News

Putting your mouth where their money is!

June 29, 2016 • By TAB team



Dear broadcasters, news corporations and magazine editors: collecting lots of data on the crowd finance economy is allowing Crowdsurfer to discover particularly newsworthy stories. A new data set is emerging from a 21st century (and perhaps more Utopian) e-commerce movement that decentralises funding and improves the transparency of transactions.

Dear broadcasters, news corporations and magazine editors: collecting lots of data on the crowd finance economy is allowing Crowdsurfer to discover particularly newsworthy stories.

A new data set is emerging from a 21st century (and perhaps more Utopian) e-commerce movement that decentralises funding and improves the transparency of transactions. Every day people collaborate through thousands of crowd finance campaigns, by publishing, making pledges or leaving comments, generating a rich history of ideas and reactions. One of this data set's most valuable characteristics to us is its provenance. I.e. ideas found within the crowd finance data set are there, solely for their campaigns to receive financial backing from people willing to put their money where their mouth is.

This means four things:

Big ideas: Campaigns are large enough undertakings to require funding and in some cases substantial amounts. It is worth the campaigners taking the initiative to publish their plea so they might receive pledges from as many investors as possible.

Current ideas: The data set contains ideas around which there is activity. The number of platforms, let alone campaigns, continues to increase, funding windows can be short and receiving funding gives campaigners the means to get started.

Popular ideas: In successful cases it shows how the crowd can really get behind a campaign they deem important, relevant or exciting enough to ultimately invest their hard earned cash into; In many cases investment targets are superseded.

Not just ideas: Because money is changing hands, serious commitments are being made, for which both parties are accountable, such as delivering on campaign rewards.

As such, if the data set shows that something is going on with X, then something is going on with X!

The crowd finance data set is different to any other Web 2.0 data set, such as Twitter or even Amazon. Belonging to such communities allows people to get their ideas out into the world, react and attempt to guide others, but none have the unique flavour of users and subject matter that comes from people having enough faith to financially back such a broad range of nascent ideas.

The evolution of campaigns is ripe for intelligent analysis to guide those interested in discovering, predicting and acting within the space. The data we collect can be used to understand the numbers behind the economics and business of crowd finance campaigns and compute statistics on the transactions and platforms. Fundraisers, investors and market watchers are already reliant on these insights to inform their engagement with the crowd finance industry.

The financial community is used to dealing with this structured, quantitative data, however also applying our technology to the unstructured parts of our data set, allows us to dig deeper and deliver stories for the whole crowd. The concepts, ideas, themes and projects that are being campaigned for are found in the rich unstructured data like the titles, descriptions, pictures and videos the campaign owners create, as well as backers' comments.

New vocabularies start to be used and campaigns can reflect not only purchases and investment, but values, activities, innovation, movements and how people spend their time. Given that money can be used to fund all sorts of things, the scope of this new data set is as large as our imagination, ranging from philosophical issues such as life or happiness, social issues such as community centres or suicide, and more light-hearted themes such as popular board games and phones.

The evolution of the content available on the internet has already changed the way both the authors and consumers of news, discover stories; wire services have had to adapt to these new sources of information like social media. Crowd finance campaigns have the potential to reveal much real-time, newsworthy information that could deepen our understanding of both crowd finance and the world in general. Broadcasters, news corporations and magazine editors: You can now respond by putting your mouth where increasing amounts of peoples' money is beginning to go. This potential increases when combined with the other big data sets that news services already use.

Crowdsurfer has an incredible, new, unique resource which is growing at an increasing rate. We have the potential to act as the next news service, by making sense of this data using machine intelligence and at scale, extract all sorts of news stories in real-time.


Simon Fothergill, Data scientist