When Paid Crowdsourcing Hits the Mainstream: A Report and Online Panel
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now? There are many reasons, but primarily:
1. Huge on-demand selection—it’s an instantly available inventory with reviews and details
2. Saves time and effort—no travel logistics
3. Satisfactory results—we get what we expect
4. Best price—it’s likely the best price available
5. Secure and private—we are confident that our personal information is secure and private
It stands to reason that shopping for work done via an online on-demand workforce would need to meet these same criteria to become mainstream. Forward progress toward broad adoption of paid crowdsourcing has been battling 6 main foes:
1. Crowd responsiveness—someone must do my work quickly, no matter how mundane
2. Ease of use—I can utilize this online with less hassle than instructing an intern, and without requiring training or technical abilities
3. Satisfactory results—the results I get back must be right
4. Cost advantage—it must be more inexpensive than the alternatives
5. Security & privacy—my business information must be kept autonomous if I choose
6. Resistance of the inefficient markets—my company will not incite the wrath of the more traditional deliverers of this kind of service
Huge progress against this gang of 6 has moved several vendors of crowdsourced work closer to becoming mainstream business utilities. Companies like CastingWords (audio transcription), Elance (find, hire, manage and pay contractors online), Smartsheet (general work crowdsourcing), and 99Designs (logo design) are approaching the crowdsourcing market’s sweet spot from different, but very viable, directions.
Our Smartsheet team has produced a full-fledged report detailing the paid crowdsourcing space, and has organized an expert panel to debate it online. Wikipedia’s general definition of an expert is “a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, or occupation, and in a particular area of study.” Until someone comes along to unseat us, I guess we’re the definitive experts.
Join the Paid Crowdsourcing Expert Panel webinar (www.smartsheet.com/crowdwork) this Thursday, September 17, at 9:00 am Pacific Time to hear from the experts on where this space is headed and how you can participate.