Conducting the pilot of the Intern Cloud has been an enlightening experience. The responses to the evaluation questionnaire demonstrate that enthusiasm for the project has not diminished. Eva Klausenberg of Serviceplan PR, writes “It's a great idea, that has a strong potential to become a really big thing”, while Torsten Sewing of Breaking The Ice concludes that “the impact of this will be huge”.
With such an optimistic response, the fact that so few tasks were completed within the three-month pilot period is less discouraging than it might first seem. Research conducted at the betterplace lab into crowdsourcing and micro-volunteering has shown that sites like the Intern Cloud require two things to function: time and stimulation.
With the Intern Cloud pilot maintained as an experimental project, and with few participants, there was perhaps too little incentive to interact and take part. The MMS interns identified this in an early meeting, and suggested that in the future, a rating system for interns’ work would encourage more participation, while developing the site as a social and career network might draw in users more frequently. In this way, the Intern Cloud would become more rooted in users’ off-line activities, and they would be more likely to collaborate and share ideas.
More interns and more publicity needed
The interns of Serviceplan, according to Eva, were really too busy to complete any tasks. However, she believes that a larger number of interns, participating with support from their supervisors, would increase the chances that projects would be completed. She suggests more publicity for the project in order to draw in new agencies and increase the number of interns available for each task.
Increasing the number of participating interns, then, seems to be the next step for the Intern Cloud. Adding new features and functions, as the MMS interns suggested, would also create a more diverse and engaging site. More dynamic interaction and participation would allow the moderator and project leader a deeper insight into the potential uses of the Intern Cloud, and enable them to develop it accordingly.
For a broad evaluation of the pilot programme, please see the slide show below. I would be very keen to hear how others feel the Intern Cloud could be developed: if you have any suggestions or ideas, please email me at jackorlik[at]gmail.com.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the Intern Cloud pilot: Joana Breidenbach and Dennis Buchman of the betterplace lab, Torsten Sewing of Breaking the Ice, Stephan Breidenbach of the Humboldt Viadrina School of Governance, Stephan Balzer of Red Onion, Nina Reicke, Timo Rang, Hinnerck and Pablo of MMS, and Eva Klausenberg and the interns of Serviceplan.