Crowdsourcing.com recently published an overview of the “2011 Crowdsourcing Industry Landscape”. I’m not sure if I agree with calling crowdsourcing an industry (it’s just a different way of organizing yourself, really). But it’s interesting to see their inventory of existing crowdsourcing initiatives and how they’re clustered in 8 groups.
Financial contributions from online investors, sponsors or donors to fund for-profit or non-profit initiatives or enterprises. There are three types of crowdfunding models: (1) Donations, Philanthropy and Sponsorship where there is no expected financial return, (2) Lending and (3) Investment in exchange for equity, profit or revenue sharing.
Leveraging of a distributed virtual labor pool, available on-demand to fulfill a range of tasks from simple to complex. Crowdsourcing is used to connect labor demand and supply. Virtual workers perform activities that range from simple to specialized tasks.
Tapping of creative talent pools to design and develop original art, media or content. Crowdsourcing is used to tap into online communities of thousands of creatives to develop original products and concepts.
Use of sources outside of the entity or group to generate, develop and implement ideas. In a world of widely distributed knowledge, where the boundaries between a firm and its environment have become more permeable, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research and ideas to maintain a competitive advantage.
Development of knowledge assets or information resources from a distributed pool of contributors. Crowdsourcing is used to develop, aggregate, and share knowledge and information through open Q&A, user-generated knowledge systems, news, citizen journalism, and forecasting.
Development of communities through active engagement of individuals who share common passions, beliefs or interests. Crowdsourcing can be used to increase audience engagement and build loyalty.
7. Civic Engagement
Collective actions that address issues of public concern. Individuals or groups are invested in bettering the lives of others and in sharing information on beliefs, passions and causes.
8. Crowdsourcing tools
Applications, platforms and tools that support collaboration, communication and sharing among distributed groups of people.