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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July 23, 2008


Alan Booker

Loose muscles, slowed speech, deep sleep pattern, sounds like excessive consumption of all those elements that excite the senses to me Jeff, welcome back!


Loose muscles, slowed speech, deep sleep pattern, sounds like excessive consumption of all those elements that excite the senses to me Jeff, welcome back!

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I hope you plan to write more about crowdsourcing & politics. I'm particularly interested in how software design affects participation. A friend of mine argues it's all about content, that "no one comes to play with the buttons." But I wonder if that's true, especially since the buttons & what they set in motion (whoosh! dissolve! an elegant fade to black...) are often as much fun to watch as thoroughbreds rumbling to the finish.

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One other passage caught my eye. Dwayne Spradlin, president and CEO of InnoCentive, notes that "more than a third" of InnoCentive solvers have doctorates. My immediate thought on reading this was: only a third?!? I'd always assumed that InnoCentive was one example of crowdsourcing that was resistant to the influx of amateurs that characterizes the phenomenon in general. I thought it an anomaly in this regard, but given that almost all professional science is being conducted by people with PhDs or those working on attaining one, this factoid indicates that maybe InnoCentive is as much an amateur network as, say, iStockPhoto. If anyone at InnoCentive's reading this, could you offer us more insight into the demographics of your solvers? How many of the non-PhDs are coming up with successful solutions?

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Happy to see your blog as it is just what I’ve looking for and excited to read all the posts. I am looking forward to another great article from you.

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I'd be interested in hearing. The TOS seems rather clear that it is not unless expressly approved by Amazon. I guess if the library got it in writing then they would be ok.

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