More Crowdsourcing Challenges
More crowdsourcing challenges
The way in which the crowdsourcer frames the task will strongly impact the end results. Crowdsourcing allow companies to send work to hundreds of thousands of people. Surprisingly, the language and layout of these jobs dramatically affect the quality and type of responses. Examples of this are Digg and Reddit. Users vote on news articles on both Websites, dictating which content goes to the top. Digg only offers an "up" vote, while Reddit offers both "up" and "down" voting options. In the end, this subtle difference results in two different types of Websites.
In addition, any time you take your projects or data and send it out to a crowd of people, you need to worry about fraud and error. You or your vendor should be sure that you have a system to handle the inevitable subset of people who won't do exactly what you want them to do. They won't either because they're trying to get through the task too quickly, they're simply erring or they're purposefully not doing good work.
All crowds are different, comprised of distinct people. If you rely on your own users, you need critical mass. If you want to use somebody else's crowd, they will often provide recruitment and forecasting in order to match your demand for their services.
Just as cloud computing eliminates the need for businesses to rely on internal computing infrastructure and forecast the need for future computing resources, crowdsourcing eliminates the need to rely on an internal workforce and the need to forecast task volume. For many applications, crowdsourcing dramatically reduces cost and increases scalability, often giving businesses a crucial competitive advantage.
Lukas Biewald is the co-founder and CEO of CrowdFlower. Before co-founding CrowdFlower, Lukas was a senior scientist and manager within the ranking and management team at Powerset, a natural language search technology company later acquired by Microsoft in 2008. Lukas has also led the search relevance team for Yahoo Japan. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and a Master's degree in Computer Science, both from Stanford University. Recently, Lukas won the Netexplorateur Award for Give Work, a collaboration with Samasource that brings digital work to refugees worldwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.