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Crowdsourcing & Crowd Wisdom

Definition #

Crowdsourcing is a combination of the words "crowd" and "outsourcing." It refers to work done by volunteers (usually online) that is traditionally outsourced.

Jelly beans

(Photo: Wikimedia)

Commentary #

Crowdsourcing is a popular concept that harnesses the wisdom of crowds to solve a problem. This communal wisdom is especially popular online where we vote, rate, and assess content. James Surowiecki published a book called The Wisdom of Crowds on this subject (I haven't read it).

Many famous demonstrations involve a large audience guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar and having the guesses averaged. There have been interesting discussions about how it works, how it fails, and how it could have saved us from the financial crisis.

Meta #

The answer to the previous meta is crowds.

See Also #