Class reflection: Crowdsourcing

Posted: October 25, 2013 in Class notes
Tags: , ,

I feel a bit guilty. In last class, we (almost) gave crowdsourcing a bad rep. And while it does have potential for exploitation, there are many beautiful cases where it benefits the very people it exploits – and the benefits are greater than the exploitation, I believe.


  • Online reviews (by the way, when you have a second, read the reviews for these 2 products on amazon and note how smart, hilarious, and political people can be. Someone should write a paper about this! Reviews for banana slicer and BiC Pens for Her)
  • Waze – a crowdsourced traffic & navigation app, where people can inform each other about accidents, cops, gas prices, etc.
  • and even – one of my favorite sites ever, i can has cheezburger!

These all follow the same formula, and yes, they are owned by a money-making entity, but the service is better for everyone because of the crowdsourcing.

What other examples of mutually beneficial crowdsourcing do you have? Please interact with this post in some way so I know you read it.

  1. kanrawi says:

    There were a couple websites that allow people to write online fictions. The writers can write chapters as they please. Readers read them for free, and they have choices to rate and provide comments for each chapter. The writers can use the feedback to improve their work. Sometime, those writers even got new ideas from the comments. The piece of work will be more famous in the website when the writing get more comments and more rating scores.
    The publishers visited the websites. They used reader feedback as well as reaction of the crowd to decide which writing to pick. Then, they can contact the writer if they would like their work to get published.

  2. nkrammes says:

    Well, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention Wikipedia. While Jimmy Wales claims that the project doesn’t count as crowdsourcing, I disagree. Brabham describes the practice as “an online, distributed problem-solving and production model” and Wikipedia definitely fits this definition. Everyone (Wikimedia heads included, despite the organization being non-profit) benefits from the project’s crowdsourcing.

    Kickstarter also come to mind.

  3. dougpruim says:

    Since Nick mentioned Wikipedia, here’s a list of crowdsourcing projects I found there: