I love crowdsourcing. I really do. I see some amazingly innovative, fun and creative things coming out of it. For it to work the leader of the crowd needs to give back equal or more what they get. I think it is a point where we need to identify what is good from the practice, and those using it to exploit their community. Exploitsourcing needs to be banned, at least socially.
An example of why this is needed for the longterm health of crowdsourcing:
I love business but hate pyramid schemes. I love the greater good but hate the subsection that exploits people. For me to love business, I must hope and do my part to keep the schemers out of the conversation. When I tell my friend “I’m starting a startup” they don’t think “he is going to screw me” or “he is going to screw others” because, for the most part, the schemers have stayed out of the startup game. Saying “I’m doing a startup” is not dirty, but could be if the exploitative practices were embraced or welcomed.
What would happen if it did?
I love crowdsourcing, and it is time to kick the exploiters to the curb and demand they stay as far from the name as possible. What they are doing is exploitsourcing.
If you ask 100 people to complete work for the chance of payment (logo contest anyone?), you are exploitsourcing.
I define Exploitative Crowdsourcing as:
Asking a community to individually complete custom work for the chance and main motivation of non noteworthy payment.
If you have found a way to exploit others, and they willingly do it, you have a short term win with a long term loss for both you and the community. If it becomes a norm for the greater community, you have built your mansion in the middle of a sinkhole.
I hate that there has to be reminders in 2010 to be good to one another, respect your neighbor and yes, people are watching.
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