In this challenge, participants are tasked with finding 10 red weather balloons distributed throughout the continental US for 8 hours on December 5. The idea is to get this to be a crowdsourcing kind of activity, where people will use social media tools to solve this problem.
Our group, the MIT Red Balloon Challenge Team, based out of the MIT Media Lab, has created a system where you get money not just for finding balloons, but for getting people to join the hunt who find the balloons, or for getting people who get people who find balloons, etc. Here's an image of the structure:
First you have to sign up, which you can do here. Then you can send invitations to others to join through your own unique URL, crediting you with recruiting them.
While our team is interested in winning the contest, we are also interested in studying information diffusion in social networks. Does Twitter spread information faster than blogs? Is your blog effective at spreading information?
Once you sign up, you can track you impact using a link such as
and you can spread your influence using a link such as
We could use your help in getting out the word. If you sign up and blog about us you will be able to see the impact that your blog has on getting out the word in real time.
Win money, help science, and help charity!
The MIT Red Balloon Challenge Team