Crowdsourcing – The New Idea Generation Tool Most forward thinking companies have resorted to a new medium for business expansion and product development apart from marketing and branding activities also known as Crowdsourcing. The term was initially created by Jeff Howe of Wired magazine back in 2006 and defined this to be the phenomenon of sending out various tasks to the public at large to get the most productive solution in return. Simply put, crowdsourcing is a new face of idea management for companies. The process is useful because it does not rely on a single person or a specified team for the success of a product development campaign or developing a social welfare plan. Furthermore the diverse ideas that it generates provides solutions for unresolved problems as well as ideas for a better future. Open innovation and crowdsourcing is being used across all industry verticals today namely engineering, science and technology, advertising, automobile, banking, entertainment and many more. Netflix Prize, an online DVD-rental service announced an open innovation competition for attaining the best collaborative filtering algorithm that will predict user ratings for films, depending on previous ratings. This competition was launched by Netflix and got completed back in September 2009. The prize amount was $1,000,000 which was reserved for the entry that reveals Netflix's own algorithm for predicting ratings by 10%. The company offered a training data set of over 100 million ratings that almost 480,000 users gave to nearly 18,000 movies that in turn happened to be one of the largest real- life data sets available for research. The forum managed by Netflix has witnessed lively discussions and contributed immensely to the success of this competition. This open innovation exercise reveals that an essential aspect of crowdsourcing is that the top teams are not only including academic researchers, but also laymen with no prior experience in collaborative filtering. Another crowdsourcing project that highlights that each and every individual has a unique suggestion to offer was made by the National Library of Australia. The library came up with Australian Historic Newspapers that encouraged the public to enhance, correct the electronically translated text of old newspapers. This service was made available on August 2008, and by March 2010 more than 12 million lines of the text have been enhanced by the public. This has been the first library project globally through crowdsourcing that helped libraries and archives enhance the digital resources. The main objective of open innovation and crowdsourcing is to capture ideas that make a difference and come up with unique ideas and services that would benefit to all. This apart, crowdsourcing reinforces the fact that every individual is capable of revolutionary thinking and fosters a culture of knowledge sharing. Read More About: Idea Management Software, Idea Management Services, Managing Innovation, Innovation Products.
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