Winding Down the Project

Many projects operate on a fixed timeline, whether it's six months or three years. So you'll want to consider how you prepare to close down a crowdsourced project.

  • Communicate with partners. Give them a schedule — and a few reminders — so they know what to expect and have time to finish any remaining work.

  • Archive your work. It’s likely the forms you set up will become inaccessible over time, so make sure you take screenshots or save images before you shut it down.

  • Take good notes. It’s surprising how quickly you’ll forget details, so be a good ancestor to future you: Write up a quick history of the project, what worked and what you’d do differently while you still have it all fresh in your mind. Include a list of the names and contact information of partner reporters and editors you worked with, as well as a list of links to the stories that came out of the project.

  • Close down the submission form. You can set the form to stop receiving submissions, but it's a good idea to update any evergreen callout pages with a note about the project ending and thanking participants for their responses.

  • Update the project landing page. Specify the dates the project ran so that visitors understand the project is no longer active.

  • Find a home for the data. You'll need to either find a secure place to store the data or decide on a partner to take over as custodian. You probably want to consult with your legal department on the best way to store any sensitive information — or if deleting data that’s no longer journalistically useful is the most prudent approach.

  • Do a post-mortem. Before you take on another collaboration or crowdsourced project, consider what worked, what didn't and what you learned. Share your findings with readers and those who participated in your callout, either through email, social media or the online spaces where you may have encountered participants during the project.

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