I am starting a fascinating journey writing my first book.
The book will be called Mind Sharing. Mind sharing is a crowd-sourced book about crowd-sourcing. It will show how anyone can upgrade their life with the power of social media and crowd wisdom. As far as I know, following my crowd-sourced talk at TED, this will be the first ever crowd-sourced book.
Recently, I’ve signed agreement with Portfolio imprint. The book is written in English and will be published in several countries, among them South Korea (gangam style anyone?). In Israel, it will be published by Kinneret-Zmora Bitan.
I invite you to join me in this journey, share with me your ideas and interesting stories that might become part of Mind Sharing.
Here are the first 2 live webcasts I held with my friend and literary agent, Doug Abrahams, discussion the idea behind Mind Sharing.
One final note: Your contribution may appear in the book. Please note that by writing suggestions, you grant me and unlimited permission and license to include them in the book without getting a reward. When the book will be published, I will thank those who gave the most significant contribution to the writing inside the book and in other ways.
I wish to thank from the bottom of my heart to those who choose to take part of this exciting project
I will tell you more about the schedule later on, but first – a warning, a confession.
Children have an attribute which disappears with time. It’s called excitement.
Once, while walking down the street with our daughter Maya (she was 3 years old at the time), an elderly man passed by, as he approached us she yelled out "Daddy, look, it’s a bald man!"
As adults, our level of excitement is just not the same. However, I am still a child at heart when it comes to "excitement". My daily conversations are filled with exciting descriptive words, such as wow, amazing, and awesome. That’s me, that is the way I am. I am like a little kid in a candy store!
Why am I telling you this? Why am I warning you? Let’s just say, that I will probably say "Wow" more than a few times next week while I am at TED.
For those of you who are sensitive to over excitement, I suggest that you filter me out of your stream next week.
Here is my schedule for next week:
I fly to the USA on Friday night.
I’ll be spending a short, but yes exciting, weekend in Manhattan, and then I’ll be traveling to Long Beach, California.
Monday, February 27th, is the day before the TED talks start. On Monday I will have my first rehearsal; I will be meeting with all the speakers and will participate in a few master workshops.
On Tuesday, February 28th, TED begins.
My TED talk is on Wednesday February 29th, at about 14:30 PST.
Following are two days of TED talks filled with lectures and activities ending on March 2nd.
I promise to update my status as much as possible and keep you all in the loop, but I apologize in advance, I probably will not have time to respond due to the jam packed event schedule.
Many have asked me where they can watch my TED Talk live. Unfortunately the TED talks will not be available live for free. There is a Pay per View option via TED Live but prices are not cheap.
Thank you and TED … here I come!
Just two more weeks to go.
I’m so excited.
The TED talk is ready and I already done a few dozen rehearsals.
The process of creating my talk was fascinating and surprising.
It started with thinking about the structure of the talk, looking for crowd wisdom inspiring stories , receiving creative ideas to convey the message (like the ox, quotations and more), linguistic proof using Wikipedia, editing a video with the crowd, doing the dress rehearsal and more.
The 16 year old Or Sagy has created a diagram to present all the stages in the process by weeks. Here is the big picture:
Here is a link to a high resolution image.
Indeed it is a complex task which required a substantial amount of time.
But, during the process I have met fascinating people, I received amazing ideas and according to your feedbacks, the presentation (touch wood) is excellent. Thank you!
In two weeks I’m going to make my dream come true.
And then, when I will try to be the best I can be, toward the end of the presentation, I will say this sentence which concludes the journey I’m going through in the best way:
"Dreams are what guides us and what helps us to become the best thing that we could be. Dreams are what make us who we are" – Sir. Ken Robinson.
Lately, I have been approached by a lot of wonderful people wishing me luck, offering their assistance, showing their interest and asking lots of questions.
It happens not only on Facebook but also in the supermarket, at the Cafe and even at the doctor’s office.
Here are a few recent insights from the last few days.
The ox experiment
One of the questions that I have been asked frequently is "So, Lior, how much does the ox weight?"
A lot of people fear how the results of the ox experiment at TED will manifest. Why? In this modern day era (as opposed to a hundred years ago) people are not used to seeing an ox, let alone estimate the weight of a particular ox!
A very well-known professor, who I admire greatly, told me to watch out! The original crowd wisdom experiment which took place 100 years ago was performed using an audience of professionals, who knew how to evaluate the weight of an ox.
Five days ago I published photos of the ox that will be on stage with me at TED.I asked you to evaluate it’s weight based only on the pictures.
I received 250 different and diverse answers ranging starting by 1/5 of the real weight up to 4 times more than the real weight!
I opened an excel sheet and with great anxiety calculated the average. I will not expose the actual weight here (I will do that during my TED talk), but when I saw the results, my heart missed a beat. The calculated average is less than 1 lbs away from the exact weight! Amazing isn’t it?
That is crowd wisdom. It works today just as it did 100 years ago in a little English village.
Quantity VS quality in crowd wisdom
Finding the weight of the ox is a question simply calculated. You ask the crowd a quantitative question and calculate the average. But if you ask an open question, one that has a qualitative answer, what is crowd wisdom?
There are two ways to do this:
a. A question where you are looking for collective insight. For example, when we need to make a decision with limited possibilities as answers, the collective insight comes from the answers repeated the most, the average is the majority.
b. A question where you are looking for a creative idea. For example, when I was looking for an example to explain the crowd wisdom theory one of the suggestions was to bring an ox on stage. That idea was one of a kind. It is not an average , calculated by the answers. In this case the use of crowd wisdom is like searching for gold. You have to dig through all the ideas to identify the creative ones. If you use Facebook, these ideas will probably stand out, by the "likes" from other people.
Crowd wisdom as a tool for motivation and inspiration.
This insight I gained only today after having a conversation with my friend Shmuel Merhav.
Beyond the wise ideas and the feedback I received, the crowd has given me much more than just wisdom, the most significant being encouragement and motivation.
You can call it crowd cheering.
It started the day I told my friends about my dream and how many of them told me "you are worthy and capable, go for it". For me, those responses were the catalyst in deciding to pursue my dream. The encouragement has continued, with lots of kind words, and as a result, is pushing me forward with an intensity that I have never felt before!
Think of a soccer or basketball team about to lose a game. Then, the crowd starts cheering loudly. Imagine what power and motivation it gives to the team.
That is what I get from you in digital form. You push me forward! It’s just as important as the smart ideas. You know what? It’s even more important.
(19 days to go)
Here is Teddy, the ox that will be on stage with me during my TED talk, in order to demonstrate crowd wisdom live.
He has kept me awake during last two nights.
To test how crowd wisdom works prior to my TED talk (and also to have a backup in case of a technical malfunction) I would appreciate it if you could take a good look at the ox and send your weight estimate. Thank you!
It is important to me, and essential for the experiment to work, that as many people as possible will participate (there is no need for personal identification). It will only take 10 seconds of your time.
So here he is, in all its glory, Teddy the Ox.
I will show Teddy and its real weight at the end of the talk (in 23 days, but who counts…)
If by any chance you are going to be at TED or knows someone who is, please don’t tell others about the ox. Let’s try to keep this a surprise
please send your weight estimate here.
Do you dream of giving a TED talk? Here is your chance.
As you know, my way to TED started in the TED auditions last year.
It was the first time that the TED team decided to do auditions.
The auditions were amazing and contributed a lot to the coming TED conference (in 3 weeks, god help me).
Next year, 14 auditions will be held in 6 countries!
A big part of TED 2013 will be based on crowd sourcing.
I would be more than happy to assist anyone who plans to audition. Update me if you are in this
I’m glad to share with you the first draft of the designed presentation.
I have saved the slides as photos on facebook so you can feedback every slide by itself.
In addition, TED allows speakers to use the Shutterstock photos. If you have any ideas for other photos that can fit, you are more than welcome to search their collection and suggest your ideas.
For any idea that will be incorporated in to the presentation, I will add your name at the bottom of the slide
I’d love to get your feedback and ideas.
Many thanks to Meital Chesner and Zohar Nativ Golan from Brando strategic branding studio for the help with the graphics. If you are looking for a design studio, they rock!
In the past, when I was interested in learning about my area of interest, I would have put time and effort searching for sources to learn from. Starting with a search online, reading magazines, professional literature and looking for courses and specialists in the subject matter.
Today, I find myself learning in completely new way.
As you know, My research area is crowd wisdom.
Because you know this, many of you write to me and tell me about new studies, articles that relate to the subject and anything which in your opinion can teach me.
And so, I find myself almost every day with a new post on my facebook wall, a message on twitter or an e-mail from someone directing my attention to something I should learn.
For me this is a new way to learn. Instead of searching for the information, the information comes to me.
Here’s an example of an e-mail I got recently from the retired judge Avigdor Salton who has taught me the connection between crowd wisdom and the judiciary system in the USA:
From: Avigdor Salton
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 3:48 PM
To: Lior Zoref
Subject: Crowd Wisdom
Dear Mr. Zoref,
This morning I had seen channel 10 and so I got introduced to you and to TED.
On your site you had asked for proposals and comments, among others, to your TED talk.
Therefore, to support the idea of crowd wisdom I would like to take you to the legal world.
In states where the system is of judging with the aid of a Jury (such as England and USA), the basic idea is that the crowd (for our subject=the jury) is not less talented than a judge to test and determine facts (as opposed to determining the legal result of a professional judge who is familiar with the law which needs to be enacted on the concrete case), since a judge is a normal human being.
And so, the jury system still exists these days.
The Jewish American judge, Samuel Leibowitz, in the biographical book "Courtroom" written by the journalist Quentin Reynolds, tells that he use to keep records of the results of the jury in the criminal cases he was judging, and found that in most cases (if I am not mistaken – close to 95%) the result is same to the result the jury !
This is to teach you, that crowd wisdom is just as good as a professional judge.
I wish you luck in your journey,
I am about to finish the presentation and it’s looking wonderful
There is nothing more worthy in my opinion than to let you, everyone who helped me build my presentation, to be part of my TED talk.
All you have to do is record a short video saying: "Clever minds think together" and send me the video.
Here’s the explanation how to do it:
Remember to count to 5 before you say it, and try to say it in a normal rhythm, same as I did it.
Please send the video by e-mail to email@example.com by Jan 22nd 2012.