In 2009, Apps For Democracy invited people to freely create applications using raw data generated by the federal government. Within 30 days there were over 40 working applications produced, and Apps For Democracy continues to be a success. However the 2005 L.A. Times wikitorial regarding the War in Iraq ended up at the opposite extreme in less than 48 hours, as debates turned into "flame wars" and indecent disrespect.
Clay Shirky discusses the difference between these efforts to engage the public, and briefly unpacks three important points to keep in mind when attempting to harness collaborative participation: The nature of the "Contract with the Users"; the need to accomodate the unpredictability of the users; and the danger of "Heisenberg’s press release".
Shirky also weaves in an experiment by Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini published in The Journal of Legal Studies on how the absence of clarity or firmness of clarity affects users behavior.