Social Media 101 – Crowdsourcing: The Wisdom of Crowds

This is one in a series of articles that seeks a better understanding of the basic elements of social media and social networking. Social media and networking are having an increasing impact on the church today. Pastors, leaders, and members are stepping up their games to include social media as a means of expanding and enhancing their ministries. Crowdsourcing is one of the newer elements in the social media conversation that definitely cannot be ignored.

What is crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and presenting them to a large group of people online, called a crowd, through an “open call”  asking for “contributions”.   Crowdsourcing has been successfully used by companies such as Ely Lilly, Boeing, and Proctor and Gamble to solve, often complex problems, that the companies were unable to solve themselves. Opening up these problems to “crowds” allows for more innovative, creative, “out of the box” thinking, and, as a result, for quicker solutions. It takes advantage of the wisdom found in crowds to solve problems. One hundred heads are better than one. The term has become popular with businesses, authors, and journalists as a shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. 

An in-depth presentation on crowdsourcing (including some of its more controversial elements) is provided in the following video by Daren Brabham:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7g0xlJ1eig 

An example of a crowdsourcing website is Innocentive :

http://www.innocentive.com/

For more information on crowdsourcing see the following article:

http://compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/top-crowdsourcing-websites-and-resources/

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/crowdsourcing_million_heads.php

Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus.

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under information, innovation, networking, social media, social media marketing

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