The Culture of free: Crowdsourcing 


A lot of conversation is happening around crowdsourcing these days. In case you don’t know, Crowdsourcing is a neologistic compound of Crowd and Outsourcing for the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an “open call” to a large group of people (a crowd) asking for contributions.

A great example of a crowdsourcing project are the Huffington Post, in its early days.

But can crowdsourcing be a reliable way of doing things in the future?

Everyone active on Twitter must have noticed the large number of self proclaimed evangelists and coaches. These guys are usually amateurs, trying to break it into the industry of their choice by posting stuff they have read on various blogs and other industry sites. They will get involved in anything that becomes available that needs some help free of charge.

However these people cannot normally offer anything to these projects, as they lack expertise and experience. In fact it is my belief that the project is likely to cost more at the end that it would have had it gone to contractors from the very beginning of its existence.

But the worst is tha skilled individuals remain in the dark. People who chose to charge, because they deserve it, miss out in this culture of free. But this is also the culture of compromised quality.

Many will argue that crowdsourcing have given talented and passionate individuals the opportunity to shine and opened the doors to employment and creativity. I will not disagree. But this number can’t be but small and it can’t make up for the damage it causes.