There’s a long tradition of drawing upon the wisdom of the crowd to answer questions or solve complex challenges. Crowdsourcing is engaging the collective wisdom of an online or virtual community for a common goal: to gather ideas, stimulate innovation, solve problems or increase efficiency. Think of crowdsourcing as brainstorming on a massive scale.
The Internet has increased the exchange of information and ideas exponentially, making it easy to solicit and gather information from networked masses around the globe. Crowdsourcing is being used everywhere – from Wikipedia to corporate idea jams to product innovation groups. Crowdsourcing is even being used for significant global problems, such as helping health care workers find better ways to fight Ebola.
So, how do you get people to take part in crowdsourcing? In some cases, asking participants to volunteer for the sake of a personal interest or cause they believe in may be sufficient. Sometimes, more motivation may be necessary to yield good results. An obvious solution would be to pay participants – for example, offering a nominal gift card for their time.
If payment is not an option, gamification can be a great driver. Just adding the elements of competition or reward can increase people’s desire to contribute to crowdsourcing initiatives. Here are a few examples of pairing game mechanics and crowdsourcing.
Hungry for more? Check out our new Game of Gamification white paper to see how different organizations are using game techniques in crowdsourcing initiatives. You’ll also get concrete steps to incorporate gamification into your marketing and communications strategy.