Have you heard this term yet?  If not, I’m honored to be the first to mention it, but I guarantee I won’t be the last.  I consider Crowdsourcing to be one of the most compelling aspects of Web2.0 and Enterprise Social Technologies.  (Btw, if any of this resonates, perhaps use the ShareThis button below and pass it along to your network).

What is Crowdsourcing?  Hear’s the deal… There’s 1.6 billion people on the Internet.  Each one has a talent or capability.  Crowdsourcing is putting all that intellectual property and talent at your disposal, if you know how to tap into it.  Crowdsourcing combines the concepts of bidding, rating, outsourcing, user-generated content, free-lancing, and viral sharing.  Crowdsourcing can be used to accomplish virtually any business function, but circa 2010 Crowdsourcing is especially useful for professional services.

Here’s a simple example: Logo development.  Today, if you need a logo for a new product, a campaign, a new business or unit, an event, what does your process look like?  Use the Comment section below to briefly describe your last logo development process.  In general, it likely took at least a couple weeks, generated 5 or so logo’s that were ‘decent’ but not brilliant, and cost several thousand dollars.

Crowdsourcing site - LOGOTOURNAMENT

Crowdsourcing site - LOGOTOURNAMENT

Compare that with LOGOTOURNAMENT, a Crowdsourcing site just for logo development.  What you do is put up your specs and a ‘bounty’.  The specs describe what you’re looking for and the bounty is what you will pay the ‘winner’ of the Crowdsourcing ‘contest’.  Depending on how well you communicate and dollars involved, THE NEXT DAY you will start to see 10′s of logo’s, REALLY GOOD LOGO’S.  Pick one and pay the bounty, perhaps only in the 100′s of dollars.

So everyone’s always asking about the ROI of Social Tech.  Do the math on Crowdsourcing.  Again, you can use it for almost any business purpose, but especially professional services.  In general, I’m finding the following metrics: 1/10th the cost, 10 times as fast, and high quality.  And yes, the work is likely being done, today anyway, in another country like India, China, Russia, South Africa.  But you don’t pay unless you are satisfied, the ‘vendors’ are rated so there is accountability, and oh yeah, there’s no ‘politics’.  :-) Doesn’t that sound good?  I’ve heard it said, and I’m starting to believe it, that Crowdsourcing will dwarf Outsourcing.

If you need help with Crowdsourcing, let me know.  Meantime, here are a few resources.  And remember my first point: Crowdsourcing is a part of Social Tech that EVERYONE can do.  No need to be held back by legal and compliance departments, government regulators, etc.

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One other thing this week: I continue to hear business people say they don’t get Twitter.  Most say it with disdain, often sneering, sometimes even saying Tweeter – I know, it’s all I can do not to burst out laughing.  But I get the confusion.  It’s a funny name and if you’re not using it or at least reading about it, you will be uninformed as to Twitter’s utility for business.  But just to make a little case, I spend about 10-20 minutes a day on Twitter – typically in 5 minute bursts.  Mostly I’m checking my listening posts on keywords via Tweetdeck.  Following are a few things a picked up just THIS WEEK – just a few – that I thought to share.

My take: Enterprises are missing SO MUCH opportunity because they don’t want to publish.  That’s fine, but what about research, inbound flow of information, Crowdsourcing, and so much else?  Don’t throw Social out because of a few barriers.

How Much Is a Facebook Fan Really Worth?

“A company’s fans spend more, are more likely to be loyal and will recommend the brand to their friends, according to the firm’s research.”

Doesn’t this say that creating Fans is the first step toward referrals, traffic, e-word of mouth, etc.?  Seems like a no-brainer to me.  So you’re in insurance and you don’t think anyone will be a “Fan” of insurance?  How would you like to be in Batteries???  Take a look at what Rayovac is doing on Facebook – they’ve got 17,000 fans!  My guess is they’re probably making money with this.

25 Digital Media Questions Marketers Need to Answer

Really good article that validates a lot of my content.

Social Tech and the C-suite – “Our case studies outlined below show that having your CEO visible on social media can bring tangible results to your bottom line.”  I had this very conversation yesterday with a CEO.  (Yes, I sent this article).  If you are a C-Suite Exec and this is the first you saw this, now you know.  And this is why my presentation in KeynoteTM on Enterprise Social Technologies is SO appropriate for an intimate session with Executives.  [I always appreciate referrals (click ShareThis below and pass it along).]

From control to conversation: Corporations and social media

I’m helping a company re-engineer their corporate Web properties to adapt to Web 2.0 and Social Tech.  The Web property is the “Destination”.  The Social Tech architecture fosters the “Conversation”.  Your constituents want CONVERSATION. Think of it this way – Lecture or Lab? Would you rather sit through a Lecture from a didactic, seemingly out of touch prof, droning about sanitized, philosophical concepts?  Or would you prefer a Lab with a teacher that you can ask questions of, with fellow students you can share and dialog with, and with interactive ‘stuff’ you can learn from?  Do you see the difference between a static Web 1.0 site and a dynamic Web2.0 Conversation?

Are You Really Committed to Social Media?

Read the 2nd para if you read nothing else.

AGAIN – ALL FROM TWITTER! USEFUL???

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Favorite thing from the last week?  Of course Soccer and the World Cup.  Unfortunately, the U.S. Men’s National Team lost ignominiously to Ghana in the next game (seriously, those were the best defenders we have in our entire country?!?!? Ridiculous ‘system’ we have…) But BEFORE THAT, we has a moment of tremendous glory that I will forever treasure.  I hope these links stay active for a long time, but here are my two favorites following Donovan’s stoppage-time goal.

Really love the Speed Matches: USA Vs. Algeria ESPN video – extremely exciting!

And then this companion link – the reaction video from a bar in Seattle, fans who had suffered through 90 minutes of frustration, and then watched the game-winner. Just phenomenal! Watch especially the guy on the right side of the video in the first 5 seconds.  I laughed until I cried when I first saw this.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid73315185001?bctid=101507741001

Any thoughts???

(Btw, this post took an hour to create.)

Favorite recent picture… see more here.