What in the world is crowdsourcing? According to Wikipedia, the first example of crowdsourcing, it is ” the act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a “crowd”), through an open call.” Therefore, those most fit to perform the task are the ones hired to solve the particular problem. It’s basically mass collaboration using Web 2.0 technology.
Web 2.0 is all about user-generated information. It is not a reference to a technical spec, it is more about the source of data coming from the crowd> If you understand Wikipedia, you’ll know that the content comes from the user-base. The benefits are a vast swell of information from many different angles and resources, covering a wide variety of topics, generated for free. The information is not static, but ever-changing. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites like Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, Video Sharing, mashups, etc. The down side is that there can be many errors in the data collected, as there is no fact checking required for input.
Crowdsourcing is a change in the way we seek collaboration and manage projects using some of the best and brightest, but only for as long as we need them. The creation of crowdsourcing came from the understanding that there are many freelance developers, writers, desktop publishers, artists, etc., who might be passed by in the corporate hiring process, but who have tremendous capability. By using the power of the internet for more than just communication and research, and considering the benefits of Web 2.0, the business owner or project manager can draw from a talent pool at a cheaper price, and the freelancer is visible through crowdsourcing marketing efforts. It’s a win-win situation. The projects are often reported to be completed in amore timely manner, with more diverse expertise and more broad-ranging solutions, and its cheaper than the single solution for contract or permanent hire. The freelancer avoids huge overhead trying to be in business for themselves, as does the business owner, who doesn’t have to become bogged down in HR costs of a new hire.
So what say you? Do you use Crowdsourcing? Do you know some of the managing companies?
As a member of a particular military support forum, I was alerted to the frantic concerns of remote family members asking for support as their young Marine was being transported to Walter Reed having lost both legs in an IED blast.
As a mother, this concerned me deeply and my heart wanted to reach out to help in any way that I can; as a MOTHER OF AN ARMY SAPPER, (active duty engineer) whose primary job in his own deployment is “road clearance” and “bomb diffusing” (Have you seen “The Hurt Locker”?), I was completely tuned in and particularly distraught. My son will deploy a second time in July, my son-in-law will deploy in May, my nephew just retired from the Marines, my step son is a ranger training the newbies at Fort Benning. This hits very close to home for me.
In my efforts to help, an organization called iPads For Soldiers (www.ipadsforsoldiers.org) reached out to me and asked if I would deliver an iPad to this young man when I went to visit. I spent the day on Sunday with founders Winnie and Wes Pritchett handing out more than a dozen iPads to wounded warriors at both Walter Reed and Navy Medical.
If you could only know the bravery, the positive outlook, the Patriotic commitment of these young men and women! I expected justified anger. I expected deep sadness and extreme bitterness. I expected self pity. I obviously don’t know our American Soldiers, because NOT ONE of them showed me that. They showed me GRACE and DIGNITY and PRIDE. They told me “I’ll be just fine, ma’am! I’ll be just fine.” They said they were happy to serve, and they were MOST grateful for the iPad2.
I tell you, it was an extreme pleasure to be part of this service. It is my hope that I can help with some exposure and drum up some financial support from businesses who want to really make a difference.
Almost all of the wounded are far from home, far from their loved ones. While their parents or spouses were living with them in the hospital, (and proclaimed GREAT care received from both Institutions, by the way), there are so many other family members from whom they are separated for months and months and months while they heal. The iPad2 allows them to Video Skype with their children! One of the soldiers downright started to weep at the kindness in learning that this organization cared about them THAT much!
If you want to make a direct difference, you can go on line and donate as little as $25, and know that your contribution goes STRAIGHT toward the purchase of an iPad that will be hand delivered or FedEx’d directly to a wounded soldier.
MBSProClose is a proud sponsor at this point. How can we not be? If you’d like more information, visit www.ipadsforsoldiers.org.
Hooah! Semper Fi!