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Crowdsourcing: A Definition

  • I like to use two definitions for crowdsourcing:

    The White Paper Version: Crowdsourcing is 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.

    The Soundbyte Version: The application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software.

The Rise of Crowdsourcing

  • Read the original article about crowdsourcing, published in the June, 2006 issue of Wired Magazine.
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« Herdict—Using the Crowd to Fight Censorship | Main | If Crowdsourcing is Evil, This is its Soundtrack »

March 10, 2009

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Why should questioning whether crowd-sourcing is ethical be a 'moot question'? Perhaps it's because - deep down - the author realises that crowd-sourcing is undeniably unethical.

Crowd-sourcing (according to the model put forward by CrowdSpring) is a buzzword for exploitation.

Why should so many people have to work for free, and why should the company which set up this god-awful system get paid regardless? It's unfair and completely unreasonable.

It's no surprise that a lot of companies like crowd-sourcing; most want to reduce risk and reduce cost. This type of model allows them to hedge their bets. This model also benefits from harsh economic times - for obvious reasons - which makes the charge of exploitation seem even more apt.

The main supporters of crowd-sourcing are those who are running the show; the people who get paid regardless. I find the whole concept deplorable.

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Love the crowdsourcing article and Brent Frei's comment above: "It seems that no matter how many times history plays out the hand dealt to inefficient markets, the next inefficient market to be assailed wails in protest." Very true. Crowdsourcing irons out a lot of inefficiencies that currently exist in the market, and those who profit from the inefficiencies will obviously not be pleased. http://skillocracy.wordpress.com/ has a good discussion about why those inefficiencies need to be addressed, and why the profit margin for those exploiting them is currently too high.

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