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In the ongoing debate about spec work, design contests and crowdsourcing, a new Twitter initiative has thrown their ring into the hat, battling for hearts and minds..

The argument about speculative work and design contest sites continues unabated as designers and creative types grapple with the most contentious subject in the graphic design industry today. If the ongoing forum and blog arguments weren’t enough, the debate has now moved into the Twitterverse (that’s Twitter talk for people who, ahm, Twitter). First, there’s No!Spec, a grass roots coalition of designers and artists who have been writing about ‘spec work’ for several years, but have only recently moved onto the rapidly growing social platform. You can visit their website here. Follow No!Spec on Twitter here.

The “naked truth about design contests & crowdsourcing.”

Another interesting addition to the kerfluffle is Spec Watch, an offshoot initiative that delivers sporadic “design contest & crowdsourcing” bulletins through their Twitter page.

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Spec Watch doesn’t have a website per se, other than a home, propaganda and a “why?”page which describes their mission – some weird Twitter driven strategy that may, or may not, get their ‘message’ out (Spec Watch ‘tweets’ lead back to more fleshed out examples that illustrate that design contests might not be as rosy as some might like us to believe.) spec-watch-evolve-or-die As cool as that is, not sure how effective this Spec Watch will be and a Twitter-only campaign seems rather narrow in focus (for a quck comparison, Spec Watch boasts a total of 365 Twitter followers, No!Spec has 1,100 while Crowdspring has over 4,000 and Australian counterpart 99designs weighs in with just over 3,000 followers in total). In any case, you can follow Spec Watch here. There’s already been some criticism about how ‘unbiased’ Spec Watch is, or isn’t, or whether their campaign is ‘dishonest’ at face. You can join that debate over at David Airey’s always excellent Logo Design Love blog.

Sisyphean pluck.

While I have to admire their sisyphean pluck, both No!Spec and Spec Watch are challenging a monumental PR campaign that’s seen recent pro-crowdsourcing articles in Business Weekly, Forbes and Wired to name but a few. Might be seen as the digital version of peeing into the wind.

However, I did manage to fit sisyphean into a blog post, and that’s always good for a rainy Tuesday.