Friday, 22 October 2010

Crowdsourcing - A New Trend

Crowdsourcing is a term coined by Jeff Howe back in 2006. Howe describes crowd sourcing as search and selection of services among many participants, thus the wisdom of crowds can be harnessed to produce solutions and results beyond the capability of a single person as well as speed of innovation is exponential.

Crowdsourcing is ideal for a variety of business. It is also particularly well to trends, promoting technological or social issues.

Technology - Operating system like Linux & open source games like Wesnoth are developed by volunteers. Crowd sourcing is a preferred to improve GUI or code.

Stock Photography - Stockphoto website like iStockphoto has wide range of professional but cheap images.

Fashion Design - Threadless is all about T-shirt design. All its design comes directly from the Threadless community.

Knowledge Management - Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia in many languages. It is a genuine alternative to Google in the field of knowledge search.

Commercial Marketing - Poptent is a crowdsourcing solution that connects brand marketers with videographers to produce low cost, high quality commercial videos for use online or in television.

Automotive - Fiat500 had its fans involvment in the product development. Ideas and inspiration for the design of exhaust, side mirrors and more were generated using crowdsourcing.

Tourism - RUF Travel Community had its RUF Travelers in a step by step manner to generate all the contents for their website.

Music - Sellabrand members got the share in the profits and the musicians got a chance to present themselves and a chance of a professional CD-production.

Upcoming endeavours have been relying seriously on crowdsourcing to either reduce cost or generate profits. It produces a win-win circumstance for CrowdContractors and CrowdContributors. CrowdContractors can use crowdsourcing in combination with other methods. Still very few CrowdContractors have truly engaged this approach on leveraging the crowd and the competency of the Web. On the other hand, CrowdContributors get a opportunity to win challenges that earn them considerable amount of incentives and reputation. They can use technology to assist open debate on each of the assignments and commenting on each other's work.

The use of crowd sourcing strategies is not always without risks. Faulty move in crowdsourcing can rapidly reach any damage to your brand and position. Let’s see how to use crowd sourcing in six steps successfully.

1. Plan a crowdsourcing project
  • Create a good project plan.
  • Create scenarios and strategies for the success of your project.
  • Make adequate procedure for negative publicity.
  • Have a clear view of your objectives & make it organized. Without which the CrowdContributors objectives would be less clear and organized.
  • Put forth lots of discussions and brainstorming.
  • Find member to create the new technology for this project.
2. Move from small to big
  • Start with small clearly defined tasks.
  • Optimize your process.
3. Focus on team member than technology
  • Need for a visible supervisor.
  • Common goal for all team members.
  • Team member participation is necessary.
  • Exploit members for new trends and development through ideas.
4. Transparent communication with CrowdContributors
  • Provide adequate information and specifications.
  • Give timely feedbacks to all relevant questions.
  • Goal, plans and steps should be communicated quickly and directly.
  • Use all means of social media networks for communication.
5. Availability of resources
  • Beginning with a handful of team members to thousands of CrowdContributors would need a rapid shift to powerful servers.
  • Make sure you external communication is not effected due to overwhelm CrowdContributors.
6. Check all legal issues
  • Check all participants’ contribution with copyrighted works & legal issues.
  • Output is free of trademark, etc.
7. Measure success
Each following items can be calculated for a day, a week, a month, a quarter, ever 6 months or a year.

  • Total of subscribed users.
  • Total new subscriptions.
  • Percentage of new subscription (from 0.5% to 20%, in most websites between 1% and 5%).
  • Total visitors.
  • Percentage paying for premium.
  • Various other conversion goals.
  • Number or percentage users just viewing items (Usually around 90%).
  • Number or percentage users editing items (Usually around 10%).
  • Number or percentage users creating items (Usually around 1%).
      Social networking
  • Total number of inter-people connections.
  • Average people connections per person. This should be < 20 for a beginning community, slightly < 100 for a stable one and around 150 for a very relation oriented community.
  • Dunbar measure: average number of connections between 2 members.
  • Max people or friend connections. 144 people are the max number of known and followed people in real life – online it usually goes over 200.
  • Min people or friend connections. Generally 1, won’t be useful for everyone. This has to be adapted to your business.
      Editions and creations
  • Average, max or min editions number per user, item, category or site.
  • Average, max or min creations number per user, category or site.
  • Percentage of editions per user, item, category or site.
  • Percentage creation per user, category or site.
  • Average, max or min size per user, item, category or site.
  • Average, max or min number of characters, words or paragraphs per user, item, category or site.
  • Average, max or min links with other items per user, item, category or site.
  • Average, max or min income per user, item, category or site.
  • Percentage of the global income per user, item, category or site.
  • Average, max or min time to finish or achieve high quality.
  • Average, max or min size for finished or high quality items.
  • Average, max or min votes per user, item, category or site.
  • Average, max or min back links per user, item, category or site.
  • Average, max or min rolls back per user, item, category or site.
  • Average, max or min duplicates per category or site.
  • Average, max or min abuses per user, item, category or site.
More information -;;;