The online digital age brings unprecedented access to the knowledge of crowds.
It was Jeff Howe of Wired magazine that first coined the phrase “crowdsourcing”; a contraction of “crowd” and “outsourcing”, when published the article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” back in 2006. This quote from the article describes the essence of what crowdsourcing is and how it’s made possible by technological advances:
“Now the productive potential of millions of plugged-in enthusiasts is attracting the attention of old-line businesses, too. For the last decade or so, companies have been looking overseas, to India or China, for cheap labor. But now it doesn’t matter where the laborers are – they might be down the block, they might be in Indonesia – as long as they are connected to the network.
Crowdsourcing is now mainstream. It offers new interests and opportunities to millions of people around the world. The potential exists now to curate competitions to answer questions, harvesting the know-how of millions of people instantly via digital platforms. Accessing crowd knowledge and talent requires a digital ecosystem to manage communications, collaboration, governance and transactions.
No-matter how big the crowd, or where it is, there are some fundamental principles to team-work and knowledge sharing success.
- Having one place to share knowledge
- Doing knowledge sharing for people, not to them
- Making sure knowledge systems are structured around communities with common goals and/or interests
- Ensuring that systems are intuitive, making knowledge easy to publish, easy to curate and even easier to find
Open Source software is the ideal technology core to underpin crowdsourcing and knowledge networks. It offers a broad gamut of ready-to-use tech-tools and building blocks that end-user organizations don’t have to pay for.
One could argue that it’s in the realm of knowledge systems that Open Source, as a model of sharing wealth, really works. It means that developers and stakeholders in programming projects can profit from their labor by having a stake in a big business, while participants in the supply-chain - like consulting and training companies - are also able to get paid for the effort they put in. The biggest winners though are undoubtedly the end-user organisations that benefit from free software they can use to run their businesses with.
Open Source Crowdsourcing
EVOLUDATA is a leading provider of services to bring FREE Open Source crowdsourcing, knowledge sharing and collaborative technologies within reach of organizations that lack the in-house expertise needed to design, deploy and operate their own ecosystem for crowdsourcing and knowledge sharing.