What is crowdsourcing? (part 1/2)
The term is composed of the words “crowd” and “outsourcing.” It originally attracted attention in 2006, when the American journalist, Jeff Howe, published his article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” in “Wired” magazine. Howe ascribes the origins of crowdsourcing to the open-source movement and predicts a radical development with regard to the future production of goods in terms of the manufacturing process, the persons participating as well as the costs involved. The journalist, who, in 2008, also published the book “Crowdsourcing – Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business”, sees crowdsourcing as a process in which a company locates volunteers who are willing to process specific tasks via the Internet. The companies benefit from outsourcing internal tasks to a crowd of outsiders.
Crowdsourcing – Development
Although Web 2.0 was conducive to set the “knowledge of the crowd” into motion, it was used much earlier. For example in 1879, when James Murray, the philologist and editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, asked his English-speaking readers to provide references for unusual as well as standard words. This resulted from the desire to create a dictionary of the English language that documented the origins of the words. However, the founders of the Oxford English Dictionary soon realized that the task could not be mastered by single persons and that they would have to recourse to the help of the crowd. The response was overwhelming and resulted in the most extensive and significant English dictionary.
Today the Internet offers new, improved forms of cooperation with the crowd. The obvious benefit is the speed with which the crowd of users can be activated in the Web. Platforms such as Wikipedia pool the knowledge of all participating users; on WikiLeaks anonymous whistleblowers disclosed secret documents pertaining to public matters, and fans can support their favorite projects on the funding platform, Kickstarter.Continuation