14 Mar, 2010

Crowd Sourcing – Harnessing the power of the people

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Most of us have heard of the NetFlix million dollar competition (read here, here and here) ┬áthat lasted 3 years, attracted 51,000 contestants from 186 countries, all competing AND co-operating to build a better recommendation engine for NetFlix so that users of NetFlix can get more accurate movie suggestions. The winners – BellKor”s Pragmatic Chaos – a team from AT&T research took the $1 million prize by providing the winning algorithm. The innovations and ideas generated on this subject during the course of 3 years was a feat unachievable by any single corporate research division.

Crowdsourcing (as coined by Jeff Howe of Wired Magazine) has been gaining considerable traction as a feasible, scalable, practical and even cost-effective method of getting stuff done – whether it is design, development, ideating, problem solving and more. We are not unfamiliar with the concept – everyone who has ever used Wikipedia has used a product of crowdsourcing. Over the last several years, many web applications and portals have emerged that have taken crowd sourcing to the next level by webifying the process and making it accessible to the masses. Taking a page from Auren Hoffman and Joe Kraus” articles – it has never been a online casino better time to be an entrepreneur. What used to take millions of dollars, swanky offices, expensive 64-way sun solaris boxes, and an elite team, can now be achieved by a single person with a smart idea. Think about it. All you need is a great idea. Dont have programmers? Make your way to TopCoder or Rent-a-coder and hire a just-in-time team. Need to give your brand visibility? Head over to crowdSpring or 99 Designs and get a logo and a look from hundreds of contributors for cheap. Need servers? You can now run on the same scalable infrastructure that Amazon and Google run on. From design and marketing, to development and deployment – you can avail the best of the resources realtime without offices, infrastructure, capital or people. Crowd Sourcing and Cloud Computing will take innovation and starting up to a whole new level.

Enough of a digression though :) – having spent a better part of my Sunday researching Crowdsourcing – here is a compendium of resources for your benefit -

Articles

Videos

Books

Crowdsourcing websites

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  • Comment by yangyang on March 25, 2010 @ 7:28 am
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  • Comment by MN on March 30, 2010 @ 7:43 am
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  • Comment by Biren on April 5, 2010 @ 9:10 pm
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abhishek
March 14, 2010

Good research on crowd sourcing. The conclusion of your research is if idea is great you can have support for your idea in a matter of no time(if you have required capital.)

My point is Idea can’t be great unless we test it(I mean we implement it.) A idea is taken as great idea when helps people, simplifies work, reduce effort to work done, poeple love it.

Gmail : Before gmail also we had mail facility but only some person were using it only when needed but after gmail we know how it changed our lives. So idea become great when we implement it greatly.

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Anu Vaidyanathan
March 14, 2010

The wisdom of crowds is a great book! Here are some thoughts on crowd-sourcing for emergency response :) http://www.twitvid.com/D596F

Nice blog!

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yangyang
March 25, 2010

Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia announces the launch of their new Ojibwe Language learning software, Ojibwemodaa.Best Way : Rosetta stone learning Tips. Available in more than 30 languages, the Rosetta stone language-learning solution is used by schools, the consumer will write a message on the Personal Rosetta Stone. Download free language software, play online games and start learning a language now.

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MN
March 30, 2010

Hi check out India’s latest crowdsourcing platform : http://www.jademagnet.com

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Biren
April 5, 2010

Nice 360 view on rapid software development using crowd sourcing.

Related, yet quite different example in the world of micro-financing: kiva.org – Geographically diverse individuals
coordinate to provide capital to others in need.

Check out this interesting read white paper this months paper from Harvard Law School: http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/3757699

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Bhavin Turakhia
April 6, 2010

@Biren: Thanks for your comments and links :)

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Rakesh Waghela
April 14, 2010

Bhavin ! A Caution for your blog !

Comment by “yangyang ” is interesting…

It proves that comments made here are not getting filtered with some vulnerable markups like anchors :)

Others have copy pasted the actual HTTP URLs
while Yangyang has literally spammed using anchor text ! :)

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Terrance MacGregor
July 19, 2010

Looking forward to catching up with you. One important aspect here, is to remember that crowd sourcing is very powerful, but requires the right person or team driving the application to make it successful. Automatic pilot doesn’t work just yet. :- )

Terry

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