2,526 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
For the past few weeks now, we've been looking at how people feel about the five different types of Crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing.org teamed up with KL Communications to do an in-depth sentiment analysis, combing through the myriad comments on social networks and across the web, tallying up the number of mentions of different Crowdsourcing platforms to try and measure which are the most buzzed about, and also making a note of whether the attitude expressed was positive or not.
(For a more in-depth description of sentiment analysis and what we discovered about the public’s opinion of Crowdsourcing in general, check out the first article in this series, The five Crowdsourcing categories ranked: Popularity in social media.)
We've already examined how the online public seems to feel about Crowdfunding, as well as Cloud Labor. Now, this week we're going to look at the data for Crowd Creativity platforms. Here's how we defined Crowd Creativity for the purposes of the study:
Tapping of creative talent pools to design and develop original art, media or content. Crowdsourcing is used to tap into online communities of thousands of creatives to develop original products and concepts, including photography, advertising, film, video production, graphic design, apparel, consumer goods, and branding concepts.
Crowd Creativity benefits from being the second most talked-about type of Crowdsourcing--that is to say that if you add up all the mentions of platforms like Soundcloud and others in the category, that sum is second only to total mentions of Distributed Knowledge platforms, which benefits from having well-established and popular names like Wikipedia and Digg under its umbrella.
Soundcloud is far and away the leading Crowd Creativity platform in terms of absolute buzz (total mentions). Of the more than 2.8 million total mentions of such leading platforms online, nearly 2.1 million reference Soundcloud; the next most buzzed-about platform is artist hang-out DeviantART with over 370,000 total mentions; global fashion community Polyvore comes in third with more than 122,000 mentions.
The second tier of Crowd Creativity sites, as measured by absolute buzz, is an eclectic mix of platforms serving a number of niches. Design sites 99 Designs and Designboom lead the way, while Fluevog delivers "open-source shoes," and HarperCollins' authonomy looks to pluck undiscovered authors from the crowd.
When we look at the growth in buzz (what KL Communications terms "Normalized Buzz") for Crowd Creativity platforms, most saw slow, steady growth in general. Soundcloud and Society6 enjoyed more substantial growth, while Polyvore rocketed to new heights of recognition. The style and trend-setting community site has clearly benefited from partnerships forged with the likes of the Washington Post and Facebook. Some of those initiatives are just getting underway, so there's reason to believe the platform still has plenty of room to grow.
When we dig a little deeper into the data to try and evaluate how many of the mentions for each platform actually expressed a positive sentiment, it seems that while Crowd Creativity sites still receive plenty of positive buzz, the percentage isn't quite as high as we've seen in some of the other Crowdsourcing categories. I could make some conjectures here about the competitive and saturated nature of the various creative pursuits, but there's really just not enough data to back the notion up.
I can say that in general the most popular platforms in each category typically have the highest proportions of negative buzz--this seems to be a consequence of increased exposure. More interaction with a site inevitably generates a few more critics, apparently. The same holds true here with Crowd Creativity, where Soundcloud and the well-established iStockPhoto have the highest rates of negative feedback.
Note the footnote at the bottom of the above slide--Even Soundcloud's comparatively low rate of negative feedback is about in line with the baseline for social media comments in general.
Overall, the online public appears to be reacting positively to Crowd Creativity. While the nature of the category is such that numerous giant platforms a la Digg and Reddit are less likely to emerge, the platforms out there now may all one day be considered pioneers that built the first truly global crowds around a broad array of creative pursuits.
KL Communications is a leader in building and managing proprietary insights communities for a wide range of industries. Their proprietary IC2 community platform incorporates social media, crowdsourcing, as well as traditional research methods, which are aimed at providing partners with the tools and insights to keep them a step ahead of the competition.
- Eric Mack is a contributing editor for Crowdsourcing.org. He also currently contributes to CNET. In the past, his work has been featured by NPR, Wired, the New York Times and other outlets. You can contact him at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter and Google+. Also be sure to follow Crowdsourcing.org on Twitter.