While a debate on the merit of crowdsourcing may not warrant the kind of air-time or personal reflection that say, a debate on gun-control, gay marriage, or the latest layout change to Facebook might, it does make for a good discussion on the relationship between innovation, human capacity and technology.
As far as buzzwords go in the marketing world, “crowdsourcing” isn’t exactly new. First coined in 2006 by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, the word was originally used to refer to “a collective effort to manage an online discussion forum on flickr,” though it is now used more generally to refer to any sort of crowd-based outsourcing, as the portmanteau implies. Crowdsourcing itself is much older, however, and notably, pre-Internet, with examples like the completion of the original Oxford English Dictionary through millions of individual submissions by the community. Most recently, crowdsourcing has found itself above the fold as people tried to help identify Boston bomber suspects via Reddit, an open Internet forum, and less direly, for the selection of a logo for the nascent College Football Playoff. (more…)