Launch of Crowdsourcing Landscape and Getting Results from Crowdsourcing community


Here is our Crowdsourcing Landscape, now officially launched after sneak previews to the audiences of the Getting Results from Crowdsourcing event on Monday and Cisco Insight 2010 on Tuesday.

Click on the image to see a high-resolution version

The landscape provides a kick-off and focus to our new community, Getting Results from Crowdsourcing ( Go and check it out!

The site is fairly basic so far (forgive anything not finished yet). However we’ll soon set up a wiki of crowdsourcing platforms, introduce discussions on many specific topics in the crowdsourcing space, and try to really bring this to life. We’re also looking for contributions, so go to the Contribute page and put your hand up if you’re interested.

For now we’re keen to get the site going, so please add a comment or participate in the discussions!

Audience blog and Twitter reflections on Getting Results from Crowdsourcing event


Last night was the Getting Results from Crowdsourcing event run by The Insight Exchange, the first in its SME Technology Forum Series. It was a fabulous night.


Tony Hollingsworth and Luke Harvey-Palmer leading their Expert Roundtables at the event

I’ll reflect more on the event and ideas raised later, but I thought I’d capture some of the blog and Twitter reflections on the event .

I believe this is a topic for our times. The future is crowdsourcing. It is the manifestation of the old idea of collective intelligence. The global brain has arrived.

We captured some videos of the keynote panel presentations and discussion – we’ll try to get them up before long. It was an awesome discussion – many really interesting points were raised. Back later on those stories.

First, just some of the response from attendees.

Lesley Barry (at least I presume that’s who @LifeStuffiKnow is) wrote a great review of the event starting with:

Read more

How to raise money from crowds: 11 crowdfunding platforms and examples


Crowdfunding is one of the more interesting (and important) neologisms of the last few years. It takes the idea of crowdsourcing (getting services delivered by crowds) and applies it to raising money.

In a later post I will write about the implications of the rise of crowdfunding for venture capital and other early stage funding sources. Here I will just cover some examples of crowdfunding, many of them in creative domains.


Kickstarter is a well developed creative crowdfunding platform, covering films, music, games, theatre, technology and far more. It uses the common all-or-nothing model, so projects are only funded if they raise their target funds in a defined period. It does not offer equity in the ventures, but project creators can provide specific rewards for funders. Kickstarter gained attention when the new open source competitor to Facebook, Diaspora*, sought $10,000 and has already raised over $180,000 before the funding period is over.

Read more

The Economist on online freelancing and the future of work: crowdsourcing goes mainstream


The Economist this week addresses the wonderful world of online freelancing and crowdsourcing, under the rubrik Work in the digital age. The full article is well worth a read.

The article points to the potential for online freelancing and piecework to account for a substantial part of global labor. While The Economist has touched on the issue before, this is now something that is a significant business issue which is going to start attracting a lot more coverage. The Economist notes:

Millions of workers are embracing freelancing as an alternative to full-time employment or because they cannot find salaried jobs. According to IDC, a market-research firm, there were around 12m full-time, home-based freelancers and independent contractors in America alone at the end of last year and there will be 14m by 2015. Experts reckon this number will keep rising for several reasons, including a sluggish jobs market and workers’ growing desire for the flexibility to be able to look after parents or children.

Technology is also driving the trend. Over the past few years a host of fast-growing firms such as Elance, oDesk and LiveOps have begun to take advantage of “the cloud”—tech-speak for the combination of ubiquitous fast internet connections and cheap, plentiful web-based computing power—to deliver sophisticated software that makes it easier to monitor and manage remote workers.

One of the key issues is that work on these sites is no longer limited to graphic design and web development – larger, more sophisticated, more complex, and better-paid work is shifting on to these sites.

Read more

One more reason why Australia is a global hub for crowdsourcing: Ideas While You Sleep



I was recently introduced to Yvonne Adele of IdeasCulture through a Twitter introduction from Tim Longhurst – a great connection to make!

Not long ago I wrote how Australia is becoming a global hub for crowdsourcing platforms:, 99designs, DesignCrowd. Yvonne’s service Ideas While You Sleep adds to the burgeoning collection of crowdsourcing services based in Australia. Yvonne described to me how the service works.

The concept is that challenges submitted by 4pm will receive an pack of 100 ideas with an action plan by 10am the next morning, currently at an introductory price of A$495.

Ideas While You Sleep draws on 440 brainstormers, who are ranked in experience from apprentices to premium. As they successfully contribute to projects, they are promoted to a higher roles.

Teams are always designed with diversity in mind, so they include the full range of levels of experience as well as background. Team members are rotated as new projects come up.

Read more

What Yahoo!’s purchase of Associated Content means for the crowdsourced (crap?) content industry



Yahoo! has just purchased Associated Content, with price variously reported at $90 million (by All Things D) and slightly over $100 million (by AdAge).

Associated Content is the second largest player in crowdsourced content after Demand Media, which is looking at an IPO which is likely to be valued over $1 billion. AOL, which was originally considering buying Associated Content when it wanted to get into the space, decided to grow its own business called Seed, which is already a strong player. Other players include Helium.

The model is primarily of advertising arbitrage – identifying where advertising returns from search visitors can exceed the cost of content. Since online advertising doesn’t pay much, content costs need to be very low. As a result the quality is not always earth-shattering.

I wrote last year about how the proliferation of crap content, and how the rise of reputation systems will make it easier for us to identify content quality and reliability. However we don’t have these yet.

Read more

SME Tech Forum Series: Getting Results from Crowdsourcing on 31 May


After the success of its SME Technology Summit last December, The Insight Exchange is launching an ongoing series of events in the space, the SME Technology Forum Series.


The series kicks off with a very exciting evening event in Sydney on 31 May on Getting Results from Crowdsourcing. Full details are on the event page.

The keynote panel discussion features the CEOs of some of the great companies that are making Australia a global hub for crowdsourcing:

Matt Barrie of

Alec Lynch of DesignCrowd

Yvonne Adele of Ideas While You Sleep

as well as long-time lead user of crowdsourcing tools

Phil Sim, CEO of MediaConnect.

Read more

Discovering the most interesting and inspiring phrases


I’ve long said that newspapers and books will become digital when they have all the qualities of the existing media – including readability, portability, and the ability to highlight and make notes – as well as all of the capabilities of digital media – such as searchability, compactness, and remote access.

The Amazon Kindle allows people to highlight passages and take notes – a basic functionality required for a e-book. What this also allows is to discover what others are highlighting, providing a form of collaborative filtering. Amazon has just released a list of the most highlighted books and phrases on the Kindle.

The most highlighted books are:

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Holy Bible

The Shack by William P. Young

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

A selection of the most highlighted phrases:

Read more

Outsourcing journalism – how far can you take it?

By, AOL’s venture in crowdsourced journalism, has just sent out a survey to its contributors, with some very interesting questions, notes Business Insider.


Source: Business Insider

A few interesting thoughts coming out of the issues raised in the survey:

* is considering outsourcing fact-checking and copy-editing – given finding the right talent and quality control systems this should be feasible

* Contests and ratings systems could be a significant incentive to contributing, notes New York Observer. This is because aspiring journalists, through this kind of reputation, could more readily move on to more attractive opportunities. In a similar vein TopCoder uses contents to draw in the best developers.

* There could be real value in building communities for aspiring writers, as well as providing training and development. Attracting talent requires more than just providing an outlet., Demand Media and others are in the vanguard of doing what they can to attract talented contributors who are motivated by things other than money. We are beginning to discover how far we can take outsourced journalism.

New ventures in political crowdsourcing



User-contributed content is often far more up-to-date than other sources. I just stumbled across some interesting current news while browsing through Wikipedia’s List of crowdsourcing projects.

The UK Conservative Party has launched Your Budget Response 2010, a website that is intended to allow anyone to identify problems, oversights and issues in the government’s budget, to fuel the Conservative Party’s response to the budget.

Read more