What makes Wikipedia different from the Encyclopedia Britannica? Besides, of course, that one of them is dying and the other is only getting bigger. The answer is that Encyclopedia Britannica gathers their information with a dedicated board of researchers, editors, professors, and formatting experts, and Wikipedia uses an entirely different method altogether. This method is crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourcing involves taking a task that would ordinarily be completed by a hired individual or group, and instead hosting an open call for whoever wants to work on the task to do so. This can take many forms; some campaigns like Wikipedia ask the crowd to work collaboratively, and some format the tasks as “contests” that only one individual can ultimately win.
There are many ways to crowdsource tasks, and since this is a relatively new concept, there is no One True Correct Way yet. I hope to highlight on this blog just how open this concept is, and how many ways people and brands can find success by utilizing it. My hope is that a deeper understanding of the power of crowdsourcing will lead to a future where people collaboratively perform tasks we can’t even dream of, to achieve results we didn’t even think possible.