A Little Crowdsourcing, A Little Romance

2264628230_5191d80c52_zIt’s Valentine’s Day and today everyone will likely (no matter how they feel about it) be bombarded with messages of romance and anti-romance. And there are quite a few stories of how romance is being informed by the will of the crowd.

Pop star Jason Mraz wrote the song “The Woman I Love” but held off on making a video until he got some feedback from his fans. He posted the question “What does ‘The Woman I Love’ mean to you?” Responses were tagged with #MrazingTheVideo and ten tweets guided the eventual video’s direction. The result is here.

Or maybe you need some romantic advice. Certainly there are plenty of forums that could help you out. There was also a 14-page document created by Harvard students in 2011 entitled “The How to Guide for Romantic Relationships at Harvard.” The guide is not always the most sophisticated (and, at times, is downright offensive), but also includes interesting or sincere asides out of nowhere. That’s the allure of crowdsourcing, I suppose, where advice like “Pray together to the altar of Budweiser” exists alongside “Although technology tempts us to deal with problems via texting and over the internet, remember that relationships are between people and try to deal with problems in person.”

LifeHacker suggests turning to a task-master service called AirTasker to get your last minute Valentine’s errands out of the way. Maybe you need someone to run and deliver your flowers or make sure that someone TiVO’s your honey’s favorite show. It’s not a bad idea. We’re all busy, sometimes other people can help us get our romantic errands run.

And, if you’re not sure how to set the mood, last Year, Scott Kleinberg of the Chicago Tribune asked his Twitter followers to collaborate and create the perfect Spotify love songs list.  The result was 14 tracks of saccharine satisfaction.

What other ways is the crowd collaborating for this traditionally one-to-one holiday? How are you celebrating?


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