Just a face in the crowd

People come up with ingenious ideas everyday around the world. It makes perfect sense to utilize the internet as a way to find those people and share ideas.  Companies can reduce their costs of having more employees to come up with all the ideas. They can turn to crowdsourcing to get an outsiders perspective at a much cheaper rate.

Our reading titled Rise of Crowdsourcing was a great introduction, as it detailed four sectors of crowdsourcing. They showed ways media can find photo and video content without paying a higher price for professionals. Companies like Procter & Gamble have extended their network of researchers to 1.5 million through external networks.

It is sad what crowdsourcing is doing to professional photographers who used to make more money on stock images. Their financial future is being affected by amateurs who cost a whole lot less. For companies it makes sense though. They can now complete projects they might not have been able to prior because the price of stock photographer can be bought much cheaper.

Through our readings and lecture this week, there has been a lot of talk about how crowdsourcing can change the world. Our reading titled Jamming for a Smarter Planet further reinforces this idea. The statistic presented that for 72 hours more than 2000 individuals from 40 countries “jammed” on key issues having to do with saving the planet. There are a lot of T shaped people in this world, so finding ways to bring them together to collaborate can only be a good thing.

Some are questioning crowdsourcing and the ability for regular people to come up with ideas that are better than a company’s researchers. Our last reading titled Value of Crowdsourcing touched on an idea generation contest to see how user ideas compared to internal company ideas. As the article went on I found myself cheering for the users. Why wouldn’t they compare? I loved the outcome that user ideas outperformed professional ideas in certain areas. It makes perfect sense that people who deal with a product a lot might have an idea on how to improve it or come up with an idea where that product might be lacking.

Questions to answer:

–          Is there a way the company you work for could crowdsource?

–          If you were able to participate in Jamming for a Smarter Planet, would you?

–          Do you have a hobby or talent that you could use in the crowdsourcing arena?


10 thoughts on “Just a face in the crowd

  1. My company crowdsourced recently when we were working with a graphic design studio to re-do the website. We needed photos, and the designer suggested I go on istock.com and look for photos. This certainly lowered the cost of the project! I was really stunned by the amount of photos up and how quickly you can narrow the results with search fields.

    I can’t see myself voluntarily participating in a Jam session. Only if forced for work. I think it’s too big, too many voices for my taste. I personally wouldn’t find anything fulfilling in it.

    Do I have a talent I could use in crowdsoucing? Good question!! Probably photography, but as we know it’s stiff competition out there now that so many people have access to the same tools to produce something for mass sale. I’m interested to see what other people have to say here.

    1. I think stock photography what me my most likely source of crowdsourcing at work. We also might look for graphic designers to work on projects if we needed too. I think crowdsourcing would be a great way to earn extra money, but I just have to figure out what I could excel in.

  2. I think the company I work for could definitely use crowdsourcing. We already outsource certain jobs to freelancers, so I don’t see much of a difference. I think we’d just have to provide the crowd with our brand standards and guidelines (especially when it comes to designer), otherwise I think it would be a waste of time. We have been trying to get more involved in community events and are now even hosting a weekly farmers’ market. I think projects like this could definitely benefit from crowdsourcing. Since it’s less “healthcare” oriented, these types of projects might be more fun to see what alternative marketing ideas people could come up with. I would definitely particpate in a Jam if I could. I think the best way to become better at what I do is by learning from others and hearing others’ ideas. I would imagine it makes you think outside your daily workload and can help spark your own creativity. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have a talent or hobby that I could crowdsource, but I think if there was a product I liked, I could help brainstorm something about it or try and help with a solution if a company I was familiar with sought out some type of information. I definitely think after this week’s readings, I’ll be more apt to look into crowdsourcing opportunities.

    1. I think I too will now look for more crowdsourcing opportunities that my job could take advantage of. Web development agencies are so expensive, so we might be able to go that route if we need some web dev done for specific projects.

  3. Stacy,

    My company does engage in crowdsourcing. Verizon Wireless is always looking for innovative ideas utilizing technology in the healthcare and educational sectors. Check out this article http://news.verizonwireless.com/news/2013/04/crowdsourcing-innovation.html

    Yes, I would participate in a Jamming conversation. I actually think they are cool and very beneficial to everyone involved. I like to hear and see other peoples opinions and ideas regarding various topics.

    Mmmm, as far as my skills go? I guess you could say I could be crowdsourced to come up with effective models for interpreting in different companies. I have several ideas that I think a bunch of companies (especially in the medical field) could benefit from. And I also have an amazing idea for producing better and more reliable news content. i think the TV news format needs a dramatic makeover and I have an idea that I believe will deliver the news we need to hear while also helping TV stations retain their audience and still be able to generate advertisements. What about you? What are your skills that you can crowdsource?

    1. I love that you’re an idea generator and are coming up with ways to spruce up some industries. If there was a way to crowdsource crafting, I’d jump right on it. I’m very artsy in the sense of recreating ideas I find online. If I see a craft on Pinterest, I love the challenge of trying to recreate it. I’m also teaching myself how to sew but am not at a level yet of lending my skills to someone else.

  4. “If you were able to participate in Jamming for a Smarter Planet, would you?”

    As a futurist – HA! – I like the idea of talking about ideas that could better society, but that would be a general point of view. To me, this type of crowdsourcing is valuable as it helps lead a company but doesn’t take the work out of the engineers/developer’s hands, i.e. cost them their jobs.

    Crowdsourcing is a tough issue with me. I like the idea of getting input from various points of views, but I don’t want to use the crowd as cheap/free labor. It’s like not paying an intern — for the love of everything that is sacred, PAY INTERNS … ahem. The use of many to do the job of one for free isn’t right unless you can convince me otherwise.

  5. Stacy – I loved your post! You are like me in that you see the positivity in crowdsourcing, and are less skeptical than some of our cohorts. As for your questions:

    – Is there a way the company you work for could crowdsource?
    No – since we are a nonprofit blood bank, it’s not really the type of organization that could crowdsource. We do ask for volunteers a lot via social media, which I do think of as a type of crowdsourcing.

    – If you were able to participate in Jamming for a Smarter Planet, would you?
    Yes I would love to! I’d especially like to read the thoughts of my peers and others.

    – Do you have a hobby or talent that you could use in the crowdsourcing arena?
    As a matter of fact, I first learned of hitRECord because my background is in video editing. I was looking for ways to expand on my reel, and came upon that website. I’d love to collaborate with others on a meaningful project (like the one mentioned in my post this week), but life gets in the way and I just don’t have the time.

    1. I think using social media is a great way to crowdsource. I remember you saying once you ask your customers what type of products they wanted to receive for giving blood. I definitely think that counts.

      I hear you about life getting in the way. There are just not enough hours in the day.

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