Tasks outsourced can range anything from marketing to product creation. Web 2.0 is a prominent type of crowdsourcing that enables users to interact and collaborate information in a virtual community. Yelp. Wikipedia. Yahoo Answers. These all use public input to drive content and information. In 2010, vitaminwater launched a new flavor created on a “Flavor Creator” app on Facebook. Kiva facilitates loans between individuals around the world to alleviate poverty. These organizations utilize the power of the crowd to give back through many different methods.
So here it is, the good the bad and the ugly of crowdsourcing.
When you crowdsource a task, you essentially get a free and limitless staff. This can vary anywhere from a think tank to a production crew to sales agents. The wisdom of crowds states that a group’s information is often better than that of an individual. Two heads are simply better than one.
Crowdsourcing projects can often require more work by the implementers than expected. Since projects are directed to an undefined group, direction must be very simple and clear. Motivation for participants must be appealing enough but still profitable for the implementers. Lastly, monitoring and management of results are often more taxing than one would hope.
Unfiltered feedback. No contracts or agreements. Red flag. Quality control is nearly impossible with so much input. Wikipedia is infamous for this problem. Users can go in and change information as they please. According to Wikipedia, David Beckham was a Chinese goalkeeper in the 18th century, Conan O’Brien assaults sea turtles while canoeing, and Sinbad is dead. Wrong. Corrections have since been made. Don’t worry, Sinbad is not dead.