Cloud Labor, Crowd Creativity
Crowdsourcing is clearly not going away. Any company that believes it can operate with a closed-walls philosophy is missing the point of social business. The crowd, or groups external to the firm, provide interesting, sometimes path-breaking, sometimes huge numbers of ideas, insights and solutions. Crowdsourcing is part of the future of making and selling things. No question.
Still, there are a couple of questions niggling away at the back of my mind. There are more than two but these two beg an answer.
The first is how do we improve crowdsourcing? We know it's better than relying solely on internal resources for a variety of tasks, from routine to innovatory, but if crowdsourcing is to become a fixed operational resource, a part of the furniture so to speak, then we need to know how to measure and improve the process. That's akin to saying how do we professionalise it.
The second question is where does it lead us to? CNN recently announced it will upgrade its iReport crowdsourced news services. The end result will be a social network for news, a community that simultaneously creates, distributes and consumes news. This makes perfect sense. We are already blurring the line between production, marketing and consumption but we need to think where this is headed in other segments of the market.