In one part of the report, called “Tomorrow’s Brand Leaders, Up-and-Coming Global Brands,” Interbrand China’s Jonathan Chajet nevertheless listed a couple of brands that could become global in a near future, like companies from China (Lenovo, Haier, Tsingtao), India (Tata, Reliance, ArcelorMittal), Russia (Kaspersky Lab, Aeroflot, Gazprom), South Africa (MTN, Anglo-American, SABMiller) and Brazil (Itaù, Vale, Natura). You can see some of them in my post (even if it’s written in German).

Some of these brands, like Lenovo, Haier, or Natura, are presented in a fascinating book called Brand Breakout: How Emerging Market Brands Will Go Global, by N. Kumar (London Business School) and J-B. Steenkamp (University of North Carolina), which I just finished reading. Based on extensive field and desk research, the authors present 8 strategies that brands are taking to go global (the Brand Aquisition Route for Lenovo, the Asian Tortoise Route for Haier or the Natural Resources Route for Natura, for example).

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@DBrabham’s “Crowdsourcing” Book

daren-brabham-crowdsourcing-books-photoSince Jeff Howe’s article (2006) and book (2008) on crowdsourcing, journalists and researchers have widely been using the term. In every article I read, from blog posts to academic writings, Howe is always given as a reference. The fact that most people relied on a magazine article and a business book gave birth to a variety of conflicting definitions of crowdsourcing (with or without Wikipedia, Linux, or YouTube) which made it really hard to understand for the layperson who didn’t have time to make her/his own opinion.

But one researcher, who wrote his doctoral dissertation about crowdsourcing, provided a clear definition from the start (which was as early as 2008): Daren Brabham. assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He just wrote a book, simply called Crowdsourcing, published in MIT Press’ Essential Knowledge Series, about what crowdsourcing is, and what it isn’t. I hope it will be used next to Howe’s article (2006) and book (2008) in forthcoming writings about crowdsourcing, because it clearly dots the i’s.

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