Sometimes it works and people come together to create something truly original in a collective pulling together for a greater good in a moment of human triumph.
And sometimes it doesn’t.
Take for instance Public Enemy’s failed attempts to raise capital for their new album on crowd sourcing platform Sellaband, or The Spice Girls almost being sent to Baghdad and Justin Bieber to North Korea at the ‘where would you like me to gig?’ request of a fan poll.
Another fine example is that of an online poll in the town of Derby to name a new street. A whopping 28,000 (89%) voted for Lara Croft Way – hence the look-alike posing in the picture above – whilst a mere 1,570 voted for it to be named after real soldiers from Derbyshire's army regiment.
It’s not as bizarre as it sounds as the game Tomb Rider was originally conceived in Derby. However, the tallies are very telling and the road is now being split into two so both the army regiment and the top heavy archeologist Ms Croft can have equal naming rights.
As with any poll or crowd sourcing effort, the control is with the audience – and that doesn’t always leave you with the best result. As far as Derby is concerned the naming of the road is a telling sign of how the digital and physical worlds have become intertwined, with real men packing artillery on equal pegging with a virtual gun toting woman.