Crowdsourcing term was first coined by Jeff Howe in 2006. It is made up of two words – crowd and outsourcing. It is a type of outsourcing. Outsourcing is done for two reasons – to outsource the required task to a place where more skilled individuals are present or where skilled labor is cheap. All developed countries outsource their work to developing countries. The major difference between traditional outsourcing and crowdsourcing is that here there is no surety of getting paid.
A person in need (sponsor) releases an open call through a proper channel. These channels are accessible by a community (crowd) of people. Whosoever is capable of performing that work is free to contact the sponsor with their solution. It’s up to the sponsor to recognize the solution suits them. They reward the people who have given the solution. If there is more than one solution then the sponsor has the right to select the best (can be more than one) among them. Others will not get paid for the solution. However, if the sponsor is not satisfied with any solution they can drop the call under certain conditions.
Technology and design tasks are among the most popular fields where crowdsourcing works best. This is because even a student/younger individual can give the best solution. Crowdsourcing also provides an opportunity to work in a group to solve the problem.
However, there is controversy about the concept of Crowdsourcing. This is because the benefit a sponsor gets from an idea is much more compared to the innovator. Many companies do not hire regular employees for solutions but they just give an open call through an online platform. It saves lots of their money. However, this type of innovation exchange is very helpful for small investors and also helps in bringing down the price of their products. Likewise, individuals with innovative ideas (the crowd) are not obligated to provide solutions; they can view these opportunities as part-time endeavors. It’s not a dependency; additional income is a bonus. Otherwise, their valuable skills may go unused. This particularly applies to design projects where many individuals possess excellent design skills but may not pursue them professionally. They have the chance to earn income by contributing solutions to design projects.
The Internet is full of these opportunities. You can search for a platform where people need your skills.