Guest post by Kristen Bradley
Boring business tasks using up all your time & energy? Today Kristen gives us a solution to get rid of those tasks by introducing us to crowdsourcing, and giving us some great sites along the way.
The Crowdsourcing Breakdown
Crowdsourcing is a method of work that is becoming increasingly popular. It involves bringing together a large group of people to complete tasks typically performed by a single person or small group. This method is an effective way to accomplish mundane or tedious tasks at a greater rate. The tasks can be done either online or offline and are performed by an undefined public rather than a specific group of paid employees. A number of different types of tasks can be crowdsourced, but most tasks fall into four major categories.
Crowdsourcing for Micro and Macrotasks
Two of the major categories for crowdsourcing are microtasks and macrotasks. Microtasks involve large projects that are broken down into tiny tasks. The tasks are well-defined and then distributed to a group of workers. These tasks typically include such jobs as translation, data validation, image tagging, research, writing, editing, categorization and much more. Want to crowdsource some of your own microtasks? Check out:
- Mechanical Turk
Macrotasks are another popular form of crowdsourcing. The biggest difference, is these involve presenting an entire project to the crowd of potential workers. Rather than having small, predetermined tasks, workers are asked to help out with any portions about which they have particular knowledge. The power of macrotasks comes from empowering workers to help make decisions. Macrotasks typically include projects in product innovation as well as research and development. Major players for macrotasking include these great crowdsourcing sites :
Crowdfunding and Contests
Crowdfunding is also an acknowledged method for finding scalable solutions. Unlike crowdsourcing, instead of paying people to do work, people are asked to donate resources or a specific amount of money to support a proposal or cause. If the entire goal is not reached, all money and other assets are returned to the funders. Crowdfunding works well for startups, disaster relief, fundraising, market research and more. Some industry players in crowdfunding include:
Lastly, crowdsourced contests are also a great way to get a mass amount of people involved in a short amount of time. In many cases, a crowd is asked to submit ideas for a project, but only the winner or winners are compensated for their contributions. While the risk is greater in terms of getting paid, winners are paid much more than they are in the other categories. Contests are great for tasks such as creating business names or logo designs. Major contest program examples include:
Crowdsourcing is a cost-efficient and highly-effective way to get tedious business tasks done, whether in the form of microtasks, macrotasks, crowdfunding or contests. These four major categories include a wide range of employment skills and types, making this an appealing way to work. The benefit for your business? It allows for a wider range of input, lower labor costs and a wide range of options for the final product.
Kristen Bradley is a principal for CrowdSource.com, a premier website which delivers scalable solutions to professionals among various industries.