What is Crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing-in the context of social media, this is a process used by many social bookmarking sites where individuals are allowed to vote on news stories and articles to determine their value and relevancy within the site. Related to other social media concepts such as collaboration and collective intelligence, it can also be a research tool.
Crowdsourcing involves obtaining work, information, or opinions from a large group of people who submit their data via the Internet, social media, and smartphone apps. People involved in crowdsourcing from time to time work as paid freelancers, while others perform small tasks on an unpaid basis. For example, traffic apps like wave encourage drivers to report accidents and other roadway incidents to provide real-time updated information to app users.
Crowdsourcing allows companies to farm out work to people anywhere in the country or around the world, which lets businesses tap into a vast array of skills and expertise without incurring the normal overhead costs of in-house employees.
Crowdsourcing is becoming a popular method to raise capital for special projects. As an alternative to traditional financing options, crowdsourcing taps into the shared interest of a group, bypassing the conventional gatekeepers and intermediaries required to raise capital.
The advantages of crowdsourcing include cost savings, speed, and the ability to work with people who have skills that an in-house team may not have. If a task typically takes one employee a week to perform, a business can cut the turnaround time to a matter of hours by breaking the job up into many smaller parts and giving those segments to a crowd of workers.
Companies that need some jobs done only on occasions, such as coding or graphic design, can crowdsource those tasks and avoid the expense of a full-time in-house employee.
Examples of Crowdsourcing
Many types of jobs can be crowdsourced, including website creation and transcription. Companies that want to design new products often turn to the crowd for opinions. Instead of relying on small focus groups, companies can reach millions of consumers through social media, ensuring that the business obtains opinions from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
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