The article by Jeff Howe “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” talks about how with the technological advances crowdsourcing is not only becoming a more viable solution to problems as far as cost and efficiency but it is also pushing out outsourcing and people who specialize in specific areas of work as well.
To put in layman’s terms, crowdsourcing is glorified group work to find the solution to problems. People from all over the planet are able to contribute. Some sites offer a fair amount of money for your work if you specialize in something while other sites such as Mechanical Turk by Amazon (as Howe mentions) there is not much monetary rewards. In his article Howe brings up examples of how this can be a good thing but at the same time there are people that suffer from crowdsourcing.
Howe used the example of a photographer in the very beginning of his article stating that “In 2000, Harmel made roughly $69,000 from a portfolio of 100 stock photographs, a tidy addition to what he earned from commissioned work. Last year his stock business generated less money – $59,000 – from more than 1,000 photos. That’s quite a bit more work for less money.” When there is so much information and in this case photographs available at the blink of an eye because of the technological advances it dilutes the products value. At one point you would pay someone a lot of money for a couple of images or images of something particular you were looking for but with crowdsourcing you can have a lot of images for a lot less money.
It makes sense for businesses to use crowdsourcing because if they spend less money but make the same amount then that’s a greater profit for them obviously but for artists or photographers we can see how crowdsourcing is harmful to their craft. Another reason why crowdsourcing can be beneficial is to world problems. With the internet you have to ability to connect everyone at the blink of an eye, whether you live in Australia or New Jersey, you can work together to find a solution to a problem. When you have a greater amount of people working towards one goal the chances of getting what you want done obviously rise. One example is with the missing flight of the Missing Malaysia Airline. People from all over the world are trying to figure out what could have happened, where the plane is, what actually went wrong. You have all of these people from all over the world with different types of backgrounds and education trying to reach a common goal the you will eventually have results and solutions.
Overall crowdsourcing definitely has it’s benefits, but as with most things there will be the people that are not able to adapt and will suffer because of it.