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The Guide to Crowdsourcing

December 1st, 2009 · No Comments · Collaboration

Crowdsourcing is a big idea, but many companies still don’t get it. Having the general public co-work on projects together just doesn’t make sense. Yet, it works and sometimes it works better than anything else.

The best example has to be Wikipedia. The idea of having volunteer writers create the content and edit the world’s largest encyclopedia must have seemed ludicrous to many. It probably still seems crazy. How can it work? Yet it does. In fact, it couldn’t have been as successful any other way.

Now sites like 99Designs an CrowdSpring are allowing companies to open up design projects to the world. Instead of having one person or company create your logo, you can have dozens of people competing for the chance to win your business. As the buyer you only pay the best choice, yet you can get ideas and designs from many different vendors.

Content is Dead

Sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, iStockPhoto, Flikr and virtually any rapidly growing web business have proved that user generated content is a fantastic business model. Why pay to have content created when users will do it for free? The value is in the platform. In fact, if you want a truly scalable business model you have no choice but to have user generated content.

Is Crowdsourcing always the best idea?

Edward Boches has a good post called,  Should you crowdsource even if you’re only gonna get crap?

A talented company or individual can often, but not always outperform low cost crowdsourced alternatives, but there are other reasons to crowdsource. Boches talks about the importance of getting your fans and community emotionally involved with your brand. What better way for your customers to show their love for your product then to have them create their own videos or mashups?

Further Reading
The Rise of Crowdsourcing – Wired.com

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