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What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is an economic model which relies on knowledge-sharing and on outsourcing certain tasks in a project to be carried out by a community of collaborators. Crowdsourcing is heavily dependent on the use of the Internet which facilitates the creation of a net of professionals that are able to bring a project to fruition without being physically at the same place. Thanks to this novel working model, a group of experts can collaborate on a project and bring about innovative and optimal output without ever meeting each other. The most important advantage of crowdsourcing is the fact it allows the most talented and knowledgeable people to gather around a puzzle and offer an innovative solution.  The crowdsourcing platforms  have also become the foundation on which many start-ups are constructed, as it is the meeting place for people with ideas, enthusiasm and, generally, people wanting to collaborate and work together under the umbrella of a common idea or a project whose human and financial capital may originate on the net.

Although it can be potentially used in any work area, crowdsourcing is manly applicable in creative sectors (e.g. graphic design, copywriting, marketing), in financing new initiatives and startups (crowdfunding) and in the realization of colossal projects that would otherwise require too much time and too many economic resources in order to be completed (the so-called micro tasking).

Many online crowdsourcing platforms have emerged recently. The majority of them gathers designers, graphic designers and video makers that offer their knowledge and skills to the online community. These are the most famous ones:  99 design (logos and graphic projects), (many different categories from logos to web layouts and t-shirts), jovoto (design in general), and  poptent(video making). However, there are also more general platforms, such as Click Worker e CloudCrowd, where freelancers can find many different kinds of job ads. Nevertheless, crowdsourcing is not only used in the creative industry. Wikipedia is one of crowdsourcing projects which has been particularly successful and long-lasting.  Facebook also uses crowdsourcing in order to find translators for the translation for their platform.

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