Crowdsourcing with the Rich and Famous

Earlier this week I wrote about crowdsourcing and the stars that we can discover with its power. Now, I will look at those stars who have discovered the power of crowdsourcing.

Most recently I heard that Paul McCartney has partnered with Talenthouse in asking fans to submit artwork inspired by his solo albums. The winner receives $1,000, merchandise, and a high-end design software package while the winning work is displayed in a London art gallery. But more importantly, Paul has a way to reconnect with his fans after nearly four decades of communicating with them through a variety of mediums. In the Talenthouse blog announcing the competition, Paul says “Have fun with this competition. I look forward to seeing the amazing artwork that you are all going to produce and I encourage you to feel free and basically have a scribbling good time.”

A scribbling good time, indeed.

Talenthouse has worked with a number of celebrities so far in their crowdsourcing initiatives, including Lady Gaga, Rod Stewart, and Naomi Campbell. Stan Lee worked with Talenthouse when sourcing inspiration for his next new superhero. The winner was selected by a crowd of interested bystanders who identified Stan Lee’s next hero as “The Counselor” armed only with the super power of knowledge – a decision that I find encouraging. The site works by offering celebrities a platform for challenging their fans, the submitted ideas are then voted on and a winner selected.

But, of course, one can’t speak about celebrities and crowdsourcing projects without looking at Crowdrise, the armchair fundraising platform founded by Edward Norton and supported by a number of other celebrities, including Will Ferrell and Seth Rogen. Check out some of the other participating celebrity projects here. Although Crowdrise is similar to other charity funding sites, its attitude and momentum make it a wise and philanthropic investment on the part of the celebrities involved and a fun site to hang out on for awhile. You can hear Norton talking about the site and its opportunities in this video.

Considering the opportunities afforded to those who have notability and a connection with their communities, crowdsourcing seems to be a great way to be in contact with fans. Are there ways that crowdsourcing could go the other direction? What other celebrity-crowdsourcing projects do you find interesting?

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