The term crowdsourcing means work being done by a “crowd”. Crowd refers to the public at large. It is the process by which work gets done, usually online, from a crowd of people. Coined from the two words “crowd” and “outsourcing”, the idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of online workers, specifically.
One famous example of crowdsourcing is Wikipedia. You know that Wikipedia is some sort of an online encyclopedia. This online encyclopedia, however, gave the crowd the ability to create the information on their own and make it a part of Wikipedia. This resulted to Wikipedia being the most comprehensive encyclopedia in the world as there were no geographical boundaries, language barriers, culture variations, etc. that restrict anyone from participating in the process.
Believe it or not, the concept of crowdsourcing has long existed before the term was even invented. This concept was used to provide evidence of Bigfoot or the UFOs. The open-source software movement proved that it can be done with large numbers of people and this has been done many, many years ago. With today’s crowdsourcing, technology plays a key role as it makes possible to enlist an even-larger number of non-technical people to do more complex and creative tasks at significantly lower cost.
How Important is Crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing adapts the principle of “more heads are better than one”. Superior quality of content is therefore achieved because of the involvement of a large crowd for ideas, skills and participation. With numerous people offering their best ideas, skills and support, one can only expect quality results. In terms of information, it will be most comprehensive. In terms of design, it will be the most conceptualized. In terms of micro tasks, it will be the most detailed. Crowdsourcing allows you to select the best result not from a single provider but from a sea of talents. Results can also be delivered much quicker than traditional or conventional methods since it is a form of freelancing.
Crowdsourcing can also improve the creative process and enhance productivity. Labor and research expenses are minimized. And since the process is internet-based, the amount of time spent collecting data through formal focus groups or manual research, is dramatically reduced because a passionate community of customers are at the other end willing to contribute their knowledge resources for a crowdsourcing task. It drives and seeds enthusiasm among the willing participants and creates an eagerness or anticipation for upcoming products. Imagine having a pool of participants with expertise in marketing, branding and product-development processes, management, etc. and see what the collective collaboration will produce.
It is highly possible that outside the walls of your company, there are people who can help you perform better whether it’s an ad campaign design or some issues on R&D problems, etc. They can be another resource available to you so you can get the work done. With crowdsourcing, most participants will simply request for some recognition or acknowledgment for the contribution, a sense of community, and though rarely a financial incentive.