The Power of Collaboration

“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” is a line that made one artist famous, but fans are doing more than simply keeping Johnny Cash’s music alive. The Johnny Cash Project is a communal portrait of the Man in Black where fans are invited to share their vision of Cash from a template and custom drawing tool. Each unique portrait is then compiled into a video.

The Johnny Cash Project is one example of crowdsourcing, which invites a group of individuals to collectively share their point of view about a particular topic. Crowdsourcing inspires people to tell a story, pick up a camera and draw a picture. It connects individuals with similar interests as well as strangers whose paths would never have crossed.

The first user-generated feature-length documentary debuted at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Acting as a time capsule for the day of July 24, 2010, Life in a Day was shot by filmmakers all over the world. To be a part of this project, participants submitted 80,000 individual clips amounting to 4,500 hours of footage. True to its form, the premiere could be watched via live stream on the film’s YouTube channel. If you didn’t catch the live stream, the film will debut in theaters across the U.S. on July 24, 2011.

The 24th is one day in another experiment in crowdsourcing called the3six5. A different person shares a story about their day incorporating some sort of visual. It creates a snapshot of a full year by chronicling 365 lives from its contributors. When signing up, participants are advised not to select a special day (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries), but rather a random day… because you never know what might happen.

The mystery of what contributors will share and learning the inspiration behind their story really intrigues me. I’m looking forward to serving as an editor for the3six5 in September. Interested in participating? The project is now accepting authors for 2012 and if you’re in Chicago check out the3six5chicago!

How will you get involved? Or, what type of project would inspire you to collaborate with others?

This post also appears on the JSH&A Public Relations blog, The Living Room.


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