“Crowdsourcing” is defined as the practice of obtaining information or input for a task or project by soliciting input from a large number of people. The strategy is based on the philosophy that a diverse crowd is collectively smarter than individual experts when it comes to problem-solving, decision making, innovating and predicting. Simply put, the attainable levels of the “wisdom of a crowd” is greater than that of the single individual.
The strategy has gained tremendous momentum over the past decade, significantly aided by the mainstreaming of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, Facebook and other point-to-multipoint communications and networking technologies which allow one to communicate with many (a “crowd”).
The strategy and supporting technologies have drastically reshaped many antiquated industries including traditional media, science and research, government, education, the list goes on, and that list includes hockey.
On Sunday, Blackhawks netminder Robin Lehner took to his Twitter account in search of wisdom from the crowd. Lehrer asked for tips on improving his goaltending approach in shootouts.
All the experts in the media on what my new shootout strategy should be:) I’m all ears. The shootout is not hockey so I gotta learn this sport somehow and hopefully one of the experts can help me as all my goalie coaches haven’t been able to yet. Sabres fans would love to hear
— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) November 24, 2019
Make no mistake, this was no straight jab at the media or light-hearted public relations move. Lehner was indeed looking for suggestions.
It should be noted that Lehner is not exactly struggling in regulation and extra time, as he currently has the best save percentage (.938) of all goaltenders with more than six starts. But he felt his shootout strategy simply wasn’t working.
Lehner would later thank everyone for their input.
Thanks for all the advice folks:) I’ll be sure I’ll give you guys credit if I manage to win one in the future. God bless and good night!
— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) November 25, 2019
The challenge of seeking wisdom from the crowd is the task of separating the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Lehner received several hundred responses, many off topic, some praising his work, but some with sincere, honest input.
On Monday, Lehner met with the media to talk about shootouts and his social media post:
Robin Lehner may be the best soundbite in sports. pic.twitter.com/2HqovYDI2K
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) November 25, 2019
It will be interesting to see how he does in the next shootout.
By Jon Sorensen