A Thorough Approach to the CrowdSourcing: Its Pros, Cons, and Much More
In the year 2006, Jeff Howe coined a term “crowdsourcing” which described a new way of sourcing people who are willing to help or work on a project. It is examined that crowdsourcing can prove highly feasible and affordable solution for small, manual tasks such as tagging vast amounts of photos, instead of outsourcing to a large company. With the help of this, enough people with sufficient time can be transformed into a lot of available manpower. This post is wholly dedicated to focus on this topic and will acknowledge you the complete approach and concepts of CrowdSourcing.
We are hereby in this blog post going to discuss about the crowdsourcing. Actually in crowdsourcing, one can outsource the task to not only a small group of person, but also tens of thousands of people. One of the most remarkable advantages of crowdsourcing is solving the problems of all kinds of masses at affordable price. There are various questions which must be rising in your minds. You must be thinking that, is it really intelligent to use crowdsourcing? What are the tasks well suited for crowdsourcing? What are the quality crowdsourcing services and much more? But you need not to worry. We will answer every question in this post and will calm down your curiosity.
Introduction to “CrowdSourcing”
Actually crowdsourcing is not a new term; it exists in our society from long years in many ways. webgranth.com/ is often used for translation service. For example, we can say that, Facebook has been using crowdsourcing to translate its website into different languages since 2008. Wikipedia and the encyclopedia written by people from all over the world, as well can be categorized as crowdsourcing. But now it has been with us with different concern and with more catchy meaning.
While starting your new online shopping site and importing thousands of products, you will feel the need to tag and categorize them. This job will seem somewhat tedious for you and may take many hours. In this case you have two options; the one is that you will do it by your own and the other is, you can outsource the work to crowd. Here, the latter option, i.e. to accomplish the action of outsourcing a task to the undefined public is recognized as crowdsourcing.
Types of CrowdSourcing
There are various types of CrowdSourcing. These are CrowdFunding, CrowdSourced Design, and CrowdWisdom. Let us see all of these one by one in detail as mentioned below:
CrowdFunding: It is well known fact that projects are funded by a large group of people, like most charity events. This type of crowdsourcing is said to be CrowdFunding.
For Example: Kickstarter is a great example of CrowdFunding, where millions of dollars are funded into all kinds of projects start from movies to gadgets – with all the funds coming from people interested in supporting the project.
CrowdSourced Design: In second scenario, we find that, projects are funded for a large group of people to target something like either designing or coding; it may be to design something, for example, a website. However, there are so many successfully CrowdSourced designs available; one of the most renowned ones is the Rally Fighter car, which was designed by the community and built by a company called Local Motors.
CrowdWisdom: CrowdWisdom is the third kind of CrowdSourcing where users ask questions in front of a large pool of people willing to answer.
For example: we can take Yahoo Answers . It serves as a community where large corporations post technical or scientific problems to people who can help to solve the questions.
Pros and Cons of CrowdSourcing
As we know that a coin has two surfaces, in the similar manner, CrowdSourcing has both pros and cons. On one side using crowdsourcing brings some genuine advantages to companies and individuals looking to complete defined tasks with affordable price; on other side, sometimes crowdsourcing also becomes the issue of management.
⇒ High number of people who are ready to work for anytime
⇒ CrowdSourcing takes less time to get a job done
⇒ Similar to outsourcing, crowdsourcing is used to cut costs.
⇒ A large pool of participants leads to more ideas
⇒ Sometimes wastage of more of your time for management instead of solution
⇒ An unreliable way to get a job done
⇒ Cheap labor results less credible product as compared to professionals
⇒ Quality could be questionable
⇒ Task considered sometimes become risky
Uses of CrowdSourcing
There are multiple uses of CrowdSourcing, and as it has already been discussed that it is best suited for simple tasks such as tagging, categorizing etc. Let us see some of its uses as discussed below:
⇒ CrowdSourcing can be used building a huge library of photos, products, etc
⇒ It can be used to describe, categorize or tag the inventory while building a new online shopping site.
⇒ One can use it to ask people to fill out a questionnaire regarding the new design
⇒ It is used to get some usability feedback
Tips for Using CrowdSourcing
Once you come to know the advantages and disadvantages of CrowdSourcing, not we would like to give you some tips for using it. While using the CrowdSourcing, you should keep up two things in consideration; the first one is what your problem is and what solution you are seeking, and second one is how much you are willing to pay for the solution.
Below we have shared some of the valuable tips which you should keep in mind when outsourcing jobs to the crowd:
1. Be specific: While outsourcing jobs to the crowd, you must be sure to make a detailed list of what you suppose to be done by the person you are offering the job. It is very much necessary to be specific and straightforward to the task assigned to the individual.
2. Don’t be too cheap: Although, it is fact that CrowdSourcing is cheap, but it doesn’t mean that you should also be too cheap. By this we mean to say that the more you ask from the people, the more you have to give in return. So, don’t be cheap in this context.
3. Have a way of verifying the results: As you will assign tasks to the large crowd of non-professional workers, there is a more chances to vary results can vary greatly. Thus it is very important to have a unique way of verifying the results; you should make sure to state in the job description about what skill or knowledge is required from the user.
4. Weigh your options: It is suggested to weigh your options while using dedicated crowdsourcing services for things like usability testing. Its fact that they will certainly cost more, but they will be more likely to yield better results.
Popular CrowdSourcing Sites
Designed for ScriptLance is the place where employers post a job, and developers from around the world bid for the work, with each offering his/her own rate. It is especially designed for those looking to hire programmers and software developers. It permits to outsource your website programming, design, writing and marketing projects to freelancers.
99designs is a crowd sourced marketplace for all sorts of graphic designs, where buyers post contests for anything from logo to website design, and a large pool of designers submit their designs and bid on the project in an open competition. It is the exact location where one can get a custom made unique logo design at affordable price just starting from $295. It offers an excellent opportunity to host your very own “design contest” where thousands of talented designers compete to create a logo design you love, or your money back.
CrowdSPRING is marketplace for graphic design and is a perfect place for all those who are seeking for the best graphic designs. It is the perfect place where one can put request for a logo or a band which will be completed by several designers. The price per designed project ranges between $200 to several thousand dollars and the average entries per project is more than 110.
Hatchwise is extremely useful for those who are looking forward for a logo design. It works somewhat similar to 99designs where design requests are submitted as competitions, and where designers would submit and bid on the designs.
Feedback Army is an extra-ordinary example of crowdsourcing sites that offers to test your website with the use of crowds. It offers simple, cheap usability testing for your website. It is here, where you can start a usability test for your site within two minutes.
UTest is a well known company offering a wide range of testing types for the web, desktop and mobile applications. It offers software testing that relies on crowdsourcing; it depends upon you, which type of testing services you need. The tests include security testing, functional testing, usability testing etc.
UserTesting is the fastest and cheapest way to get video of visitors speaking their thoughts as they use any particular site, and a written summary describing the problems they encountered. And in this way, it also helps you to find out why users leave your website. It has made the usability testing so easier which has never been before.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk is one of the most popular crowdsourcing sites which provides businesses and developers full access to an on-demand, scalable workforce. It is useful for numerous simple tasks like tagging photos, categorizing products, etc; workers can select from thousands of tasks and work whenever it’s convenient.
InnoCentive is right place for those who are looking to solve complicated questions; it is the place where the world innovates and claims to deliver breakthrough ideas and solutions at lower cost, in shorter time, and with less risk as compared to other. If you are passionate about solving important problems that really matter and you are looking to solve problems and accelerate your innovation capability, then you are most welcomed here. It has set its milestones and has become the first solutions provider on the schedule with a multi-channel open innovation platform and professional challenge development services.
Innovation Exchange is another high-profile crowdsourcing site where diverse community members from all over the world respond to challenges sponsored by Global 5000 companies and not-for-profit organizations. Innovation Exchange is an online open innovation marketplace where innovators develop solutions and the best solutions are submitted for review by the team and the sponsor. It operates in a similar fashion as InnoCentive.