Five Powerful Examples of Crowdsourcing Systems

If two heads are better than one, what about a million heads. Crowdsourcing is distributing work to thousands and millions of workers, either for payment or volunteer service. Below are some of my favorite crowd sourcing examples.
  1. Amazon Mechanical Turk – Unlike other automated computing sourcing systems, Amazon relies on human beings to perform small tasks. When combined, hundreds of thousands of individuals perform tasks for a few cents to dollars. Some example tasks could be finding an image of a Point of Interest and uploading it.
  2. Wikipedia – This online encyclopedia is completely volunteer written. Anyone can make changes and update the site. Surprisingly, there is virtually no spam on the site. The close knit community keeps everything at bay. There’s always someone that’s an expert in one narrow subject. The site is constantly updated and a go to source for information.
  3. OpenOffice - Through a volunteer community, OpenOffice has developed an open source Microsoft Office replacement. The volunteers include programmers, quality control reviewers, user experience, writing, and marketing.
  4. BOINC - UC Berkley developed this platform for volunteer computing and desktop grid computing. Users signup for various scientific research projects such as SETI (finding green men on Mars). Pieces of data are transmitted to volunteer computers for computation and sent back to the lab for compilation. Most users don’t fully use their computers potential. This project allows those unused processing power to combine into one massive supercomputer.
  5. StumbleUpon - Like other voting sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon users submit interesting URLs and they get voted up and down. The popular onesĀ particulateĀ up the stream and become headline stories. This is how viral marketing sites get top hits.