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Crowdsourcing Implementations

Crowdsourcing relates to contributions made by individuals toward all aspects relating to improving the user experience. Crowdsourcing can include simple customer ratings or areas of similar interest. Crowdsourcing can also include complex product and service testing. In this case, crowdsourcing examples include things such as web hosting and public sites such as Wikipedia. Much of the simple and complex crowdsourcing uses unpaid volunteer contributors for time and knowledge. This phenomenon is part of behavioral economics.

Behavioral economics seeks to explain the nature of crowdsourcing and how the design of the process, personal motivation, and non-monetary benefits encourage individuals to participate. Behavioral economics relates to the use of social factors, emotional factors, and cognitive factors in economic decisions. It relates specifically to what affects public choice and the source of economic decisions in terms of self-interest ((Katona, 1960, p. 12). Many crowdsourcing applications were not and are still not designed with behavioral economics in mind, contributing to the phenomenon. Instead, these were entrepreneurial efforts on which people contributed, such as adding content to a website knowing there is no reward. Behavioral economics now focuses on why this phenomenon takes place and how the design principles of crowdsourcing can be taken and applied in mother naturally occurring experiments.

Crowdsourcing encompasses asking the public to carry out specific tasks related to the development of new technology. It asks those who are most qualified to perform certain tasks to contribute their ideas in order to solve complex problems. The four biggest forms of crowdsourcing include crowd funding, crowd creation, crowd voting, and crowd wisdom. Crowdsourcing embodies group participation as well as collectively sorting through solutions. There are a few types of crowdsourcing designs. One of them is distributed participatory. This is when individuals are asked to implement a design task. This creates a community-based design. Another design type is human-based computation. This is when individuals are asked to do things such as refining steps of an existing algorithm (Leimeister, 2006, p. 200). When individuals help analyze a large amount of data that is referred to a citizen science. In certain cases people are compensated through nonmonetary assets. These can include personal knowledge, time, or effort. Behavioral economics is unique in its study of how people act in lieu of their best interests. This relates to crowdsourcing in terms of people relating their skills, knowledge, and time without any payment.

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