Before I read this article I knew crowdsourcing existed, however it wasn’t very clear to me the ways they were being used. Crowdsourcing, like outsourcing takes advantage of people willing to work for less money, however instead of sending their work elsewhere they use technology to bring people to their work.
I’d like to use the following music video as an example: Click Here For Music Video.
This music video is crowdsourced. They use the people watching it to create different effects in the video. The only thing they had to do was advertise their site and whoever visited it became a part of the video; they never had to look for anyone. If they wanted to put these effects in themselves they would have to spend more time, energy, and money to create the effect but instead let people like you do the work for free.
This is essentially what crowdsourcing is. The article for this week described different scenarios in which crowdsourcing has been applied to major businesses. The first was in photography. Professional photographers are getting the short end of the stick due to companies like iStockphoto. Originally their works could be purchased to be used for over $100 however iStockphoto takes advantage of amateur photographers and sells their work for a few dollars. In comparison this is much cheaper than seeking out a professional. Crowdsourcing presents the same problem that outsourcing does. You are taking away business from one group of people and giving it to another, all for a cheaper price. Many would think this is a bad thing because people like the professional photographer loses out on what he’s made his living out to be. And in the case of outsourcing to different countries, it greatly hinders our economy, which I do not like at all. However in this circumstance I believe creating an environment for people to share their creativity, professional or not, is a great opportunity for both these companies creating this space as well as those taking advantage of it.
Another example that the article presented was InnoCentive, InnoCentive allows people outside of companies to help develop drugs and speed the process of getting them onto the market. This is creating another space for people to share their creativity and knowledge to help solve some challenges when it comes to developing these drugs. What InnoCentive helps to accentuate though is that you find knowledge through crowdsourcing that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to access within the network itself which does wonders for the industry and in general for the public because then new drugs are available for them faster or are available to them when otherwise they might not have been.
Overall I think crowdsourcing is great.