Crowdsourcing can be referred to as a process where an institution takes some of the functions that are done by its employees, and outsources them to a large network of people (collectively known as the crowd) in an open forum. The term was coined by Jeff Howe in the 2006 issue of the Wired magazine – and has evolved into a model that has been fully embraced over the Internet due to the novelty of the concept, “the wisdom of crowds”. Crowdsourcing can be used in several areas of business, such as customer service, graphic design, and research and development, among others. Some of the more popular services that use crowdsourcing as their service model are listed, as follows:
1. Amazon Mechanical Turk
MTurk is one of few sites that emphasize the concept of crowdsourcing very well. Add to it the fact that it is run by Amazon, provides credibility to their service as well. All the “Workers” on there need to do, is click on the projects or tasks (created by “Requesters”) that they want to work on; these tasks are normally simple, such as rewriting jobs, commenting on blogs, answering surveys, image labeling and other simple micro-tasks. The payment process for the service is also pretty simple and straightforward.
Kickstarter is a great option for crowdfunding innovative and creative projects. It primarily serves as a funding avenue for professionals, i.e. musicians, designers, filmmakers, writers, and investors. There are thousands of projects that have been funded successfully on this site, so far. The projects are created individuals or businesses who receive the needed funds once the deadline and the minimum funding goal have been met. Here, the talents have complete responsibility over the project that they are seeking funding for.
CrowdSpring is one of the recommended sites to go to when you need specific services for your business, like content writing, graphic design, branding, web design and logos. Once you have signed up as a buyer on the site, you will be able post a project of your choice, and start receiving responses from the contributors on the service. Currently, the site has more than thirteen thousand talented designers and writers who actively participate in the projects are posted on the site. The payment process is relatively simple, and you are only required to pay for the work that you like.
Odesk is a great option in crowdsourcing that comes in handy when you are looking for professionals who can handle any type of tasks you need to get done for your business, ranging from web development to content writing. This service allows you to access an efficient labor force for your business, at very affordable rates. You have the option of working with the top contractors from various fields, such as writers, proficient translators, web designers, web and software developers, and for administrative support. It is important to note that it does not cost anything initially, to post a project on the service. It also has a streamlined and efficient payment process for the contributors/talents using the service.
99designs is one of the best sites there are when it comes to crowdsourcing any type of design work. This service mostly relies on the skills and talents of a wide, professional network of designers all across the globe. It’s primarily used by startups and businesses for branding purposes, for example, getting a new logo designed for their business. In addition to logos, you can also get other types of design done, such as banner advertisements, landing pages, merchandise design, and web design.
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