Have you ever wondered what crowdsourcing is? I have heard of it, but never fully understood what it was. For starters, the name crowdsourcing came from combining crowd and outsourcing. By definition, crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community. Still confused? Well when a company has a problem they usually hire someone to perform the necessary procedures to fix it. Now a company will involve a crowd to help them solve their problem. A larger group of people has a higher potential of finding a better solution than compared to one person. So the basic idea then is to tap into the collective intelligence of a group of people to perform business related tasks.

Crowdsourcing increases productivity, while also allowing to hear feedback from more than one individual. A lot of businesses are using crowdsourcing to gain insight and solve problems. As social media has become the way we communicate, crowdsourcing is becoming more and more popular. Businesses may use crowdsourcing to get opinions on a new logo design, voting on a product design, or rank songs and movies. Crowdsourcing can be used for any purpose a business needs.

Sony used crowdsourcing to get people from untapped audiences the chance to think of new ways to tackle the sustainability challenges we face. This started in September of 2010 when Sony set up an online open forum. PepsiCo also dabbled in crowdsourcing last year when they created their Refresh Project campaign. They asked for customer’s favorite ideas for community involvement and they would fund the ideas that got the most votes. Mob4Hire is one of the world’s largest mobile research and testing companies and they used crowdsourcing to test products.

Crowdsourcing connects businesses with their consumers and produces collaboration. It gives businesses the chance to hear what a group of people have to say to get more feedback and opinions.

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