Until recently I was unaware of what crowdsourcing is. It can best be explained as : “A term that can be defined as outsourcing repetitive or challenging work to a large group of semi-organized individuals (a crowd) via the internet.”
Crowdsourcing is being employed more and more as we are shifting into web 3.0, which is based on the idea of the web focusing on the environment, as opposed to focusing on people as in web 2.0. The basic idea behind crowdsourcing on the internet is that it’s allowing businesses to use web 2.0 tools to accumulate data and communicate with their customers or potential customers. This concept of gathering data and ideas is now considered to be under the umbrella term “crowdsourcing.” The company PurpleCar explains that crowdsourcing is a valuable asset to businesses for a variety of reasons and I will outline their 5 reported ways in which small businesses can crowdsource to boost business.
- Start with your real life crowd: This means that small businesses should start with their immediate contacts. They should ask employees, friends, colleagues, or other contacts to add input into coming up with ideas or a solution to a particular problem.
- Move to the web: This is where businesses should start focusing on their existing and potential markets. These businesses should start using web 2 tools to expand and search for new markets, but new markets that matter! An example of this is building a room on Twitter or employing a Facebook page to reach potential customers. The key here is to get new people involved and in conversation. Build a crowd. Then use this crowd. Help them with ideas, solutions, suggestions…they’ll do the same. Use web 2 tools to have conversations with other small businesses.
- Employ a proper web search: Businesses should use the many resources available to them and search for available data on issue and industry specific problems.
- Let information in: RSS feeds and alerts exist for a reason. Incoming information can provide many benefits to small businesses. Purplecar set up an alert so they will be notified whenever their company name is mentioned on the web. These alerts began to inform them when their company name made important lists or was honored by a certain publication. Had they not had the alert, they wouldn’t have known about the honorable mentions.
- Read blogs: There are many insightful and useful blogs for small businesses. Start the communication!
Purplecar iterates that the above steps simply require “time and an internet connection.” All businesses can realise benefits from crowdsourcing…”The conversations are happening…jump in!”