crowd mining
pp. Extracting useful knowledge from large databases of social information.
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If L.A. Fashion Week's eco-friendly green clothing lines have taught us anything, it's that we shouldn't ignore the collective power of the crowd. This insight has long been the cornerstone of business plans that depend on "fractional ownership", but with consumers facing seemingly insurmountable problems like a crappy economy and a crap-filled environment, marketers are finding new opportunities for mixing it up with the masses. By augmenting consumers' natural inclinations toward collaboration with advances in online and wireless technologies, a number of "why didn't I think of that" startups have struck it big by mining for opportunities in crowds.
—Brian Asner, “Crowd Mining,” The Global Marketer, March 21, 2009
The six billion people on Earth are changing the biosphere so quickly that traditional ecological methods can't keep up. Humans, though, are acute observers of their environments and bodies, so scientists are combing through the text and numbers on the Internet in hopes of extracting otherwise unavailable or expensive information. It's more crowd mining than crowd sourcing.

Much of the pioneering work in this type of Internet surveillance has come in the public health field, tracking disease. Google Flu Trends, which uses a cloud of keywords to determine how sick a population is, tracks epidemiological data from the Centers for Disease Control.
—Alexis Madrigal, “Crawling the Web to Foretell Ecosystem Collapse,” Wired Science, March 19, 2009
2007 (earliest)
Now, let's go back to crowd mining: when co-creating, co-funding, co-buying, co-designing, co-managing *anything* with 'crowds', the emphasis in 2008 will move from just getting the masses in, to mining those crowds for the rough and polished diamonds.
—Reinier Evers, “8 important consumer trends for 2008,” Trendwatching, December 01, 2007
Many thanks to Tim O'Reilly for slipping this phrase under my digital door.
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