The Expert Cloud: Human, Visual, Immersive, Real Time Communications

glass-privacy-recording-indicatorThere has been a lot written about “The Human Cloud,” and the benefits of crowdsourcing, crowdsolving, crowdfunding and more. I’m seeing a powerful trend emerging – the Expert Cloud.

Today, Crowdsourcing and its close relatives have become the new standard for collaboration on a massive scale. But is there something missing here, something like “Crowdcommunicating” can solve? Are the limitations to posting ideas via text and even uploading images and videos to communicate a solution for pitching a new project? What if real time communications were made intuitively available on existing crowd platforms, so people gathering could meet in real time, with real voices, and real video collaboration tools?

Henk van Ess, a college lecturer in online communications, had this to say about what emotionally drives individuals to participate:

Crowdsourcing is channeling the experts’ desire to solve a problem and then freely sharing the answer with everyone.

The Expert Cloud is a more specialized and extremely valuable community or “Community of Communities” where the “cream of the crop” makes itself available for the exchange of talent and time – available “by the job” for corporations, entrepreneurs, incubators, investors and other entities and individuals seek extreme talent to bring new products and services to market, or to solve pressing social issues, or to just fix a quick PC problem.

Experts who are passionate about their insights love to share, and are often extremely articulate and animated presenters.

Today, communicating is still primarily asynchronous using email, blogs and other social channels.  With Real Time Communications, the modalities become more immersive, and can provide a more richer, personalized, “in person” experience.

We’ve all used Skype, Go-To-Meeting, and other multimedia platforms but the ability to create a “one touch” live experience is becoming easier with technologies like WebRTC. Initiating a one-to-one voice and video conversation, and even one-to-many and many-to-many “virtual meet ups” becomes more intuitively accessible when baked into applications and web experiences.

Experts on the Expert Cloud, for example, can conduct live, real time discussions further energizing group creativity and the inexplicable magic of exchanging ideas verbally and visually – if that is the task at hand.

Imagine, for example, a digital company needs to tap into the world’s expert on a certain category of software applications. They want to ask the expert to share his or her vision, but cannot afford to hire that expert as a consultant for a day, week or month. They are willing to pay a generous amount for a one or two hour “in person” discussion (virtually)  before starting development and investing money to build something they hope focus groups and consumers will eventually like.

New RTC technologies are making this possible, through embedding of conversational tools inside web applications – eliminating what will feel like incredibly unnatural steps in a few years – reaching for a phone, dialing a number, setting up a conference bridge, or finding that information and “dialing into the bridge.”

Companies might even take the Expert Cloud internal and develop pools of experts who could be on call to solve issues for employees or customers. Imagine your first day on the job cable installation technician wearing Google glass and being able to not only talk with a 20 year veteran who can instantly see what the tech is seeing and guide him to make the right changes for a smooth installation.  Customer satisfaction is off the charts and the company saves a ton!

The humanization of intense and often complex conversations can make creative dialogue more intuitive, unlocking breakthroughs through real-time thinking, “in the moment.” The context will be richer, the synapses more shared, and in short – we will become “closer” to what we naturally are as human beings.