The sound of crowdsourcing…chordie.com

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There has been loads of stuff written over the last few years about prosumption, participation, user generated content and crowdsourcing. One of the sites I’ve used lots and which is a really good example of crowdsourcing in action is chordie.com. This site is based on people uploading their interpretations of how to play songs on the guitar. There is now a massive archive of these interpretations on the site. The songs are searchable by song name or by artist. Often there a number of interpretations of the same song uploaded by different people. Searching round, there are even versions of some quite obscure songs. The result is a massive resource for playing songs in the guitar. Obviously some of the interpretations are better, closer or more thorough than others. For this reason the it is possible for users to score these interpretations to indicate which are the better versions of each song (a practice of rating and reviewing that is very common in social media). It is interesting here how the population of users have been harnessed to produce such an archival cultural resource, with textual inscriptions of the sonic properties of songs. It’s also interesting to look at the techniques used to communicate that way the song should be played, with chords, chord shapes and tablature mixed with the lyrics (or bits of lyrics).

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