Crowdsourcing Trends

What are Crowdsourcing Trends?

Most people are unfamiliar with the term crowdsourcing. It is one of the significant trends on the World Wide Web. Crowdsourcing is the outsourcing of internal partial tasks to an external group of users on the Internet. Crowdsourcing trends are when something is developing or changing towards a certain direction.

So, in this case, a crowdsourcing trend would be where companies are adopting crowdsourcing in their business practice over more traditional methods. This is certainly something that has seen an increase in recent years so can certainly be called a trend. Some companies also employ small aspects of crowdsourcing or on a temporary basis. However, some companies have utilised the crowd in much larger ways.

Crowdsourcing Trends ©   Flikr by Jon Gosier

Past, Present, and Future Trends

Since “crowdsourcing” is a combination of several words it is therefore a neologism, the creation of a new expression. Jeff Howe initially mentioned it in 2006, in his article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing.” Crowdsourcing trends might well be significant in the future too. An increasing number of companies are falling back on this clever system and making use of the knowledge and ideas scattered all over the world. In the long-term it could actually become a standard business model and provide a platform for the ideas of the crowd on the Internet. The trend is going towards the outsourcing of externs who do not belong to the core business of the company.

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Who Uses Crowdsourcing?

One is hardly aware of the many, often large, companies that work with the crowdsourcing principle. The most well-known example is Wikipedia. This project attempts to unite global knowledge into an encyclopedia in which everyone can participate. OpenStreetMap works according to a similar system with the aim of creating a free map of the world.

Current Top Crowndsourcing Trends

Crowdsourcing has come a long way since the use of wikis and open source websites. Here are some trends that you may even use yourself:

  • Crowdfunding: This has become more popular in recent years yet companies still use it to fund new ideas and services. Individuals may even use it to pay for their expenses or for charity. Examples here are sites such as IndieGoGo and GoFundMe.
  • Decentralisation: Efficiency is focused here. Instead of the traditional hierarchy of a company, the crowd is used. Decisions don’t just coming from higher management, jobs are given to mid management and then shared with the crowd. A good example of this would be Uber and Lyft. Standard transportation companies would have a central office that delegated jobs to employees. With Lyft, upper management has more time to focus more marketing and innovation whilst mid-management oversees the crowdworkers who drive their own cars in their own time.
  • Marketplaces: These specific marketplaces are growing in popularity. They work in the respect that creators and inventors put forward their ideas and the crowd or company votes on them. Therefore, those who get the highest votes will see their wares sold on the platform. An example of this is Amazon Launchpad. Whilst it’s aimed mainly at companies already on the site it does welcome those outside of it. Lego and Minted are other organizations that follow the voting method.
  • Further Crowdsourcing Trends

  • Micro Tasks: These tasks are often part of a much larger project. AI is often trained with large numbers of tasks done by humans usually online. clickworker.com is a prime example of this method. Microtasks are often used by AI companies, data scientists, museums, manufacturers, and more.
  • User-Generated Content: Getting the crowd involved can be highly beneficial if you’re wanting to create awareness of a product or service. Content campaigns can also create brand awareness, these are often done via social media. The audience is invited to create content for prizes. However, companies need to set rules and regulations in order to sift out bad or irrelevant content. Netflix once offered a $1M prize for someone who could create the best ratings prediction algorithm.
  • Co-Creation: This business strategy focuses on the interactions and experiences of their customers. Getting fans and users to be more involved in their processes can also be highly beneficial. Whilst not strictly crowdsourcing it does have a lot in common. Being asked to be part of innovation will create customer loyalty as well as bring new ideas to the table. Rust-Oleum created an online innovation community. They focused on DIY projects and brought new products to life to solve problems and satisfy the common desires of the public.