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Exploring the possibilities of crowdsourcing

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Smartbrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues. Paul Chaney, Internet marketing director for Bizzuka and member of the SmartBrief on Social Media Advisory Board, helps create the questions and analyzes the results. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter and feature Paul’s analysis on this blog.

Last week’s poll question: How interested are you in incorporating crowdsourcing into your business?

  • I don’t understand crowdsourcing well enough to say, 48%
  • Very interested, 16%
  • Not interested at all, 12%
  • Slightly interested, 9%
  • We’re already doing it, 8%
  • Moderately interested, 8%

“I suspect crowdsourcing is still a foreign concept to most, yet many companies are beginning to make use of it for product development. Dell uses crowdsourcing via its IdeaStorm platform to get customer feedback on new product ideas, some of which have been incorporated into Dell computers. T-shirt company, Threadless uses crowdsourcing to determine which T-shirt designs go into print. We are moving from a consumer-based mindset to one in which co-creation is expected. People want to have a voice in developing the products they consume.

James Surowiecki, in his book “The Wisdom of Crowds,” says, “[U]nder the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.” I believe it’s true: “We” are smarter than “me.” Crowdsourcing is certainly a discipline worth investigating.” –Paul Chaney