Macroblog

About Me

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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« Announcing the Creation of the Rheingold Award | Main | Crowdsourcing: In the Service of the Living ... and the Undead! »

August 19, 2008

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Comments

Tommi Vilkamo

Good choice, Jeff.

Also, thanks for the links - having worked with similar initiatives in Nokia (note to other readers: I'm heading www.nokia.com/betalabs), the issues discussed in the interview sounded very familiar.

There is one thing I'm currently struggling with, however. That is, does community voting really bring effective results in this kind of context? After all, the community couldn't care less at all about the business side: costs + money-making potential. As case example, wasn't Dell's (IdeaStorm influenced?) decision to sell Linux PCs at Wal-Mart a commercial disaster? Or, an example closer to home, is "Russian language support" really the most pressing improvement need Nokia's gaming platfrom N-Gage? http://ngage.uservoice.com

I wonder, how should we implement the voting thing to produce truly valuable suggestions? And by valuable, I mean something that makes sense both for the company involved and for its customer base.

Ps. if somebody from Dell is listening, I'd be happy to talk with you directly some day - I'm sure we could learn from each other :)

Tommi Vilkamo

(sorry about typos, having a busy day...)

Vida Killian

First of all, I'm very happy to accept this award on behalf of Dell! Thank you Jeff for the kind words and very creative award. I personally think a Rheingold should somehow mimic Howard's hat in his picture.

Tommi - I'd be happy to connect with you as well. I do believe in the power of voting. However, it is not the only thing we look at when evaluating ideas. We have implemented many low vote ideas because they were the right thing to do for the business. And we have Reviewed, but decided not to Implement, many of the very high rated items because it was not part of business model. However, as was the case for Linux for us, if you have enough people asking for Russian language support, then it is probably worth looking into even if it would have never made your radar screen otherwise.

The sweet spot of great idea that is great for the customer and great for the company as well does happen - just not on every idea.

Parul

Hi Jeff
Great Post...and i agree with Tommi that it is an excellent choice.I was pretty suprised myself as to how actively the IdeaStorm community had participated in discussions around the choice of operating system to the design and even the recent use of plastics in the packaging.
Shows off the power of the crowd
Anyways good luck and waiting for the next Rheingold Award..Love the hat though.

Digidave

Agree as well. Good choice.

What I like best about this post - it's about Dell but there's a big picture of Howard in it. Rocking.

Jeff Howe

Thanks guys. Knowing that I can help bring like minds together from other sides of the globe gives me immense satisfaction.
@David and Vida--I'm with you guys. I think the Rheingold must incorporate the hat!

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I always like Dell but in one thing that make this site rocking is the pic of Mr.Howard in it......
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Agree as well. Good choice.

What I like best about this post - it's about Dell but there's a big picture of Howard in it. Rocking.


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To be honest, I thought IdeaStorm was just another example of this unfortunate, predictable trend. I couldn't have been more wrong.

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I think this great news to know that dell is the one started ideal storm and every one eyed on them when they took initiative of this idea. I think this is the best way to ask your customers about their choices regarding different products. Thanks for sharing this information!

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It wasn't long before Dell was dealing with more than it'd bargained for. Within ten days Linux fanboys swamped the site, demanding a Dell pre-loaded with the open source operating system.

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