I have been a HUGE fan of for years.  The content is generally good, the community is fun and (again, generally) intelligent, but the model: Submit/Vote/Discuss/Report... brilliant., and Dell's follow the model, but in the context of innovation focused on a business.  They are crowdsourcing their innovation to the world, and their future offerings are going to be more organic than ever before.  The new tool on their belt gives them a clearer idea of their actual customers' wishes.  Minimize the assumptions.  Outsource your innovation to the one group the really cares about your product, and spend next to nothing for the data you get from it... brilliant.

Wikipedia (currently) defines Crowdsourcing as "...  the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call."

I am in the habit of repurposing (or desigining my own) social-network ideas as internal solutions, and along the way I have occasionally had my share of failage/lesson-learnage, but I've also scored some wins.  Like everybody else that thinks they have a new idea worthy of its own name, I have started calling it 'community sourcing'.

I reformed the definition above to fit my needs:

Community Sourcing
The act of taking a task traditionally performed by a specific member of the group,  or consultant and exposing it to a controlled, generally large group of people who share the same interest as the group, in the form of an open call.

The term seems to be out there (google 2080 hits), and the purpose looks similar.

As far as walking-the-walk goes, we have working 'community sourced' systems used every day for content-management, marketing, and project management.  Newer and (therefore, I hope) less-used solutions include link-tracking (think, and yes, a submit/vote/discuss/report app, which, in my humble opinion, is... brilliant.

Print | posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2008 2:10 PM


# re: Community-Sourcing

left by Zena at 4/14/2008 10:04 AM Gravatar
Great definition, Gerry. Thanks for the shout out on my blog.
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