Monday, August 19, 2013

What is Crowdsourcing & How It Can Help Funeral Service?

Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words 'crowd' and 'outsourcing. In its’ simplest form, it is tapping into “crowds” of people using the internet to get work done, obtain input and stimulate action.

Definition of crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing is, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “the practice of obtaining needed funeral services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. Often used to fund-raise startup companies and charities, this process can occur both online and offline.It combines the efforts of crowds of workers, where each one on their own initiative adds a small portion that combines into a greater result.”

Jeff Howe, contributing editor at Wired Magazine, and Mark Robinson, features editor at Wired Magazinecoined the term "crowdsourcing" in 2005. Howe and Robinson came to the conclusion that what was happening was like "outsourcing to the crowd," which led to the portmanteau "crowdsourcing."

Crowdsourcing in 2013
Today, crowdsourcing represents a change in attitude towards the internet as solely a communication and research tool, into its’ modern day guise as a worldwide marketplace, a live business forum and a new-aged globalized workforce. Virtual communities have developed and have changed the culture of how we share information and resources.

Crowdsourcers are primarily motivated by its’ benefits. One of these includes the ability to gather large numbers of solutions and information at a relatively inexpensive cost. Users are motivated to contribute to crowdsourced tasks by intrinsic motivations, such as social contact, intellectual stimulation, and charitable giving. There is a movement or need to "give back", to make a difference. If crowds of people each give a small amount; it adds up to a significant contribution to a person or cause.

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