It’s a new trend: everyone is talking about crowdsourcing. Social developments such as crowdsourcing show what social networks can achieve apart from simplifying communication. Ever since the term was coined in 2006, in the US technology journal “Wired,” the concept has spread as quickly as the comprehensive DSL Internet connection coverage. The first CrowdConvention took place in 2011. Representatives from companies, NGOs and in the press met in Berlin. What is behind crowdsourcing? Persons with similar interests and or values come together as the result of a public, usually online appeal from an individual, group or organization and collect information, money or other (im) material resources. The mixture of snowball system and crowd intelligence and the involvement of many people in the respective projects ensure the ideal use of individual skills and resources. Depending on the focus, a large crowd of supporters can be gathered within a short amount of time for the cost-effective implementation of ideas or collection of information. In short: crowdsourcing provides optimum bundling of collective resources. Closely related forms of crowdsourcing are crowdfunding (funding) or crowd testing (software tests.) Well-known examples of crowdsourcing in general are Wikipedia (knowledge), Clickworker (manpower) or Avaaz (signatures.) The term is a neologism composed from crowd and outsourcing. The later represents a negatively connoted business trend that defines the outsourcing of partial tasks in a company to other legal or geographic sectors.
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Social sciences have become aware of this phenomenon in the wake of the expansion of crowdsourcing. One of the first scientific definitions from Christian Papsdorf in 2009, refers to crowdsourcing as a strategy to outsource the traditional values into a community and achieve benefits for both sides. An idea or project, the cost-effective and rapid realization of which involves many unknown players has top priority.
For clickworker, a paid crowdsourcing company, crowdsourcing represents the mediation of members to principals who provide editorial content for editing, need entirely new texts or contract research orders. With the help of a large number of members who process microjobs for a previously defined fee, clickworker can provide principals with high quality services in a short period of time. Internet users become aware of the concept behind clickworker, and possible principals are acquired and informed by means of the clickworker social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Web 2.0 platforms in general.