Innovations that have significantly changed our lives in recent years seem to be significantly linked to Web 2.0 conquering the Internet landscape. In the case of a knowledge gap, we “google” appropriate terms and then usually end up on Wikipedia, where articles are written and corrected collectively and without pay. To share news with friends, we write on their Facebook wall, and instead of sending postcards, we simply report on our holiday in our own blog.
In short, we no longer just use the Internet to consume information: we are often actively involved in providing content ourselves. At the same time, thanks to Web 2.0, people from different parts of the world can interact and work together on projects without being in the same place at the same time. This is also the starting point of crowdsourcing.
What is crowdsourcing?
A crowdsourcing definition was first used in 2006 by The Lender in an article for Wired magazine. Crowd sourcing, according to Howe, is a task that is usually performed by a designated third party – usually an employee – an anonymous crowd (“crowd”). There is an outsourcing of the work in the form of an open call. For example, the public may be called upon to design the design together for a new product packaging or to contribute their own ideas for the development of a new technology. In this way, all sorts of products are created online: from cookery books, to guidebooks, to clothes and shoes.
Crowdsourcing definition today
Today, however, the term crowdsourcing needs to be broadened even further. Because the “crowd” does not only do tasks directly for companies via the internet. Instead, complete products are manufactured independently or new business models are made possible. The most famous example of this kind of crowdsourcing is probably Wikipedia, where many registered and non-registered authors write articles free of charge, which in turn are then jointly corrected and updated. The entire business model is based on the design of the offer by the crowd. Crowdfunding and p2p-lending are crowdsourcing as well: Financing of private or business projects is made possible by the liquidity of private investors – the crowd.
Crowdsourcing examples and crowdsourcing platforms
Our infographic shows just how colorful the use of crowdsourcing is in Germany alone and illustrates various crowdsourcing examples and crowdsourcing platforms.
Crowdfunding is an area of crowdsourcing where the crowd funds projects. In June, we were able to report on it in a blog series on crowdfunding in German-speaking countries in detail and introduce German-language crowdfunding platforms. In p2p lending, loans are issued by private individuals to private individuals. Hereby, a potential borrower presents his loan request and the associated project online, which is then directly financed by an anonymous group of private investors. Here we are on The Lender.
The Auto, Rent-n-Roll and Neighborhood Car platforms allow people who have never met before to lend each other cars. The car rental companies benefit from additional income while they do not need the car, and the tenants from lower prices than conventional car hire.
Similar to the crowdsourcing of cars, people who do not know each other exchange their clothes here. Klamottentausch.net and Swapinthecity.de organize events in different cities, to which one then takes their own pieces of clothing, which one would like to get rid of, and exchanges them for new clothes on site. Garmz also uses the principle of crowdsourcing in conjunction with dresses. In comparison with the giants of the industry, it is difficult for small designers to produce their own pieces, let alone sell them without their own store. Garmz gives individual designers the opportunity to put their designs online and present them to the public. The visitors of the site then cast their votes and the most successful designs are produced and sold in the online shop.
In this section can be obtained via travel guides, accommodations or transport to the holiday destination a lot about crowdsourcing. So can easily find someone who plans a trip to a certain place and still has a place in the car free. The ride is then gentle on the environment and saves costs for all concerned. You will quickly find a free or at least cheap accommodation, because here travelers worldwide are connected with people who live at the respective destination and offer their apartments for interim rent.
In the so-called coworking workspaces are temporally flexible by different start-ups, freelancers, creatives, etc. used. At the same time it encourages the exchange of ideas between those who work in the coworking space, which do not have to come from the same industry. Often projects that are created in coworking spaces, so completely new facets. Coworking Spaces are distributed all over Germany, Betahaus and Club Office are among the providers. serves a niche in this area and wants to enable parents to better combine work and childcare. Parents support each other in childcare so that several parents can work while others look after them.
Crowdsourcing does not always have to be about products that can be held in the hand after a successful project; knowledge and expertise can also be collected and used collectively like Wikipedia. Examples of platforms where questions are asked and answered by the crowd.
To tackle some projects requires expertise in a specific field, for example, to create an animated short film for promotional purposes, or to program a specific software. For this, companies often have to resort to expensive agencies or experts. This can be avoided with different crowdsourcing platforms by bringing together a large number of freelancers with specialized skills in a large community. A company places the order and the desired price online on these platforms and waits for members of the community to apply for the order. As soon as a suitable member from the community has been found, he realizes the project. At large jobs are broken up into many small jobs, which are then distributed to thousands of people called clickworkers. The orders are the writing of texts, translations or research. 12designers uses crowdsourcing to create illustrations, graphics and other designs such as company logos and social media designs. Through Elance, projects and assignments from all sorts of fields can be made to a community of authors, marketing experts, IT specialists, tax consultants, etc., based on the same principle.
The crowdsourcing of marketing measures are among others can commission SEO and social media campaigns, which are then run by a member of the community. Through Fiveo, those interested can buy online marketing services for little money. in contrast to social media and online marketing on the well-tried word of mouth. Members test products and put their opinion online. The companies participating in the project receive free feedback on product development.
So crowdsourcing can produce, improve, develop, finance and trade everything imaginable. With clothes, cars, 3-course menus, marketing campaigns and videos, the crowd can do it all, and everyone has a chance to participate and share their ideas.
Interested: Have you had any experience with crowdsourcing? Do you know other areas where crowd sourcing is used? Which crowdsourcing platforms are there?