crowdsourcing is defined by Jeff Howe from on his site as "Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call." [The White Paper Version] and [The Soundbyte Version] "The application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software.". He coined the term then later wrote a book about the subject : Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business. I think Facebook and Myspace are good examples of crowdsourcing these days - having regular people provide content for their sites. As is wikipedia. And even to a small extent this site - but I tend to provide 90% of the content here! Other Australian dance / music related sites generally use this model too : In The Mix, Resident Advisor and even SPRACI to some extent. I'm not sure it's a new thing - underground magazines, zines, newsletters & (postal) mail lists etc have been using this model prior to the rise of the internet - one example off the top of my head in Brisbane was the Vinyl Knickers mailout newsletter & flyer drop. The internet radio station I worked at (rather ... volunteered for!) Pulse Radio used this model too as does most community based sites in the grassroots movements - though perhaps one difference is that most of the grassroots sites are not commercially based and don't make any money. Maybe I should read the book and see where he's coming from..

A notice came through via the AIR list (Association of Internet Researchers) that there's another crowdsourcing blog called Crowd Source: Power of the People, which is intended to "document key activities, developments, literature, and news". Also there's a crowdsourcing facebook group : "The CrowdSource Global Facebook Group is intended to serve as a forum and venue in which members can discuss community-based contributions and potential solutions to any and all economic, scientific, social, and technological issues, problems, and situations, primarily via, but not limited to, a digital environment.". I wonder if they'll talk about sites where people spend a lot of time & effort & work preparing content and later the site deletes it or loses it due to bad backup procedures, or changes focus as has been my experience on some sites I've contributed to.

Another blog about crowdsourcing is - they collate information from around the net also.

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