You might have heard the term “crowdsourcing” when it comes to creating online content. Although it may be a new idea to you, the term and idea itself is actually older than you might think.
What is crowdsourcing?
In business, definitions and terms vary, but the basic idea is to tap into the collective intelligence of the public at large to complete business-related tasks that a company would normally either perform itself or outsource to a third-party provider. So, when you are creating content that is newsworthy, you might reference, or source, several (coining the term ‘crowd’) different news stations and blogs to get facts and opinions on the subject.
Crowdsourcing is important because the internet has a vast world of knowledge, inspiration and opinion. The more you bring more to the table, the more qualitative and quantitative your audience will be. Crowdsourcing is like collecting. You have it all in one place and no one needs to go anywhere else. Crowdsourcing can improve productivity and creativity while minimizing labor and research expenses. For me to do a story about a man in Miami, Florida, I no longer have to buy a plane ticket, hotel room, meals and my own video camera to report on it. I can use other’s information (without plagiarizing) to power my story.
Why is crowdsourcing beneficial?
The internet is a collection of linked material all over the world. I love it when I see my content linked in another article. That’s crowdsourcing, and when someone clicks on my link in that person’s article, I get page views on my article as well. It’s like sharing.
Crowdsourcing has been standard at Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms from the get-go. Now, libraries and historians have started tapping into user-generated content to help fill history “books,” which these days are more likely to be online portals.