Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Crowdsourcing P- 04. Information Communication Technology for Libraries

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं - chandrashekhar.malav@yahoo.com


P- 04. Information Communication Technology for Libraries *

By :Usha Munshi,Paper Coordinator

1.0 Introduction

Crowdsourcing is the process of connecting with large group of people via internet to tap their knowledge expertise time or resources. It is a way of solving problems and producing things by connecting online with people that you otherwise wouldn't know.      

      Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words 'crowd' and 'outsourcing'. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers.

      Definitions and terms vary, but the basic idea is to tap into the collective intelligence of the public at large to complete business-related tasks that a company would normally either perform itself or outsource to a third-party provider. It not only empowers business managers to expand the size of their talent pool but also allows them a deeper insight into what customers really want.

      Some of the definition of crowdsourcing:

  • Crowdsourcing is any sort of outsourcing that involves a large group of people actively participating in the project.
  • The practice whereby an organization enlists a variety of freelancers, paid or unpaid, to work on a specific task or problem
  • “Crowdsourcing is channelling the experts' desire to solve a problem and then freely sharing the answer with everyone”  - Henk van Ess

The power of crowdsourcing was first demonstrated by the ability of the open-source movement to successfully compete with proprietary software solutions. Another example of crowdsourcing most often cited is Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that is collectively created and edited by volunteers.

2.0 Types of Crowdsourcing

Today, crowdsourcing is used to create and increase collective knowledge, community building, collective creativity and innovation, crowd funding, crowd voting and civic engagement.

1)    Crowd voting
2)    Crowd funding
3)    Crowdsource Design /  Creative  Crowdsourcing
4)    Micro work / Cloud labor
5)    Open Innovation
6)    Community Building
7)    Collective Knowledge

We will study the various types of crowdsourcing in the following

2.1 Crowd voting

Crowd voting refers to the concept of using crowd’s opinion to make a decision. Crowd voting leverages the community’s judgment to organize, filter and rank content such as newspaper articles, music and movies. It is the one of the most popular form of crowdsourcing, which generates the highest levels of participation.   

Crowd voting is based on the 1:10:89 rule, which states that out of 100 people:

  •       1% will create something valuable
  •       10% will vote and rate submissions
  •       89% will consume creation

Crowd voting occurs when a website gathers a large group's opinions and judgment on a certain topic. For example - Threadless.com selects the T-shirts it sells by having users provide designs and vote on the ones they like, which are then printed and available for purchase. Despite the small nature of the company, thousands of members provide designs and vote on them, making the website’s products truly created and selected by the crowd, rather than the company.

       Some of the most famous examples have made use of social media channels: Domino's Pizza, Coca Cola and Heineken have thus crowdsourced a new pizza, song, bottle design of beer, respectively.

       The Internet offers various mechanisms to perform voting – ratings of articles by end-users or computer-driven algorithms that assess popularity via links and page views. Reality TV shows offer another example of Crowd Voting.  Some have called "American Idol" the largest crowd voting ever conducted. Threadless.com uses crowd voting to decide which T-shirts to manufacture and sell on its web site; it is thus able to assess end-consumer’s demand for new products before making investment decisions on new projects.

       According to missamerica.org, fans were able to access the Miss America website or the organization’s Facebook page to vote for their favorite contestant’s video. The contestant who received the highest number of eligible and verified votes during the voting period was chosen to participate as a finalist in the Miss America Pageant. 

       To understand crowd voting more clearly, if you've participated in an online poll, "liked" a friend's facebook post, you've already participated in crowd voting! As a matter of fact, Google’s search engine is built upon the principle of Crowd Voting; the engine's algorithm allows users to constantly "vote" on which links are most likely contain the correct data.

2.2 Crowd funding

Crowd funding is the process of funding your projects by a multitude of people contributing a small amount in order to attain a certain monetary goal. It can be explained as any financial contributions from online investors, sponsors or donors to fund for-profit or non-profit initiatives or enterprises.

       Crowd funding is an approach to raising capital for new projects and businesses by soliciting contributions from a large number of stakeholders following three types of crowd funding models:
  1. Donations, Philanthropy and Sponsorship where there is no expected financial return,
  2. Lending and
  3. Investment in exchange for equity, profit or revenue sharing.
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       Crowd funding is circumventing traditional funding mechanisms like bank loans or venture capital. In essence, it says let's see if we can get a ton of people to chip in a very small amount of money that in aggregate can help somebody to do something.

       Some popular examples where crowd funding takes place are explained as below:

ü  IndieGoGo, established in 2008, allows anyone to set up a campaign for free. A fee is charged on money raised. Writers, musicians, film makers and visual artists often use the platform to fund projects but anyone can post any type of campaign.

ü  Kickstarter, is the biggest website for funding creative projects. It is a platform for funding creative projects. Campaigns include music, film, publishing, theater and video game projects. Contributions are pledged and only charged when/if the target figure has been reached.

2.3 Crowdsource Design / Creative Crowdsourcing

Creative Crowdsourcing is an open call to the crowd for novel and useful solutions. Tapping of creative talent pools to design and develop original art, media or content.

If you’re looking for a logo design, you can tell a crowd of designers what you want, how much you will pay, and your deadline. All interested designers will create a finished design specifically for you. You will receive many different finished logo designs, and you can keep whichever design you like the best. By doing design this way, crowdsourcing actually increases the quality & decreases the price.

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Creative Crowdsourcing spans sourcing creative projects such as graphic design, architecture, apparel design, writing, illustration etc.

TimesSquare.com successfully employs creative crowdsourcing. From distributed problem solving in the design process to enriching consumer engagement, these companies developed the right recipe for success with the crowd.

TimesSquare.com crowdsourcing campaign – The New York publication, TimesSquare.com put creative crowdsourcing to work for the development of its new logo. The winning logo enjoys a $10,000 grand prize. On December 12, 2012, TimesSquare.com is set to reveal the new logo and the winner in Times Square with plenty of fanfare. Instead of receiving several designs from an outsourced designer, the publication has its choice of more than 5,000 potential logos.

Some of the better known creative domains that use the Crowdsourcing model include 99designs, DesignCrowd, crowdspring, Threadless, Genius Rocket  etc.

2.4 Microwork

Microwork is a crowdsourcing platform where users do small tasks for low amounts of money. Also known as "microlabor" sites, in which groups of people perform small tasks or "micro jobs”.

Microwork refers to leveraging of a distributed virtual labor pool, available on-demand to fulfill a range of tasks from simple to complex.

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Crowdsourcing websites put out the open call on behalf of clients who need the micro tasks performed. Examples of these include Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which offers virtual tasks done online from home, where each task requires very little time and offers a very small amount in payment.

It is also referred as Cloud Crowd, is one of the leading online workforce platforms, distributing millions of pieces of work to more than 200,000 workers.

These "microworkers" are not necessarily providing the same wisdom that the earlier forms of crowdsourcing, such as with open-source software did because each are simply following instructions from the crowdsourcer. However, this is how companies who use microlabor often label these jobs, as crowdsourcing jobs.

An example of a Mechanical Turk project is when users searched satellite images for images of a boat in order to find lost researcher Jim Gray

2.5 Open Innovation

The term Open Innovation was first developed by Henry Chesbrough in 2003, when he published Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology (HBS Press).

According to Mr. Chesbrough, Open Innovation is the use of internal and other companies' ideas to develop new businesses. He identifies five key elements in the new innovation process, i.e.,  
  1. Networking
  2. Collaboration involving partners, competitors, universities, and users
  3. Corporate Entrepreneurship, especially through corporate venturing, start-ups and spin-offs
  4. Proactive Intellectual Property Management: to buy and sell intellectual property and so create markets for technology
  5. Research and Development (R&D): to obtain competitive advantage on the marketplace

Open Innovation can thus be described as combining internal and external ideas as well as internal and external paths to market to advance the development of new technologies.

Open innovation allows people from all aspects of business such as investors, designers, inventors, and marketers to collaborate into a functional profit making reality. This can be done either through a dedicated web platform to gain outside perspective, or used with only internal employees.

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Open Innovation – Examples:

GE Ecomagination Challenge - This is a platform in which GE reaches out to businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students with breakthrough ideas on energy issues. There has been 2 challenges so far.

Xerox - Open Xerox is the place where you can experiment with technologies being developed in the Xerox labs around the globe

SAP - The Global SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) Network enhances the capabilities of SAP’s partner and customer ecosystem through an integrated network of world-wide expertise, and best-in-class technologies and platforms.

2.6 Community Building

Community Building is development of communities through active engagement of individuals who share common interests.

Groups that share a concern or a passion about a topic who deepen their knowledge and expertise by interacting on an on-going basis. (Wenger et al, 2002)

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2.6.1 Building Communities of Practice (CoPs) 

Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavor: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope.
In a nutshell, Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and who interacts regularly to learn how to do it better.
Not everything called a "community" is a community of practice. A neighborhood, for instance, is often called a community but is usually not a community of practice. Three characteristics are crucial:
   1. The domain: A community of practice is not merely a club of friends or a network of connections between people. It has an identity defined by a shared domain of interest. Membership therefore implies a commitment to the domain and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people.
   2. The community: In pursuing their interest in their domain, members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other.
   3. The practice: A community of practice is not merely a community of interest—people who like certain kinds of movies, for instance. Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, and ways of addressing recurring problems— in short, a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction.
It is the combination of these three elements that constitutes a community of practice. And it is by developing these three elements in parallel that one cultivates such a community.
Domain of interest
—  Commitment to domain
—  Shared competence
—  Members engage in joint activities
—  Share information
—  Build relationships & learn from each other
Shared Practice
—  Community of practitioners
—  Develop a shared repertoire of resources
—  Sustained interaction
Communities encourage sharing of digital teaching and learning resources. Each Community works towards creating quality learning resources for their subject areas.

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2.7 Collective Knowledge / Intelligence

Collective Knowledge or Collective Intelligence is a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals. It is development of knowledge assets or information resources from a distributed pool of contributors.
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According to Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, collective intelligence is mass collaboration. In order for this concept to happen, four principles need to exist;

Sharing ideas and intellectual property: though these resources provide the edge over competitors more benefits accrue from allowing others to share ideas and gain significant improvement and scrutiny through collaboration.

Horizontal organization as with the ‘opening up’ of the Linux program where users are free to modify and develop it provided that they make it available for others. Peering succeeds because it encourages self-organization – a style of production that works more effectively than hierarchical management for certain tasks.

Companies have started to share some ideas while maintaining some degree of control over others, like potential and critical patent rights. Limiting all intellectual property shuts out opportunities, while sharing some expands markets and brings out products faster.

Acting Globally
The advancement in communication technology has prompted the rise of global companies at low overhead costs. The internet is widespread, therefore a globally integrated company has no geographical boundaries and may access new markets, ideas and technology

The promise of Collective Knowledge can be summarized in one concept: building a knowledge ecosystem.  This brings two great benefits for both organizations and customers: access to SME (Subject Matter Experts) that are not part of the organization’s support structure and generating knowledge that can be leveraged extensively throughout that ecosystem.

As with any other ecosystem, the use of platforms and open and free access is a must; “walled gardens” where the knowledge is not free to everyone and everything is then opposite of what a Collective Knowledge model should be.

2.7.1      Benefits of using Collective Knowledge:

  1. Access To-The-Moment Expertise – the best source of knowledge for any organization remains outside of their walls.  The users are the ones who know better how to use (and how to fix) any product or service – even in cases where it remains the organization’s responsibility to assist them (cable providers needing to reset a modem, for example).  The users usually know first, before the organization, problems and likely solutions and workarounds.  Being able to access them faster than traditional methods means the organization can get a head-start in warding off calls from customers, acting proactively in certain instances, and deliver effective answers to those calls that do get through.

  1. Validation For Their Actions And Knowledge – in those cases where an organization does create a knowledge entry the access to the Collective Knowledge provides validation.  There is nothing faster to know if a fix or new feature works that releasing it to users.  The problem until know has been to find sufficient users to test and ensure the new or fixed feature works as expected (and does not break anything else).  Thanks to online communities and Collective Knowledge these issues can be quickly and efficiently solved, tested, and released to the entire population – with almost immediate validation.

  1. Feedback For Their Products And Services – leverage for the collective knowledge has to extend beyond the traditional customer service functions typically associated with KM.  Feedback, and the routing of the information to research and development departments as well as other places throughout the organization, is one of the hidden values of Collective Knowledge.  It has been proven that users are more “truthful” (or less biased in a better sense) in online communities where Collective Knowledge typically is collected.  The ability to parse the information they provide, distill insights, and use those to improve products and services (or even create new ones if necessary) is the underlying power of co-creation events associated with social networks.

  1. Reduced Costs Through Indirect Outsourcing – although much has been done about reducing the costs of knowledge generation and maintenance by letting users handle it in online communities, the reality is that it is not always true.  In some cases, the costs will likely increase as the need to accommodate unknown processes and elements associated with knowledge may result in extra personnel, licenses, or even lengthier processing time.  However, Marketing has proven that generating market knowledge, previously done by market research firms over far longer times and at a much greater expense, from consumers on collective environments is faster and cheaper than previously done.  Customer service has proven similar by offloading multi-channel transactions from man-powered ones to collective environments where other users provide answers.  It takes finding the right use cases, and making sure that the knowledge generated supports the needs.

  1. Source Of Knowledge To Augment And Improve Repositories – in addition to the up-to-the-moment access to latest-and-greatest information, organizations can leverage Collective Knowledge to power, improve, and maintain their existing knowledge repositories.  This source of knowledge, whether it is an original source creating the knowledge or a secondary force aiding in the maintenance and grooming of the same, is the ultimate leverage. Organizations that understand how to use these setups enjoy better knowledge bases, more complete and more relevant.  The savings in resources and the benefits of delivering more effective solutions to their clients more than justified the time and patience to implement Collective Knowledge.

Collective Intelligence & Prediction platforms

ü  Inkling Markets - use wisdom of the crowd for forecasting
ü  Intrade - global prediction markets
ü  NewsFutures - collective intelligence markets
ü  Ushahidi - crowdsourcing crisis information
ü  Kaggle - data mining and forecasting

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