One of the trends emerging from the IT industry, or for that matter business generally is crowdsourcing. Although the core of the concept is more or less the same as freelancing; the term has some important differences. While freelancing need not be sourced to many people; crowdsourcing is necessarily so. That is what justifies its name.
Crowdsourcing branched out as a unique system less than a decade back. Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson of Wired Magazine are credited with having coined this term.
What can be sourced?
Crowdsourcing as a term is quite self-explanatory. It means sourcing from many sources, or what is called the crowd. So, what is sourced from the crowd? Let us examine some of them.
Like in conventional outsourcing or freelancing, just about any aspect or work of an organization can be crowdsourced. So long as there are clearly stated terms and references, crowdsourcing many of the organization’s work is possible.
Pluses and minuses of crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing, like all other concepts before it, has its unique pros and cons.
One major advantage of crowdsourcing is that it helps the producer or creator of a project to get the best minds to work in tandem, thus exponentially raising quality. It is saner and more practical to get many people working on a single project, technological or creative, than to get only one person to do it. This removes the monotony that might creep into an individual’s work, no matter how talented she may be.
The one big disadvantage is that in this globalized world, work can be done from different parts of the world without any geographical barriers. This has its unique advantages, but coordination across cultures, times zones and other factors is quite a challenge. To get people from across the world to work harmoniously and systematically towards a goal is quite difficult, all the more in case of creative crowdsourcing projects.
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