This friday I participated in the “Tapping into the crowd” at Copenhagen Business School. (see the program here)
Part of the conference evolved around understanding what crowdsourcing is and what gain be “gained/learned” from crowdsourcing. I always suprises my how generic we speak about – even though the phenomenon is so young* it seems we are ready to generalize it already and speak of it as unified concept.
If we want to understand what a crowdsourcing platform does, we must examine that particular platform. The unique design, what it affords, what happens in practice when users meet technology meet design meet habits etc.
All the platforms I’ve examined are different. Sure they sometimes build on the same design- or innovation ideology. But they ARE different. The operate in different settings, the users are afforded different possibilities (through design, through being different humans).
ALSO we must start to focus on the consequences of being a “crowd worker”. We hail how crowdsourcing can do good things for the organization engaging with it, but what about the crowd. The common (I guess somewhat neoliberal or technofetisched) answer is, that worker work whenever she wants, from India and if she prefers 1-7am). Also they say “no structural entry barriers, only measured on meritocracy. Well. As Lars Bo Jeppesen puts it “statistics show that you are highly unlikely to win more than once and you should probably only choose to participate in crowdsourcing work as a hobby”. Well, are we all able to choose.. and what about tomorrow and the day after..? Hint: Freelancer & Precariat
*Im not bying into the “.. we’ve seen crowdsourcing for 100s maybe 1000s of years. Crowdsourcing is a phenomenon build on recent technologies. Lets call the completion of OED something else