What is Crowdsourcing?

If crowdsourcing has a rallying cry, it’s probably “power to the people!” Crowdsourcing is all about taking a task that would generally be assigned to one person or group (usually employees) and farming it out to the public at large. Like Ben & Jerry’s “Do the World a Flavor” project, in which the company’s newest ice cream flavor was determined by an online contest (the winner has yet to be announced). And Foldit,which asks people to “solve puzzles for science” in an effort to help cure diseases. But crowdsourcing is not without its critics: Some worry that it results in substandard work, while others question the ethics of soliciting free or low-paying work.


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