in Jeff Howe (2006) definition is the process of a public and private
institution taking a specific task that was once done by employees and now
posting it out the public community in the form of an open call. It is a
process that involves corporation that pose a problem to the online community,
which traditionally was tackled by an employee, and a reward is offered to the
individual or group that gets the task done.
Valatsou (2014) noted the history of the word crowdsourcing was first published
on the wired magazine by the contributing editor Jeff Howe in June 2006. The
article was titled “The Rise of
Crowdsourcing”. He was following a phenomenon on how people where
being outsourced to deliver certain tasks without being part of the corporation
and he called the process crowdsourcing. In his definition was a combination of
two words that is crowd and outsourcing, so it simply meant outsourcing jobs to
the crowd. After this word was published on the magazine it widely spread and
the word was adopted by other publish press and bloggers. Its practice was
dated far back in the 18th century, it was then practiced by
historians and scholar though now things have diversified to any individual who
possess required expertise for each task.
to Brabham (2008) explains what crowdsourcing is and what it is not. It entails
the 4 aspects to define it and they are:
organization has a function that requires to be handled.
online community that is ready and willing to handle the function.
environment that allows interaction of the community and the organization as
well as the community being able to handle the function.
4. A benefit that is enjoyed by both the
community and the organization.
has been viewed to be as below yet it is not:
source production are not crowdsourcing because the process it follows is from
the community going up to management which is different as for crowdsourcing
they follow management to community example Mozilla Firefox
2. Online encyclopedia like the Wikipedia for them to
produce anything it requires no management to guide on what is to be written or
what it should involve. Such as Wikipedia are done by their intelligent
research that are done online like survey carried out or brand building where
the community are asked various question on different product doesn’t count to
crowdsourcing has various advantages and according to (Paul Whitla 2009) he
listed four benefits. First its cost saving as it basically doesn’t require
setting up a department or unit to sort the task, all it requires is posting
the job online and it is gets done. Secondly you get marketing for free as it
creates awareness through the social media sites and it makes your product known.
Thirdly you gain customer loyalty because when you engage the online community
about your products you produce what the client needs. Lastly the best comes to
you, unlike other ways of holding interviews to get the best in this case the
person with the expertise in a certain tasks approaches you to handle it.
have been tradition contracting models that existed before crowdsourcing which
are outsourcing and open source. In the view of (Lacity and Hirschheim 1993)
comparison of outsourcing and crowdsourcing is that for outsourcing involves
targeting exactly the people that are qualified for that specific task but for
crowdsourcing basically involves posting the task to anyone in the public
community then the one with the skills handles it. Comparison with open source
is that according to von Hippel and Von Krogh, 2003; Lerner and Tirole, 2002)
states that while crowdsourcing there are remuneration work is not voluntary for open source its
non- financial, it’s done for the purpose of recognition.
Forms of crowdsourcing
types differ from each other depending on the task that is carried. The types
of crowdsourcing in the perspective of (Howe 2006; Kleemann Vo? and Rieder
(2008) where put together and collectively gave a description of four types
which are; crowd wisdom / collective intelligence, crowd creation, crowd
voting and crowd funding.
wisdom was first defined by (Douglas Hofstadter 1979) he stated when a number
of people give different opinions on a certain thing though when all put
together gives the same definition. Today that collective intelligence is the
communication through technology called the internet. An example of case study
on this type is innocentive which was established by ( Eli lilly in 2008) that
involved creating a web community to help in solving an issue within the
company, it required innovation and technology to solve the issues. This topic
was studied by (Karim Lakhani 2008) and found that this approach was powerful
as the community that helped in solving where very intellectual people and this
helped in solving a lot of tasks.
creation was defined by (Kleemann et al. 2008) is where the community generated
a new product or design; generally the institutions depended on crowdsourcing
for the creation or design of the products. It is the most common type of
crowdsourcing. It involves creativity in various sectors, to mention a few like
in science- case study of NASA’s click workers, photograph – case study of
Istockphoto and programming-case study of Linux.
voting according to (Jeff Howe 2008) describes it as a way of the community
giving their views on various things and feedback on certain results. It’s the
form of crowdsourcing that require much engagement of people and it adds up to
crowd creation as the feedback gives institution on people’s view on whether
they can create certain products or not. A case study on this is threadless.com
who uses the online community to rate their products specifically t-shirts and
this gives them a go ahead on whether to produce the products or discard them.
funding as (Jeff Howe 2008) states is when online donors/ sponsors come
together and financially donate to fund a business or project. Example of such
online platform are Kiva –a marketplace for entrepreneurs who want to start
project that haven’t been tapped in to develop there area, and Indiegogo- a
social market place for filmmakers.
Case study: Amazon Mechanical Turk
social world is changing rapidly with technology and open innovation, and there
have been case studies have been carried to a success of crowdsourcing. A
distinct case study Amazon Mechanical Turk is an example of the form crowd
wisdom as it opened up to the external community using online platform. In the
terms of (Crownston 2012) Amazon is very successful in online marketing and is
well developed in term of technology.
was established in the US in 1995 as the world biggest online retailer.it
diversified itself by licensing their platform to a number of companies making
it responsible in offering a wide range of consumables as an online retailer.
They created the digital platform Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) which serves as
an online marketplace for facilitating and coordinating the sourcing of
products and with purchases. According to (Crownston 2012) Amazon started as an
in-house providing outsourcing contract services to other business. After
identifying the potential of the service they were giving they created the
online platform AMT in November 2005 to the public.
the terms of (Mechanical Turk2013a) how AMT works is that the companies with
tasks broadcast the function they require to be handled and they are known as
human intelligence tasks (HITS), then workers or also known as turkers handle
and submit the tasks. The workers get to work at their own time, place and get
paid after completion. The institutions pay only after they are comfortable
with the outcome. (Felstiner 2011)
pointed out that when AMT began, it started with small firms though after it
grew it was able to incorporate medium and big corporates.
2011) observed the law stipulated with Amazon, workers and the requesters. The
worker and the requester fill the participation agreement which requires
registering to the amazon account. Through this amazon get the required
information for both parties including personal and tax information. The vendor
which is Amazon gets to benefit by servicing a service charge of 10% from the
requesters. Violation of the agreement gives Amazon right to cancel the owners
account. The disadvantage of this is that there is no legal framework put
across to protect the laborers
to Ipeirotis (2010) when AMT had been launched payment was made to workers
using a US bank account and payment done through Amazon gift cards, this
discouraged non- US workers from registering with the platform. Later on they
came to change the method of payment; this introduced more workers
internationally and started with workers from India. AMT is a micro task
crowdsourcing platform in the sense that it provides connectivity between the
HITS and turkers, payment mechanism that helps them and makes it easier for
ease transactions. Amazon’s success was attributed to the ability of
externalizing their digital platform.
conclusion, Crowdsourcing changing the way private and public sector operate
has effected positively, It is like a market where it involves transactions of
skills in exchange of most often financial rewards. It can be viewed as a
contract between the institutions that provide tasks to the online community.
It is a new model that people benefit from online platform.it is an emerging
sector and mainly due to social media. Every person has a talent and
crowdsourcing perspective is to tap into people competence and expertise through