The Rise of Crowdsourcing

“Crowd” and “Outsourcing” for the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call.

For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task, refine or carry out the steps of an algorithm, or help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data.

The term has become popular with businesses, authors, and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. However, both the term and its underlying business models have attracted controversy and criticisms.

The difference between crowdsourcing and open source is that open source production is a cooperative activity initiated and voluntarily undertaken by members of the public. In crowdsourcing the activity is initiated by a client and the work may be undertaken on an individual, as well as a group, basis. So, the key is in the motivations of individuals to participate in the project.

Perceived benefits of crowdsourcing include the following:

  • Problems can be explored at comparatively little cost, and often very quickly.
  • Payment is by results or even omitted .
  • The organization can tap a wider range of talent than might be present in its own organization.
  • By listening to the crowd, organizations gain first-hand insight on their customers’ desires.
  • The community may feel a brand-building kinship with the crowdsourcing organization, which is the result of an earned sense of ownership through contribution and collaboration.
  • The are four types of crowdsourcing strategies:

  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdcreation
  • Crowdvoting
  • Crowd wisdom
  • So, how you employ great people, actually lots of them, and over the place. How to you find and keep great customers, and great suppliers too.
    Want to tap into all that brainpower to solve your most important problems? Want to know how to do it right?

    Sources: Wiki, CrowdSourcing Blog, Jeff Howe

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