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Crowdsourcing: Types, Principles and Application in Business

Wednesday, December 3, 2014  
Posted by: Admin
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In general, there are 4 primary types of crowdsourcing:

  • Collective intelligence represents sharing your knowledge through brainstorming or through simply using a "suggestion box," where you can drop your idea written on a paper. Companies such as Dell and Starbucks are famous for using collective intelligence as a tool for solving different problems.
  • Crowd creation means joint efforts in the creation of a product or service. For example, Microsoft suggests its users to take part in editing texts of its operational system.
  • Crowd voting is based on crowd's judgments. For instance, Google's search results are results of crowd voting, because they represent the site popularity among Internet users.
  • Crowd funding. The main idea of crowd funding is micro-lending, when lending small sums helps, for example, a talented singer record an album or provide warm lunches for children in poor countries.

Keeping in mind a few simple principles of crowdsourcing, you will have no trouble in using it:

  1. Pick an appropriate audience - a qualified and diversified community. The chosen audience doesn't have to be professional, but at least it has to be represented by people with hobbyist knowledge.
  2. Pick a right incentive - it can be a financial reward, a compliment for the ego, or an opportunity to show altruism. The proper incentive will boost participation and show higher productivity.
  3. State a clear goal - this simple step is a part of any marketing campaign and it eliminates many unnecessary troubles in the future.
  4. Launch a relevant promotion campaign - when you work with an active community, it takes less effort to launch a promotional campaign. You can use word-of-mouth marketing and involve people in social media sharing and blogging. Give an inspiring speech to encourage the crowd to be active in sharing the cause and you can be sure that your motivation will spread. 

Crowdsourcing is a tool through which organizations can get outside ideas and input into their technologies and products. It can also result in innovation or be used for innovative processes.

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