Question

Watch the videoJeff Howe - Crowdsourcing and read Case 2: IdeaScale Crowdsourcing: Where Ideas Come to Life.

Answer the following questions:

1. How would you define crowdsourcing?
2. Why does crowdsourcing require a large, "undefined community" to work? Why not a small, defined community of passionate people who you know and have worked with before or with whom you are already friends (think Facebook communities which are smaller, and defined)?
3. Can you think of other examples of crowdsourcing besides photography? Is photography a good example? What kinds of products or services might not lend themselves to crowdsourcing?
4. What is the impact of crowdsourcing on business? Can a "crowdsourced" business be profitable? Is iStockphoto.com profitable?
5. Why does the IdeaScale video criticize online surveys? What's wrong with online surveys? How does IdeaScale do any better?
6. IdeaScale claims to produce "actionable" ideas when compared to traditional market feedback mechanisms like online surveys, focus groups, and reviews of customer comments on Web sites. Do you think this might be true?
7. Pick an online product or service you would like to deliver as a business firm. Outline how you would use IdeaScale. How would you select the people for your online community? How would you prompt them to participate? What new ideas would you propose to them, or what questions would you ask them to respond to?

Solution Preview

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1. Crowdsourcing can be defined as the strategy in which an organization outsources some function which was performed inside the organization to a large undefined group of people through an open call. The open source idea pertains to any field apart from software. As an example, an organization can outsource its research and development activities to a large crowd of people. This would help it to get diverse ideas from different people. The benefit of this strategy is that the organization can gain from the expertise of a large crowd of people without increasing its HR costs. Since the people to whom the work is crowd-sourced are not employees of the organization, the organization is not troubled by costs associated with Human resource management. The advent of technology has made it easier for organizations to tap the talent of a global expert base since it can post the requirements to the experts’ forum and people can brainstorm ideas to come up with effective and innovative solutions. The work is performed on an open scale basis which means that any number of people can participate and the group to which the idea is administered is...

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