Crowdsourcing is a powerful tool, and is fast becoming a standard way of getting what we all collectively want, even dream about. However, it isn’t the easiest to explain. So here’s a page dedicated to doing so in multiple ways, at multiple levels. What’s the official definition? According to the Jeff Howe, who coined the term in 2006 via his Wired magazine article, the short version is “the application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software,“, and the long version is “the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.“ You can read longer definitions via its Wikipedia entry. What are examples? This is probably the most helpful to answer, and only until very recently was it properly addressed, thus why this entry wasn’t published until now. You can now check out hundreds of examples via four categories in the public wiki, Crowdsourcing Examples, endorsed by Jeff Howe. It needs a crowdfunding and community-sponsored category though. What books can I read to learn more? Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe, 2008 We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production: The Power of Mass Creativity by Charles Leadbetter, 2008 Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky, 2008 We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash the Power of Crowds in Your Business by Barry Libert and Jon Spector, 2008 Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott, 2006 The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki, 2005 Videos? Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe. We Think by Charles Leadbetter. What blogs can I read to learn more? None other than Jeff Howe’s own crowdsourcing blog, and of course, the site you’re presently on .
This article presents the 101 on crowdsourcing, providing a definition, examples and sources for further reading.
A start for those looking to learn about the fundamentals of crowdsourcing.