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Crowdsourcing: A Definition

  • I like to use two definitions for crowdsourcing:

    The White Paper Version: Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.

    The Soundbyte Version: The application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software.

The Rise of Crowdsourcing

  • Read the original article about crowdsourcing, published in the June, 2006 issue of Wired Magazine.
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July 28, 2008

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Matt

Super video. Love the tilt-shift crowd shots... Some great take-aways from the short video. "Communities are taking the place of corporations" I'll order my copy now ;)

alan booker

Kushner and clan have done a great job in encapsulating the basic elements of CS. The flow of images and commentary is well enough crafted and at a rate, maybe a tad speedy, that the message really arrives unhindered.

The way that the content is built up with really clear yet profound statements, “a new development in the course of human history, online community as a building block, it’s what the corporation is to the industrial era,” gives the strong impression that you are ready for a post teaching grad students Jeff.

Very nice!

Alan

Jeff Howe

Thanks Alan, thanks Mike. Not sure about that teaching post quite yet, Alan, but I'll take it as a compliment. ;)

marcos meconi

nice trailer!

intereseting concept. the internet has a way of bringing people that are apart together and people who are together apart. sometimes i email because it is a safer, non-personal way of interacting with someone... who might be in the other room! on the other hand it's great to be in touch with all my high-school friends.

it's interesting to think about the democratization of media. to take the case mentioned on the trailer, anyone can be a producer of a photograph or film and make it available to thousands of people. that's great. but that doesn't turn you into a photographer or filmmaker. think of pen and paper: they have been available for centuries, but that has not had an impact on the quality of works being produced. just the quantity. i think, maybe i'm wrong.

here's a quote from the unique tom waits which sums up what i mean.

Q: What's wrong with the world?

A: We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. Leona Helmsley's dog made 12 million last year... and Dean McLaine, a farmer in Ohio made $30,000. It's just a gigantic version of the madness that grows in every one of our brains. We are monkeys with money and guns.

Great Job Jeff!

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The quality of cheap crowdsourced materials has not reached the level of professional. What has happened is the creation of general overwhelming mediocrity that most people can not discern between because they are bombarded with so much crap. If you want pro you still have to pay a decent price, but eventually there will be nobody willing to pay when corporate sees they can get away with mediocre. Crowdsourcing has destroyed art, photography, and degraded music to an all new low, and thats pretty hard after what MTV did.

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Martin Handyside

Crowdsourcing is a relatively new concept in the UK and made headlines a couple of months ago when Unilver decided to find its next advertising idea using crowdsourcing instead of paying its long standing agency to do what it had always done. I can't wait to see the result. The bit I dont understand is when Unilever is awash with new ideas from around the globe for what is I believe a UK food brand(Peperami)how will they manage the selection of best ideas and then the production into the various media. I wonder will they engage their ad agency again for this service or outsource to prodcution specialists? Won't this mean that Unilever has to engage more internal resources to manage this process? Perhaps this far outweighs the saving on the ad agency fee. I can see how crowdsourcing can work to build software etc and even design solutions for graphics for example corporate design but marketing ideas need to be nurtured and fine tuned to communicate with the target audience.

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The quality of cheap crowdsourced materials has not reached the level of professional. What has happened is the creation of general overwhelming mediocrity that most people can not discern between because they are bombarded with so much crap.
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thanks

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kraloyun

nice trailer!

intereseting concept. the internet has a way of bringing people that are apart together and people who are together apart. sometimes i email because it is a safer, non-personal way of interacting with someone... who might be in the other room! on the other hand it's great to be in touch with all my high-school friends.

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Judith katz

Thank you for the articulation of this idea, crowdsourcing, which I had heard several times before but not until this video did I feel clear on. The key point that I didn't hear you discuss that seems important from my standpoint as a nonprofit manager, is that when things are done through crowdsourcing, the people who end up doing the things are people who chose to do them, consciously. No-one made anyone do anything. So I am personally very glad for the advent and proliferation of crowdsourcing because it's very important for the well-being of an individual and a society that people do things from a sense of choice, if not happiness, rather than a sense of drudgery, guilt or onerous responsibility. The only problem is that not everyone in the world has their most basic needs met, so the freedom that Internet users enjoy is not shared by people in many places around the world where there is no computer, nor phone, nor much else in the way of conveniences.

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