NewScientist — A Masai herdsman from Kisumu in Kenya, answers a call on his cellphone. After listening to the message, he repeats a short phrase in his Masai dialect. He then listens to another short message, and repeats the new phrase. After 30 minutes, he ends the call, having earned enough for a week’s worth of personal cellphone airtime.
[This article was originally published in Feb 09 by Anil Ananthaswamy, but having just come across it while researching the “Wisdom of Crowds” for an upcoming commentary, we found it an appropriate, and still relevant, post. It demonstrates not just crowd-sourcing and crowd-wisdom, but economic bartering – in the form of services for airtime for food. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!]