The idea of crowdsourcing is not part of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE). The concept comes from the English language and is developed from two terms: crowd (which can be translated as “crowd”) Y outsourcing (referring to “Outsourcing of resources”).
Crowdsourcing, therefore, refers to a massive collaboration lent by individuals who are not part of an entity or institution. It is a open modality of joint work.
The notion is linked to a call directed to a indefinite amount of people, who contribute their ideas for the development of a certain project. The one who makes the call, in this way, outsources a task.
Other ways crowdsourcing is known are open outsourcing of tasks Y distributed open collaboration. One of its most important characteristics is that the work of the community or the group of individuals who are openly summoned to participate in a project replaces what people or contracted companies would traditionally do.
The term was coined in 2006 by the writer Jeff Howe, who works for the magazine Wired covering topics such as the entertainment industry. Precisely, he used the word crowdsourcing for the first time in an article entitled «The rise of crowdsourcing«, In said publication.
Howe pointed out that through crowdsourcing we access the most suitable individuals for the task, since the call is open and the probability that those who do not feel prepared to give their best will respond are lower than in a traditional hiring. In addition to his performance In solving the problems raised by the campaign leader, collaborators can share their own ideas, a factor that increases the degree of diversity.
Among the tasks most often carried out through outsourcing are the following: collaboration for the capture, systematization, processing and analysis of large amounts of data; the improvement and implementation of various algorithms; the realization of a given design, such as that of the characters and levels of a video game in a crowdfunding campaign.
This concept has become very popular in recent years, both among those who take advantage of it to carry out projects and those who write about it and the advantages it offers in different fields, whether research or business. Internet, and more specifically the web 2.0, is essential for most proposals of this type.
Beyond these definitions, the truth is that there is no single way to understand crowdsourcing. At a general level, it can be said that it consists of a job collaborative and voluntary.
Suppose the newspaper of a town plans to publish a report on how much money people spend on food. With this objective, it launches a call for neighbors to collect tickets and invoices for this type of purchases for a week, digitize them and send them via email, detailing how their family group is made up. Once the deadline has expired, a journalist from the newspaper is in charge of compiling the information and creating various statistics that are reflected in the special report. Arguably, the newspaper article in question was carried out thanks to crowdsourcing.
A beer brandOn the other hand, you can invite consumers to come up with a new tagline (slogan). The firm’s marketing experts will select ten phrases, which will be voted on via the Internet. The author of the chosen phrase, as a prize, will receive twenty liters of beer a month free of charge for one year. In this way, the business in question appeals to crowdsourcing.