What is Crowdsourcing?

We have all heard of Offshoring, or as it is often incorrectly referred to as, outsourcing. Some within the U.S political machine claims that the movement of jobs from America to other counties is hurting the American people and is changing the way people are employed. While this is not worth arguing (because it is wrong and I have more important things to do with my time) there may truly be a force at work that is changing the way Western country-people are employed. That force is called Crowdsourcing.

“Crowdsourcing" is a term coined by Wired magazine writer Jeff Howe and editor Mark Robinson in June 2006. It describes a business model akin to outsourcing, but relying upon unpaid or low-paid amateurs who use their spare time to create content, solve problems, or even do corporate R&D…Crowdsourcing attempts to replace selectively hired, trained and managed workforces with mass volunteer participation and self-organization. While not a new idea, it is becoming mainstream. Open source projects are a form of crowdsourcing that has existed for years. People who may not know one another work together online to create complex software such as the Linux kernel, and the Firefox browser

Obviously, this is a phenominon that could only have existed because of the Internet. One additional benefit of this new form of getting work done is that it allows new job seekers who are fresh on the job market (like the recently graduated) to enter the field of their choosing to get some much needed experience!

Real life examples of businesses relying on Crowdsourcing include: Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) . In both cases, crowdsourcing is being used to solve s complex problem, which can be potentially solved in a wide variety of ways. Instead of these companies bearing the full costs of testing/implementing each solution, they are relying on a variety of unpaid freelancers to test their hypothesises, all of whom are competing for one grand prize (or paycheque!). You gotta love the competition behind it all! In fact, it is likely the competition behind crowdsourcing that makes it so appealing to participants.

Crowdsourcing Wikipedia Page

”The Rise of Crowdsourcing” article from Wired Magazine

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posted by mikeyarmo @ 11:21 AM,


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