Is Crowdsourcing a Fad or a Foundational Element?

by Braden Kelley

Much has been written about ‘crowdsourcing’ and the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ over the past couple of years, including “Crowdsourcing” by Jeff Howe – a contributing editor at Wired magazine, and “Wisdom of the Crowd” by James Surowiecki – a staff writer at The New Yorker.

Crowdsourcing – “The act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.” – Jeff Howe

‘Wisdom of the Crowd’ – “Refers to the process of taking into account the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than a single expert to answer a question.” – Wikipedia

For those of you not familiar with crowdsourcing, here is a good video from Jeff Howe:

So, what will happen to ‘crowdsourcing’ and ‘wisdom of the crowd’ as more and more companies start to employ these techniques.

Will the crowd remain wise or lose its predictive powers?

One thing is certain. Organizations will continue to use ‘crowdsourcing’ and ‘wisdom of the crowd’ together to help them find ideas that will resonate with their targets.

Organizations will, however, have to work harder to market their initiatives as the competition increases for people’s time, if they are to maximize the value they accrue from the effort.

What do you think?


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