Archives
Recent Posts
Subscribe
Enter your email address to subscribe to the Brand Algorithms blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Home : Blog : March 2013

Crowdsourcing - Whole Greater Than Sum of Parts

March 25, 2013 by Brand Algorithms
Crowdsourcing is the practice of throwing open a task (creative, problem-solving, financial, community, knowledge-building, project-execution, product development), for completion, to a curated list of individuals and entities outside the group whose direct responsibility the completion of the task is, or to the world at large; with the objectives of executing the task in a shorter time-frame or more efficiently.

Crowdsourcing has been around for long, despite the recent hype surrounding the practice. The earliest documented instance of crowdsourcing took place in the 19TH Century (CE), when work on a new dictionary of the English language (which was later to be named The Oxford English Dictionary) was supplemented through the use of the services of volunteers, and then the general public, in English-speaking geographies, to report quotations for ordinary words.

The rise of the Internet, and the increasing amounts of time individuals spend online, have allowed the practice of crowdsourcing to be adopted more widely, and for smaller and more select tasks; thereby contributing to the recent buzz surrounding the practice. The self-organising capability of the Internet, into digital communes based on interests and credos, and the near-instantaneous flow of information between members, are the prime factors for the greater effectiveness of crowdsourcing in the Internet era.

Examples of crowdsourcing range from the well-known to the obscure, and from tasks as simple as copy-editing to those as complex as protein folding. Wikipedia is a well-known example of crowdsourcing, knowledge-documentation being the task; reCAPTCHA is another example, not explicitly known as a crowdsourced exercise, of a program that aims to digitize books, newspapers, and old radio shows, on the side, while providing authentication that a visitor to a digital property is a human; and Foldit is a freely downloadable game that uses the skills of gamers to solve protein-folding problems.

Not everything connected to crowdsourcing has to do with problem-solving or information-gathering, though. Other activities can range from financial funding for a start-up idea (kickstarter.com), to identifying growth opportunities in companies (with all employees participating, rather than just the C-suite), to uncovering new product ideas or detailing future product roadmap.

India had its share of crowdsourced exercises too. Last year companies such as Parle Agro, Hero Motocorp, and Micrograam, among many others, took the crowdsourcing route for tasks as varied as identifying locations where a snack brand was not available with the local retailer, creating a brand communications video, and connecting philanthropic urban HNIs to talented and entrepreneurial rural individuals, respectively.

The infographic below, from crowdsourcing.org, organizes the various available online crowdsourcing communities and platforms (as on November 2011) into the core functional areas in which crowdsourcing projects are initiated.

Crowdsourcing Whole Greater Than Sum Of Parts


Organisations looking to utilise an external community to work on specific business assignments have to ensure that they are well-equipped and fully prepared, before embarking on a crowdsourcing exercise; especially if the external community is not a curated group. There are five domains where the organization will have to carry out its due diligence.
  • Process
    A clear and robust set of processes has to be in place, as a starting point, before embarking on a crowdsourcing initiative. The processes will cover a range of decision points:
    • Is the proposed project a good fit for a crowdsourcing initiative?
    • The scope of the crowdsourcing: microtasking, crowdfunding, curated "crowd", etc.
    • The contours of the crowdsourcing initiative: reward, duration, qualifications, etc.
    • The execution mechanism for the crowdsourcing initiative
    • Calendar and content for communications to participants
    • Tracking progress towards achievement of project objectives
    • Closing the initiative
    • Intimating participants about the acceptance or rejection of their contributions
    • Intimating participants about the final "product" resulting from the crowdsourcing initiative
    • Programme manager for the crowdsourcing initiative
  • Technology
    Crowdsourcing has become more widespread thanks to the Internet, and it is imperative that technology is actively used to set-up, execute, and monitor a crowdsourcing initiative. The use of the technology will be at three levels:
    • Technology Platform - Utilising specialised crowdsourcing software platforms to manage and monitor the crowdsourcing project.
    • Infrastructure - Building or leasing computing and networking infrastructure to host the platforms that manage the crowdsourcing initiative.
    • Security - Defining and implementing bespoke security processes and systems, respectively, to ensure that the crowdsourcing initiative does not result in IT infrastructure break-ins or compromises, the theft of confidential information, or compromises to participants' systems.
  • Reward/Remuneration

    Crowdsourcing in some of its manifestations, e.g. microtasking, has run into a barrage of criticism, especially in the USA, of achieving its objectives at less than minimum wages. Organisations need to be careful not to be seen as exploiting a weak labour market or engaging in arbitrage, in case the crowdsourcing model is based on remuneration. In case the model is rewards-based, the reward should not be seen as either miserly or overly generous.

    In addition, there is the task of managing the expectations of participants. Some participants may think their contributions invaluable, only to see them rejected. It is imperative that the organisation addresses the participants as though they were virtual employees whenever it frames any communication to the group or to specific individuals within the group.

  • Legal
    The organisation will have to ensure that crowdsourcing contributions are sufficiently vetted for copyrighted material, and that all contributions are original. In addition, the organisation will have to make its stand clear, at the beginning itself, about who owns the rights to ideas and content submitted by participants in a crowdsourcing initiative.
  • HR
    Finally, in many cases, a crowdsourcing initiative has a barely visible effect on the team whose responsibility the task, now crowdsourced, originally was. The organisation should communicate to the concerned team that the decision to crowdsource is not a reflection on the capabilities and competence of the team. If the crowdsourcing initiative is to succeed, the involvement and active participation of the original team is a must, with programme management of the initiative being its responsibility.
A thin line separates democracy from ochlocracy (mobocracy): a line delineated by laws and their enforcement. Similarly, a thin line separates crowdsourcing from babblement, and that thin line is drawn using tools from the above operational domains and disciplines of an organisation.
Tags: Crowdsourcing, Digital Communes, Technology Platform
Authored by:

LATEST COMMENTS

ブランド僖コピ` 棕棕棕棕棕孱 F-------怛-------糾 V棕棕棕棕椒屮薀鵐彪 ォ................................. _(._.)_ ルブタン 僖 コピ`、シャネルブランド僖 グッチ僖爾芦コピ`、バ`バリ`僖コピ` クリスチャンルブタン僖コピ` ォ.................................(* ^ - ^* ) ¥*宥しますご廣猟を豚棋しています*¥ ?☆?音棋鯉で、慚造淵妊競ぅ?☆? ?☆?宥殪圓よく、彭伉仇がいい?☆? ?☆?挫きな咾臨倔xk宀?☆? ¥Z哭高R* ^ - ^ *僕創o創(晩云畠忽) 粂芥粂芥 潯皐食皐殖テ警|隠^ 祭祓U 佚喘の及1。 £ブランド僖仟恬寄繁殱抖燃! £僖ブランドコピ`宥繁殘惻! aブランド http://www.copysale.net
Comment by: aブランド


For anyone interested in buying an affordable katana, I suggest that you do some homework first. There are several major manufacturers, mostly in China, making swords these days, but quality is going to vary. best katana http://www.trueswords.store/Sword-Over-500-c13590/
Comment by: best katana


This is my first sword. It came in perfect condition. The handle and wrapping were tight. The blade was very nice with no defects. The sword has a good edge but needed some final sharpening to slice stuff up. I filled a plastic bottle with water and it busted/cut it some and knocked it into the bushes. I sharpened it a little and re-tried my test. It sliced through with so little resistance it was a little scary. This thing is ready to go now. I also waxed the scabbard and it really made it shine. If its as tough as the videos show...its a keeper. I also bought a bokken to practice with.....which was a good call because a mistake might cost me some stitches or worse. :D japanese katana http://www.handmadesamurai.com/Clay-Tempered-Katana-c13145/
Comment by: japanese katana


Purchased this Katana for my son. I am not terribly familiar with Japanese swords but am very happy with my purchase. The sword arrived significantly before the expected delivery date and was in perfect condition. Unpacked, the sword is contained in a decorative cloth bag with a gold cord with tassels. The wooden sheath is high gloss black with some decorative accents and very nice in appearance and quality. The Katana itself to me seems to be very well made with a sharp edge. Taking off the protective plastic sleeve and removing the factory oil protectant reveals a beautiful dark reddish/brown hue. I am extremely pleased with the Katana and sure my son will be thrilled. 100% satisfied. Ninja Sword http://www.bestkatana.com/Ninja-c13951/
Comment by: Ninja Sword



LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*