Crowdsourcing Definition Essay

Crowdsourcing is the process of connecting with large groups of people to utilize their knowledge, expertise, time or resources, via the internet. It triggers the crowd’s response by offering rewards. Take for example the incident of John Harrison, in the year 1714, where he responded to the British government’s call when they crowdsourced for solutions for a marine chronometer to help sailors in sea navigation. Relying on the crowd isn’t a new idea, but it was not until we got connected via the internet that the idea skyrocketed. You reach a lot of people faster and involve them in redirecting and organizing work. Other scholars define it as producing things and solving challenges by connecting with people you wouldn’t have reached without the internet. Companies, governments, groups and individuals use it to support their courses or grow their ideas. It thrives on accessing a large labor force online (Lenart-Gansiniec, 2019).

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When in need of existing but scattered knowledge, one can ask for help online to assemble and compile it. This is called cloud labor. Open innovation is a type of crowdsourcing purposefully used to generate new creative ideas for problem-solving. When an organization employs this approach to reach the world’s most creative communities, this nature of outsourcing is called crowd creativity. Various institutions have flourished by using this medium, like Wikipedia, to attain intellectual contributions and Amazon, which capitalizes on human intelligence. It manifests in various forms like crowd voting where the crowd votes to determine the best form of crowdfunding. This is common among nonprofit organizations. Crowd contests operate by narrowing down to the best and the finest contribution, before the company hires them.

Disadvantages of a crowdsourcing approach
Compromises confidentiality- Brands protect their secrets, and crowdsourcing can give a clue to the competitors on what you are up to. Exposing the company’s plans to the outside world gives a competitive advantage to the business rivals and the public at large. Someone might steal your idea and use it to their advantage.

Compiling and vetting all the responses might require an extra managerial branch- Most contestants also fail to work within the stipulated guidelines and they do not go through the company’s instructions to conceptualize the requirements, like the company’s marketing standpoint, for instance. The result is tons of responses to wade through, and it is not uncommon to fail to get what the company requires.

Easily misled- In the case of a crowd voting approach, the participants might force one to settle for an inappropriate option. During crowdsourcing, the company does not give out the entire plan. The snippets given could be insufficient and hence give a wrong feedback. The public always goes with what they find appealing. The ideas you settle for might have been deliberately plagiarized or submitted elsewhere already. The effects of this can be detrimental, especially when the damage has far-reaching consequences that might require seeking legal assistance to fix (Lenart-Gansiniec, 2019). When an organization outsources too much work, the in-house team may feel unappreciated and undermined.

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