Monday, September 26, 2011

Working towards a definition of crowdsourcing

Here’s a formal definition (below) that I think is worthy of further consideration. It touches upon a very critical issue: the crowd is asked to engage in a process that helps build the profit margins of a company for free. ( valuable data is mined even from some of the unworkable solutions) And when a crowdsourced solution is rewarded, that dollar amount is far below it’s real value to the firm

“Crowdsourcing takes place when a profit oriented firm outsources specific tasks essential for the making or sale of its product to the general public (the crowd) in the form of an open call over the internet, with the intention of animating individuals to make a contribution to the firm's production process for free or for significantly less than that contribution is worth to the firm. Firms engage in crowdsourcing to inexpensively mobilize the creative work of sometimes highly skilled persons as a resource for the generation of value and profits. Tasks that lend themselves to crowdsourcing include product design, advertising, quality monitoring, and the solution of specific technical problems….”

Science, Technology & Innovation Studies Vol. 4, No 1, July 2008

From: Frank Kleemann, G. Günter Voß Kerstin Rieder Un(der)paid Innovators: The Commercial Utilization of Consumer Work through Crowdsourcing