Outsourcing has long been popular with employers, and highly unpopular with people. It was a way for businesses to get cheap labor from other countries. Because of its unpopularity, companies started to look at different options, one of which turned out to be crowdsourcing. Through crowdsource software, businesses were able to access cheap or even free labor from all over the world, thereby effectively keeping everybody happy. Crowdsourcing truly is the employment opportunity of the 21st century, with everything from Obama’s last presidential campaign to Apple applications being created through these methods.
The Development of Crowdsource Software
Once upon a time, if a company required new ideas, they would hire an external company (outsourcing) to create panels and surveys. These companies would then analyze the data that they had received, leading to the outsourcing company making a decision. Decision would include product and policy development, for instance.
Crowdsourcing is similar in its ideas, in as such that it allows for the gathering of data from clients and customers, leading to the development of products, policies, and solutions. And, just as with the original method, clients and customers do not get paid for their ideas. But what is different, however, is that it misses out the step of outsourcing to a consulting firm.
So just how cost effective and beneficial is crowdsourcing? It is now a huge trend that has been able to use social networking to capitalize on the ideas of the masses. And it doesn’t seem to stop there either. In fact, crowdsourcing is now so intertwined in our everyday lives, that many of us don’t even realize that we’re doing it. For instance, by reviewing on Trip Adviser, you can earn frequent flyer miles, which you can then use for travel. You’re not getting paid, in other words, but you are being crowdsourced.
Others are taking it one step further. There are crowdsourcing efforts, for instance, to help find missing children. These companies put out alerts, and ask people to keep their eye out for a missing child. They do not receive payment for this, other than the recognition of having worked on something meaningful. And the potential reward of actually being the person who finds the missing child is generally reward enough.
How Does the Software Come in?
With the idea of crowdsourcing now properly understood, the next element is all around understanding what the software can do. Essentially, if you can imagine asking 10,000 people an open question, it would take you years to go through each of them. What the software does, however, is enable you to put out campaigns, attract people to the campaign, and collect the data that they release. You can even ask the software to pick out answers that meet certain pre-set criteria. Essentially, what the software does is what the expensive company businesses used to outsource to. The possibilities, therefore, are nothing short of limitless nowadays.