Crowdsourcing Grows Beyond ‘Industry’
In Crowdsourcing is Not an Industry, Let’s Stop Calling it One David Bratvold of Daily Crowdsource brings up some worthy points to prove it. The piece was a strong showing, but I think there’s more to this debate than we’re taking into account. The crux of this debate lies not only in linguistic and symantic dissonance, but something larger. Something which grows out of the nature of the information era we live in.
I’ll admit – I have stumbled on this cobblestone of vocabulary as well. Even in my opening speech at Crowdconvention, I asked, “Where are we as a market? “ And then I took it to the next level and said, “Where are we, maybe, as an industry – well, that’s a big word for what we are doing here…“ Though I wavered I don’t think I need to eat my words just yet. I think the newness of what crowdsourcing does on an international scale and the way people and companies implement is industry at its best!
Whether we’re crossing the chasm, or in the tornado (as tech business writer Geoffrey A. Moore describes it) – we are all driven by this 21st century process, market, or industry of crowdsourcing. A sort of barn raising on steroids.
If we think of industry in the 20th century view, I would agree – crowdsourcing is not cars or steel. But if we go to the classical meaning of industry it makes sense. Coming from the Latin word industria, meaning ‘diligent activity directed to some purpose’ captures perfectly what crowdsourcing is all about.
One of the things I love about technology is the way traditional ideas and practices get re-purposed. One of my favorites is how online retailers “merchandise”. Germans are good at making nouns into verbs, but this is really great.
When Language Fails
But maybe the word industry itself has been outgrown in this era of an international, mobile world. As the historians say, the basis of how we work has changed fundamentally. We have moved out of the industrial- and well into the informational-era. And the way we do business and how we organize ourselves directly reflects this. To keep the metaphor of barn raising going: those 18th century ropes could now be represented by the Internet and the men pulling the planks together could be any person with skills anywhere in the world.
Even if crowdsourcing is changing the way we work and do business, and evolving into a more open – in this case open-source–format, we still use 20th century vocabulary.
Crowdsourcing may very well employ the same amount of people in the future as one of the traditional industry sectors today.
As Jeff Howe says: the rise of “crowdsourcing” as a phrase, “the ‘what’ of what was being produced is going to be incredibly diverse.”
And even great crowdsourcing insiders like Carl Esposti call it an industry – probably because that’s simply the vocabulary we have to use. (Mr. Esposti has even created a very useful crowdsourcing industry.)
Where Do We Go From Here?
Despite my comments, I do agree with David Bratvold on one main point: Crowdsourcing is misunderstood. The ever-so-slightly complicated process of crowdsourcing has always been confusing before someone came along with a concise way to talk about it. Think Twitter or Wikipedia, both of which use crowdsourcing and have created their own language specific to their products to make it easily understandable (i.e. tweets, wikis, etc.) But I see the question of whether crowdsourcing is an industry as part of that reinvention which we need to embrace, and the vocabulary will sort itself out.
What do you think?
Is this all just in-fighting, or does this the label change your idea of the crowdsourcing world? David Bratvold and I will continue this conversation here and on Daily Crowdsource, but we need your input. Please chime in at the crowdsourcing forum thread
No related posts.
Dieser Artikel wurde am 07.July 2011 von Wolfgang Kitza geschrieben.
We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website.
Find further information in our data protection policy. Change cookie settings.
Cookies are small text files that are cached when you visit a website to make the user experience more efficient.
We are allowed to store cookies on your device if they are absolutely necessary for the operation of the site. For all other cookies we need your consent.
You can at any time change or withdraw your consent from the Cookie Declaration on our website. Find the link to your settings in our footer.
Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot properly without these cookies.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as additional cookies.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!