November 01, 2008

A book you must read: "Crowdsourcing" by Jeff Howe If you are in the 'content' and / or media business, Jeff Howe's new book 'Crowdsourcing' is a must read, because it describes a powerful trend that will change the way we do business: because of the fact that we are all connected now, at all times (well... just about), it is no longer just authorized insiders, professionals, employees or otherwise paid workers in large firms that can solve large problems or contribute to complex projects. Now, the world can be your talent (as Don Tapscott is putting it, in Wikinomics, years ago), and companies like Procter & Gamble are busy sourcing ideas and solutions from anyone that wants to take a crack at it, via platforms such as InnoCentive or YourEncore. Here is Jeff Howe's definition of Crowdsourcing: "The White Paper Version: 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 Soundbyte Version: The application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software." Jeff's blog is here, btw (a Wired blog). Some nuggets from the book (quoted): Labor can often be organized more efficiently in the context of community than it can be in the context of a corporation Crowdsourcing has the capacity to form a sort of perfect meritocracy... Gone are pedigree, race, gender, age and qualification When this demographic (the digital natives) reaches adulthood, they will bring behaviors and attitudes honed through 1000s of hours in front of a computer, constructing their own experience and working collaboratively in various online communities Some related books: The Cathedral and the Bazaar (Raymond), The Wealth of Networks (Benkler), Wikinomics (Tapscott). Read away...

Gerd Leonhard

Keynote Speaker, Think-Tank Leader, Futurist, Author & Strategist, Idea Curator, some say Iconoclast | Heretic, CEO TheFuturesAgency, Visiting Prof FDC Brazil, Green Futurist

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