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The very concept of crowdsourcing stands at odds with centuries of practice. Yet, for the digital natives soon to enter the workforce, the technologies and principles behind crowdsourcing are perfectly intuitive. This generation collaborates, shares, remixes, and creates with a fluency and ease the rest of us can hardly understand. Crowdsourcing, just now starting to emerg The very concept of crowdsourcing stands at odds with centuries of practice. Yet, for the digital natives soon to enter the workforce, the technologies and principles behind crowdsourcing are perfectly intuitive. This generation collaborates, shares, remixes, and creates with a fluency and ease the rest of us can hardly understand. Crowdsourcing, just now starting to emerge, will in a short time simply be the way things are done.


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The very concept of crowdsourcing stands at odds with centuries of practice. Yet, for the digital natives soon to enter the workforce, the technologies and principles behind crowdsourcing are perfectly intuitive. This generation collaborates, shares, remixes, and creates with a fluency and ease the rest of us can hardly understand. Crowdsourcing, just now starting to emerg The very concept of crowdsourcing stands at odds with centuries of practice. Yet, for the digital natives soon to enter the workforce, the technologies and principles behind crowdsourcing are perfectly intuitive. This generation collaborates, shares, remixes, and creates with a fluency and ease the rest of us can hardly understand. Crowdsourcing, just now starting to emerge, will in a short time simply be the way things are done.

30 review for Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    I am very ambivalent about crowdsourcing. At first, I rated this book very low (1-2 stars) because of the rah-rah boosterism extolling the virtues and home run success stories in crowdsourcing. Some of it sounds downright exploitive. If Cincymoms.com brought in $386,000 in ad revenue for Gannett in its first six months, then why were the 10 'discussion leaders' paid a paltry $25 per week? They were required to start 10 new discussions per week, write 20 posts to the discussions of their co-leade I am very ambivalent about crowdsourcing. At first, I rated this book very low (1-2 stars) because of the rah-rah boosterism extolling the virtues and home run success stories in crowdsourcing. Some of it sounds downright exploitive. If Cincymoms.com brought in $386,000 in ad revenue for Gannett in its first six months, then why were the 10 'discussion leaders' paid a paltry $25 per week? They were required to start 10 new discussions per week, write 20 posts to the discussions of their co-leaders, and approve all messages before they are displayed. $25 per week is an exploitive wage. http://globotrends.pbworks.com/cincymoms Around the middle of the book, he began to give a more nuanced picture of crowdsourcing and its strengths and weaknesses. Yes, the vast majority of crowd contributions is dreck. But, professional journalists can't spend the time to develop deep knowledge about all their article subjects. (As a scientist, I cringe at most of the science journalism I read in mainstream newspapers.) In that way, crowdsourcing can provide deep knowledge about hyperlocal or specialized topics. He didn't hit his stride until the end of the book when he pointed out the ways in which crowds can supplement the work of professional investigative journalists. For instance, when the Dept of Justice disclosed 3000 pages of documents and memos one night (a data dump), talkingpointsmemo.com readers/volunteers read 50 page chunks and summarized them for professional journalists. In this way, TPM was able to discern the pattern of U.S. attorney firings around the country under the second Bush administration. Yesterday, I had a crowdsourcing experience when I read a story at propublica.org about stimulus contractors. http://www.propublica.org/feature/for... Propublica asked their readers to download the spreadsheet of stimulus contractors and investigate them for malfeasance. I didn't even have to do that because the accompanying picture at the top of the story prominently featured CACI international. I had blogged about CACI's role in the conditions at Abu Ghraib, http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/200.... They were barred from holding federal contracts in 2004. http://www.blackfive.net/main/2004/06... I emailed the tip to the two journalists working on the story. Hopefully, they can use they time they save employing crowdsourcing to write a more comprehensive investigative report.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I made it to page 100 in this book. Honestly, it was actually pretty good, however, it could have (and should have) been an essay. The introductory chapters give you exactly what you need to know and provide some great insight. The rest of the book seems to just be example piled upon example of the same darn thing... we get the idea. Now time to move on.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rod Hilton

    Crowdsourcing is an informative book about the growing popularity of using large crowds to solve interesting problems or provide content. The term "crowdsourcing" was actually coined by Jeff Howe, so this is a pretty authoritative book on the subject. The book covers all sorts of things which fall under the very wide umbrella of crowdsourcing, such as Linux, Threadless, Myspace, Wikipedia, TopCoder, American Idol, iStockPhoto, and quite a great deal more. The book is interesting, but never quite i Crowdsourcing is an informative book about the growing popularity of using large crowds to solve interesting problems or provide content. The term "crowdsourcing" was actually coined by Jeff Howe, so this is a pretty authoritative book on the subject. The book covers all sorts of things which fall under the very wide umbrella of crowdsourcing, such as Linux, Threadless, Myspace, Wikipedia, TopCoder, American Idol, iStockPhoto, and quite a great deal more. The book is interesting, but never quite insightful. Most of the content is at a very superficial level, accurately describing the emergence of crowdsourcing in businesses, but without really providing a great deal of analysis of it. A few chapters provide advice for how to use crowdsourcing in your own business, but even these contradict themselves a bit. As a brief example, Howe tells the story of InnoCentive, a company that relies on the crowd to solve science stumpers. Howe points out cases where the solutions were found by people who were not scientists by training, but then in the section where he offers advice for businesses who wish to leverage crowdsourcing, he implies that you should ensure your crowd consists mostly of experts. Overall, a very good book and worth a read, and while it covered a wider range of examples of crowdsourcing at work, I have to recommend the very similar Wikinomics above Crowdsourcing. Wikinomics has far fewer examples, but goes into quite a bit more detail with each example, providing a bit deeper of an analysis.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tin Wee

    The book argues that the Internet, coupled with the rise of online communities, ever decreasing costs of multimedia production (re vid editing software/ cams/ vid cams),have blurred the line between producers and consumers. Case studies examine the variants of crowdsourcing employed by companies like Threadless, iStockphoto, and Innocentive, and the technologies that allow the wisdom of the crowd be tapped, whether in content creation (Threadless, Youtube, modding Half Life), capturing crowd pre The book argues that the Internet, coupled with the rise of online communities, ever decreasing costs of multimedia production (re vid editing software/ cams/ vid cams),have blurred the line between producers and consumers. Case studies examine the variants of crowdsourcing employed by companies like Threadless, iStockphoto, and Innocentive, and the technologies that allow the wisdom of the crowd be tapped, whether in content creation (Threadless, Youtube, modding Half Life), capturing crowd preferences (Amazon's book preferences, Google), crowd voting (Amrican idol) or crowd funding (Sellaband). Clearly this is an interesting biz model that looks set to become more prevalent. It would be interesting to see how (if) this can be applied to the public sector more extensively.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The blithe attitude of this book gave me the chills.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    I thought this was a really interesting book and spot on with some of its predictions.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erwin

    Journalistic (not a business book) about how online communities are besting large corporations, including iStockPhoto beating out Getty Images, Wikipedia beating out all the encyclopedias that came before it, and Linux, beating out Sun Microsystems and in many ways, Microsoft. That's quite an amazing feat when you actually stop to think about it, and has long term implications for politics, economics and business. Meanwhile, InnoCentive is successfully solving some of the Fortune 500's toughest Journalistic (not a business book) about how online communities are besting large corporations, including iStockPhoto beating out Getty Images, Wikipedia beating out all the encyclopedias that came before it, and Linux, beating out Sun Microsystems and in many ways, Microsoft. That's quite an amazing feat when you actually stop to think about it, and has long term implications for politics, economics and business. Meanwhile, InnoCentive is successfully solving some of the Fortune 500's toughest research problems by offering prize money for crowdsourced solutions. There are several interesting ideas worth reflection here, though there core of the book came from a Wired story The Rise of Crowdsourcing that you can still find online. Chapter 1: The Rise of the Amateur Chapter 2: From So Simple a Beginning Chapter 3: Faster, Cheaper, Smarter, Easier. Case studies in crowdsourcing solutions to complex problems. Chapter 4: The Rise and Fall of the Firm. Summarizes The Wealth of Networks. Chapter 5: The Most Universal Quality. Crowds are diverse. More perspectives leads to more possible solutions. Chapter 6: What the Crowd Knows. (Chapter 5 continued). Crowds are true meritocracies. Pedigree don't matter, only answers. Chapter 7: What the Crowd Creates. Using incentives, rewards and ownership to reward the crowd. Chapter 8: What the Crowd Thinks. The 10% of the crowd that actually posts sets the tone for the community (think American Idol vs Amazon vs Digg) Chapter 9: What the Crowd Funds. Foreshadowing Kickstarter. Chapter 10: Tomorrow's Crowd. Youth were born in the network, and will use it more effectively. Mr Howe summarizes with these (common sense) rules for crowdsourcing: 1. Pick the right model from among collective intelligence, creation, voting, or funding. 2. Pick the right crowd from the participants to the people who will influence and usher the crowd. 3. Offer the right incentives to the crowd that are often expressed in recognition rather just money. 4. Keep the pink slips in the drawer - crowdsourcing is not outsourcing 5. The dumbness of crowds, or the benevolent dictator principle - crowds need leaders who influence 6. Keep it simple, break it down - give the crowd something each individual can work on, yet can aggregate into something great. 7. Remember Sturgeon's Law - 90% of what is created is crap so you will need to allow the crowd to separate the cream from the crap 8. Remember the 10 percent, the antidote to Sturgeon's law - related to #7 that the crow can do the sorting in a democratic and open forum better than the experts. 9. The community is always right 10. Ask not what the crowd can do for you, but what you can do for the crowd - a crowd forms and is most effective when it sis working on something it wants.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Being a technogeek is kind of a relative thing. I have many friends who are far more tech savvy than I am, but in my world, I'm considered a computer whiz. I read (or listen to) books like this because I'm interested in what's going on in the world. I believe that technology is not just adding convenience (or complicating things, depending on your perspective), but that is fundamentally changing how we live, work, and relate to one another. The industrial revolution changed the economy in that it Being a technogeek is kind of a relative thing. I have many friends who are far more tech savvy than I am, but in my world, I'm considered a computer whiz. I read (or listen to) books like this because I'm interested in what's going on in the world. I believe that technology is not just adding convenience (or complicating things, depending on your perspective), but that is fundamentally changing how we live, work, and relate to one another. The industrial revolution changed the economy in that it made more goods available more efficiently, but it also changed business strategies and processes. The assembly line became the model for business, not just for manufacturing, as processes were evaluated for their efficiency at producing the most work with the least effort and the least cost. Since I'm a pastor, I tend to look at what this means for the churches I work with. Like workers on the assembly line, church volunteers became specialists to the point in my own denomination that there were so many specialized posts and committees that small membership congregations didn't have enough people to fill them. So what do the changes described in Crowdsourcing mean for the church? We probably won't know until about 20 years after things have changed for everyone else, but it gives me hope. Crowdsourcing is all about the community, where even the least experienced and least knowledgeable can have a tremendous impact. It seems a much closer model to what I believe faith communities could and should be. While learned experts have their place, a crowdsourcing model encourages a newbie to add a sliver of their own creativity with frequently dramatic breakthroughs that come from fresh views. The model encourages mentoring and connection where contributions are made simply because people love what they're doing. A crowdsourced worship might begin with a basic outline and some thoughts on a scripture passage posted to a shared site where contributors could add their thoughts, links to images and music, or even post files or videos of their own music and images. A crowdsourced Bible commentary (wiki-Bible?) could begin with a scripture passage, links to original languages, translations, historic commentaries, with new comments filtered and ranked by the community. We'd be challenged to think beyond the arguments that divide us, which would be difficult since we're still stuck in the fundamentalist/liberal controversy of the 19th century. That's probably why we're still a ways from this. Obviously, I found the book interesting, and Kirby Heyborne did a competent job with the reading. Nonfiction books are pretty straightforward, but Mr. Heyborne reads with consistent energy to maintain interest.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    This book a very good primer to all things "social" online. It helped flesh out some of the history and scope of many of the group efforts out there. But it seemed a tad too long in the depth department. True, the details and longer narratives do add context, proof and support, but a book on this rapidly changing subject really needs to be more focused and intense. At times it felt more like a history book of efforts and systems, than current strategies and "looking forward". I also would have li This book a very good primer to all things "social" online. It helped flesh out some of the history and scope of many of the group efforts out there. But it seemed a tad too long in the depth department. True, the details and longer narratives do add context, proof and support, but a book on this rapidly changing subject really needs to be more focused and intense. At times it felt more like a history book of efforts and systems, than current strategies and "looking forward". I also would have liked more of the "here's is a plan about how you might think about applying these same principals to your business." I know this isn't a "workbook" but those kinds of tidbits would have made it stronger in that a reader could easily start implementing and using the ideas put forward immediately. I realize that I read this book a full year after its publication and much had already changed or been added to the crowdsourced landscape. If ever there were a book that could benefit by a new ebook model or digital errata, this one is it. I have recommended the book twice and if you're in the tech field or wondering how to leverage the crowdsourceing tools out there, you should read this, but if you need anything more hands-on, you might want to surf some blogs.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Burnett

    Crowdsourcing is another of the millions of pop business/technology books out there (a la The World Is Flat and The Long Tail). The gist of it is that the Internet enables large numbers of people to work together, and that these crowds can collectively outperform experts when organized correctly. Howe insists that crowdsourcing is changing the way stuff happens--how research and development is being conducted at major companies; how photographs and movies are generated, shared, and sold; how (of Crowdsourcing is another of the millions of pop business/technology books out there (a la The World Is Flat and The Long Tail). The gist of it is that the Internet enables large numbers of people to work together, and that these crowds can collectively outperform experts when organized correctly. Howe insists that crowdsourcing is changing the way stuff happens--how research and development is being conducted at major companies; how photographs and movies are generated, shared, and sold; how (of course!) encyclopedias are being written; how t-shirts are being designed (and so forth). However, he never really strays beyond the knowledge-based, digital side of things to examine the effect of crowdsourcing on physical products or services. Howe's constant stream of examples and case studies keeps the book from devolving into repetitive drudgery. The concept is easy enough and probably warrants a long feature article in Wired, but not an entire book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Pesek

    According to Howe, crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call. In a simpler sense, it's the application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software. "If this book could be reduced to a single theme, it would be that the erosion of the boundary between producer and consumer has begun to exercise a considerable effect on our ec According to Howe, crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call. In a simpler sense, it's the application of Open Source principles to fields outside of software. "If this book could be reduced to a single theme, it would be that the erosion of the boundary between producer and consumer has begun to exercise a considerable effect on our economy and our culture." Howe's crowdsourcing roadmap: 1-pick the right model, as there are four primary categories: -Crowd Wisdom (collective Intelligence) -Crowd Creation -Crowd Voting -Crowd Funding 2-Pick the right crowd 3-Offer the right incentives 4-Keep the pinkslips in the drawer 5-The dumbness of the crowds, or the benevolent dictator principle 6-Keep it simple & break it down 7-Remember Sturgeon's law 8-Remember the 10%, the antidote to Sturgeon's Law. 9-The Community is always right 10-Ask not what the crowd can do for you but what you can do for the crowd

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alfred Timothy Lotho

    The book contained more text on "ideas that were born outside the office environment (plus an introduction to Big Data)" rather than the "crowdsourcing". While using appropriate examples such as Wikipedia, Etsy and Innocentive was a good decision, most parts of the book felt, if not irrelevant, "trying hard" (such as saying that as cameras get cheaper, more photos can be produced and marketed even by amateurs). There were a few redeeming topics such as the concept of "pro-amateurs", the governme The book contained more text on "ideas that were born outside the office environment (plus an introduction to Big Data)" rather than the "crowdsourcing". While using appropriate examples such as Wikipedia, Etsy and Innocentive was a good decision, most parts of the book felt, if not irrelevant, "trying hard" (such as saying that as cameras get cheaper, more photos can be produced and marketed even by amateurs). There were a few redeeming topics such as the concept of "pro-amateurs", the government malfeasance in Fort Myers and the story of Digg and how its administrators chose the community over the law. As a gamer myself, the section on CounterStrike and mods was also entertaining. Other than those, most of the parts left me discontented. It would have been great if the author added examples of how crowdsourcing was used in less common fields not related to marketing, information technology or laboratory sciences (i.e. forensics -> how criminals are caught based on information from many people)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Savvymaami

    I have been interested in the concept of crowdsourcing, which essentially uses the power of the Internet and social networking to further business prospects, ever since I read the fabulous title "What Would Google Do"? by Jeff Jarvis. I thought that this appropriately titled book would shed further light on this, but I was sadly mistaken. The first 50 pages were a good lead-in, but after that point it started to sound very subjective and elitist. The author pretty much gave facts that he expecte I have been interested in the concept of crowdsourcing, which essentially uses the power of the Internet and social networking to further business prospects, ever since I read the fabulous title "What Would Google Do"? by Jeff Jarvis. I thought that this appropriately titled book would shed further light on this, but I was sadly mistaken. The first 50 pages were a good lead-in, but after that point it started to sound very subjective and elitist. The author pretty much gave facts that he expected you to know, but most people would not, or at least not in this early stage of crowdsourcing. At times he sounded pretty condescending that you didn't know what he knew. I didn't get past page 65 of the book. And I won't finish it either.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jim Geovedi

    I began to see connections between how one aspect of crowdsourcing could be combined with other aspects to make more progress more rapidly. If that's why you want to read the book, borrow the book at the library (or read it standing up at a book store) because you'll finish that section faster than a cup of coffee. If you have been paying close attention to the subject of crowdsourcing, this book will contain few surprises. If you use crowdsourcing to get lots of ideas, you also need to rely a l I began to see connections between how one aspect of crowdsourcing could be combined with other aspects to make more progress more rapidly. If that's why you want to read the book, borrow the book at the library (or read it standing up at a book store) because you'll finish that section faster than a cup of coffee. If you have been paying close attention to the subject of crowdsourcing, this book will contain few surprises. If you use crowdsourcing to get lots of ideas, you also need to rely a lot on crowdsourcing to get rid of the junk. Jeff Howe reveals that the crowd is more than wise as talented, creative, and stunningly productive. For a book that aims to describe the fundamentals of how crowd sourcing will be used by business, the conclusion section is pretty limited and abstract.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I think Howe is a few years behind on the trend. I think I've read all of this, in multiple forms, in many different ways, throughout the last two years. I'll add the writing isn't even that good nor is it at all insightful. And on a particularly irritating note, he dwells for a long time on Putnam's "Bowling Alone" book, but then assumes everyone knows what the third place is and that everyone has read Oldenburg's "Great Good Place." It should have been the other way around for his argument, ac I think Howe is a few years behind on the trend. I think I've read all of this, in multiple forms, in many different ways, throughout the last two years. I'll add the writing isn't even that good nor is it at all insightful. And on a particularly irritating note, he dwells for a long time on Putnam's "Bowling Alone" book, but then assumes everyone knows what the third place is and that everyone has read Oldenburg's "Great Good Place." It should have been the other way around for his argument, actually.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    Although a bit dated now (what book addressing social media/networking isn't out of date long before the reader ever gets it these days?), I really enjoyed looking more at the roots of crowdsourcing and where the idea first came from and where it was going at the end of 2008 when the book was published. As it is a principle we are trying to use where I work for cataloging archival documents, looking at past crowdsourcing projects and models helped me understand better how we should be shaping ou Although a bit dated now (what book addressing social media/networking isn't out of date long before the reader ever gets it these days?), I really enjoyed looking more at the roots of crowdsourcing and where the idea first came from and where it was going at the end of 2008 when the book was published. As it is a principle we are trying to use where I work for cataloging archival documents, looking at past crowdsourcing projects and models helped me understand better how we should be shaping our project.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I don't often read books like Crowdsourcing, but I found Jeff Howe to be an engaging writer who knows how to tell engaging stories to explain his theories on how to use the crowd in business. There are a few places that feel a little repetitious and dull, but Howe mostly delivers a solid message in an way that I found entertaining. My recommendation: Don't read this book word for word. Skim it, browse it, read it like a manual of sorts and you'll pick up the message without getting bogged down i I don't often read books like Crowdsourcing, but I found Jeff Howe to be an engaging writer who knows how to tell engaging stories to explain his theories on how to use the crowd in business. There are a few places that feel a little repetitious and dull, but Howe mostly delivers a solid message in an way that I found entertaining. My recommendation: Don't read this book word for word. Skim it, browse it, read it like a manual of sorts and you'll pick up the message without getting bogged down it similar stories or parts you don't find interesting.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    A great book that explains how crowdsourcing is being used in the marketplace and to what ends. I read this book right after "The Wisdom of Crowds," and found that a great order to put them in. "The Wisdom of Crowds" explains the science of crowdsourcing, while "Crowdsourcing" explains its practical application. I was inspired enough by these books to propose we do a "crowdsourced" issue of the magazine I help run, and we are, in fact, doing that in the spring of 2010. Should be interesting!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    I find crowdsourcing very interesting especially with a generation that is growing up not really having boundaries on what they can do as technology is easy and accessible. This has also directly impacted their value to the product itself with downloading music and movies quickly and easily. How will the market and society adapt to a new business model, and will crowdsourcing matter? I am very interested in this topic so the book was an easy win for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dan Graham

    Definitely a worthwhile read. Written in 2008, not a novel concept for sure, but it was interesting to read an in depth look at many businesses succeeding off crowdsourcing and to have them all put together in one place. I for one would like to read more about AssignmentZero, what the goal of the experiment was, and why they gave up on it and allowed it to end — seemed like something worth pursuing in more depth.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ko Matsuo

    I was really excited to read this book by the person who coined the word "crowdsourcing" back in 2006. However, the book is challenged in differentiating crowdsourcing from the simple economies of scale that come from the internet. There are glimpses of something new and great here, but nowhere near the potential of where it is headed today. It's more of a testimony to how quick innovation and ideas have happened in the 8 months since the book was published.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Adriano Ariganello

    Maybe it's that I've been reading a lot of books about large corporations about or by CEOs, but I found this book to be extremely hopeful. I'm not even sure that was the intent of the author. The examples given are entertaining and just in depth enough to show how the crowd has shifted the models of their given industries. It's not all positive and Howe acknowledges that, but it's an overwhelmingly positive look at the future.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Edna

    I am very ambivalent about crowdsourcing. At first, I rated this book very low (1-2 stars) because of the rah-rah boosterism extolling the virtues and home run success stories in crowdsourcing. Some of it sounds downright exploitive.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I mistakenly thought this was about crowdFUNDING. It is about the power of letting volunteers and communities work together to solve problems. It wasn't terrible, but it's dated and it goes on and on, a lot of focus on tech. I lost interest after a while. Some good info but got repetitive and boring.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kaustav Ghosh

    Really like the book so far...great examples from the real world that serve as good understanding for the reader...I would definitely recommend this book...the lessons are practical even today...infact to a much greater an amplified extent

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    very very very good. makes you think about macro trends among humans and logical inferences that locally scoped humans reason with.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mike Lepley

    Jeff Howe was one of the first journalists to coin the term the coin Crowdsourcing in Wired Magazine. It is only fitting that he would come out with a book about the same source. Originally crowdsourcing was described as the process by which the power of many can be leveraged to accomplish feats that were once the province of the specialized few. The transformative power of today’s social media, cheap technology has been able to liberate the potential within the common person. In a world using c Jeff Howe was one of the first journalists to coin the term the coin Crowdsourcing in Wired Magazine. It is only fitting that he would come out with a book about the same source. Originally crowdsourcing was described as the process by which the power of many can be leveraged to accomplish feats that were once the province of the specialized few. The transformative power of today’s social media, cheap technology has been able to liberate the potential within the common person. In a world using crowdsourcing age, gender, education, and status no longer matter; and every field is open to people of every imaginable background. Jeff Howe gives various examples from Istockphoto to Youtube where successful companies have leveraged the power of crowdsourcing. He also dives into the negative consequences of crowdsourcing, including how to manage the crowd and avoid group think or mob metality. He shates interesting statistics in that 1% of the crowd develop content, 9% comment on the work and the remainder simply lurk. Surprisingly, no matter the medium, this statistic holds true. I am a big fan of the idea behind crowdsourcing and information sharing but the book was slightly dated. It was written in 2008 and in the lightning age of social media we live in several of the principles have been expanded upon. The book itself is a fairly easy read. I would even say it is a bit simplistic in the way it is written almost in a whimsical way. In this format it seems more like Howe is a fan pushing an idea instead of giving us a blueprint for success. It sways from a history of crowdsourcing, the people who tried it, and a few pitfalls but never really doesn’t explore a way to implement the crowdsourcing technique beyond generalities. If you can pick the book up cheap its worth a read. If your really interested in crowdsourcing plenty of other books are probably a better choice.

  28. 4 out of 5

    YHC

    What a good time spending half of my Sunday on reading this book and get to know so many internet crowd-sourcing history and information. On the contrary of my previous 2 books The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture and The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Howe actually gave us mostly positive opinions about how internet crowd wisdom actually contribute to the whole younger generations. From Linux, istockphoto, Threadless, P&G, [email protected], eBird, sou What a good time spending half of my Sunday on reading this book and get to know so many internet crowd-sourcing history and information. On the contrary of my previous 2 books The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture and The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Howe actually gave us mostly positive opinions about how internet crowd wisdom actually contribute to the whole younger generations. From Linux, istockphoto, Threadless, P&G, [email protected], eBird, sourceforge,net, Clickworkers, IMDb.com, Wikipedia, Peer-to-patent project, M dot Strange, youtube, CurrentTv, Cincy.com, Topcoder, MatLab, [email protected], Netflix, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, to crowdfunding: Kiva.org. This book gave so many example about totally different from traditional model but successfully working on internet. Each company got same characteristic: Crowd wisdom. We might worry about the level of professional qualification of these amateurs, but they are also learning fast, many of them could provide very precious business ideas to the whole community. Like the book said (1:10: 89) One brilliant idea, checked by 10 people, benefits 89 other people. After reading this book, i feel inspired and more optimistic about internet, still, i won't give up reading books.

  29. 4 out of 5

    irfan

    If this book was to be written as short as 3 years ago, it could be a truly revolutionary idea of a book. But alas, what i do find written is just a mere rehash of some ideas that has already been around, and in fact is a model for most online businesses that is driven by netizen-driven initiatives. But though its basic premise is the idea that the wisdom of the many far supercedes the intelligence of the few, what this book does highlight well is the various sub-aspects and classifications of h If this book was to be written as short as 3 years ago, it could be a truly revolutionary idea of a book. But alas, what i do find written is just a mere rehash of some ideas that has already been around, and in fact is a model for most online businesses that is driven by netizen-driven initiatives. But though its basic premise is the idea that the wisdom of the many far supercedes the intelligence of the few, what this book does highlight well is the various sub-aspects and classifications of how these crowdsourcing is done effectively. From one that entails a mass elicitation of responses and ideas to a given situation or problem, to one whereby winners are chosen by popular votes (ala American Idol), one can see that perhaps these models of businesses could be the very foundations of how business may thrive in the very near future, and perhaps even beyond. But of course there are limitations to this, and in this aspect is where I do feel that some shortcomings of such models is not sufficiently elucidated. Nonetheless, this book is interesting enough for those willing to spend some time to understand this mass-driven culture, and perhaps be themselves be participants in one of a few!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Aili

    In the introduction Jeff Howe defines a person who is not a "digital native" as "anyone who still gets their news from a newspaper." It's probably petty, but I stopped right there and I don't intend to finish. I enjoy the format of the newspaper, and it's worth $5 a month to have the news edited and delivered to my driveway in a tangible format that reminds me to take the time to read it before I recycle it. Plus I love the comics. Yes I also get news from the internet, but I don't take the time In the introduction Jeff Howe defines a person who is not a "digital native" as "anyone who still gets their news from a newspaper." It's probably petty, but I stopped right there and I don't intend to finish. I enjoy the format of the newspaper, and it's worth $5 a month to have the news edited and delivered to my driveway in a tangible format that reminds me to take the time to read it before I recycle it. Plus I love the comics. Yes I also get news from the internet, but I don't take the time to look for it (and sort through all the junk). The definition of "digital native" taken from his book "Born Digital" is "a person born after 1980 (when social digital technologies, such as Usenet and bulletin board systems, came online) who has access to networked digital technologies and strong computer skills and knowledge." Newspapers have nothing to do with that, and I this his statement shows a narrow-minded, unthinking attitude that leads me to believe I'll be wasting my time with this book.

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