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5 Ways to Harness the Power of the Crowd

Nancy Messieh 21-08-2013

Crowdsourcing can take on lots of different forms. Between social media and niche crowdsourcing sites, you can harness the power of the crowd to get just about anything. Whether it’s raising funds, looking for information, news, photos, or videos, there are niche sites that can cater to your exact needs.


We’ve asked you before what you think of crowdfunding sites 5 Crowdfunding Sites Where You Can Raise Money For Your Next Book If you're looking to write a book – either fiction or non-fiction – there are various routes you can take for initial funding. One of these routes is to harness the power of the crowd. Read More , but what about crowdsourcing sites in general? We’ve listed five of the most popular types of crowdsourcing websites below.


The most common form of crowdsourcing that has taken off has to be crowdfounding 5 Crowd Funding Websites To Support Your Favourite Charities, Bands & Projects Read More , in large part due to the success of the site Kickstarter. Crowdfunding on Kickstarter is pretty simple – you post your project on the site, giving information on what you plan to do, enter the amount of money you’re trying to raise, and let your backers know what different donation amounts will get them. The catch with Kickstarter is that if you don’t succeed in raising the targeted amount of money, you don’t get a cent. There are other crowdfunding site that will let you keep all the money that you manage to raise, like Indiegogo.


There are also several niche crowdfunding sites, like Unbound Fund & Publish Books With Unbound Crowdfunding Are you a writer or artist wondering how you could ever afford to put out a book? As long as you have a bit of a following already, you could potentially raise funds using sites... Read More , which allows you to crowdfund and publish books, RocketHub, for crowdfunding science projects, Crowdrise, to raise money for a good cause, or AppBackr to crowdfund your app.


DesignCrowd is the best place to go if you’re a designer looking for work, or if you’re an entrepreneur looking for someone to design a logo, website, brochure, and more. So how does the site work? If you’re on the look out for a design, you can create a post, explaining what you’re looking for — you will need to include a task description, include the logo text, add a few examples of logo designs you’re interested in (emblem, wordmark, pictorial, etc.), as well as including a deadline, target markets, and requirements. You can also set your own budget.



Designers can then browse the tasks available, and contribute their designs which will be sent directly to your inbox. The designer whose contribution is chosen will get paid.

To find out more about DesignCrowd watch the video below:


If you want to crowdsource professional videos there are two ways to do this. You can either use a specialty site like Wooshii or VeedMe, where you can set your task and budget, and then get proposals from videographers. You can make your selection based on their response and portfolio.



If you’d rather take a more economic approach, you can opt for social networks like Vine or Instagram, and video-sharing sites like YouTube. You can create a bit of social media buzz for yourself by encouraging users to submit crowdsourced videos, using a specific and unique hashtag for example, and make a competition out of it. There will, of course, have to be some sort of incentive to get people to submit videos for your crowdsourced project.

You can see an example of a crowdsourced music video using Vine here. Celebs have also been putting the crowdsourced video to good use by getting their fans involved in their creative experience, with bands like Passion Pit and Radiohead encouraging submissions via social media sites like Instagram, Vine and Twitter, to create a crowdsourced video.


Crowdsourcing photos is similar to crowdsourcing videos. You can use social media as a way to crowdsource photos from an event or conference, with the use of a unique hashtag. Sites like Instagram, Flickr, and Twitter can be used to crowdsource the images. If you want conference or event goers to email the photos to you, you can use an IFTTT recipe to get all those photos into Flickr automatically, using this recipe.


If you’re looking for a site where you can go and get photographers to submit specific photos to you, check out a site like Scoopshot, which crowdsources mobile photos. You can choose to create a task that is restricted to local photographers, or you can open it up to worldwide photographers. You can also choose a task duration and describe what you’re looking for. Providing extra information (like uploading your logo, or a banner, can cost you more.) Posting a local task is free (provided you don’t select extra options), while national tasks are priced based on the number of photographers that receive the task. Global tasks will cost you a minimum of $49. Photos can be bought for $5, and half of that goes to the photographer.
Another site worth checking out is CrowdMedia. Not only can you search for photos uploaded to the site itself, it also encourages you to ask Twitter users if you can buy images they’ve uploaded, which adds a new dimension to citizen journalism.


Crowdsourcing information is also made possible by many different sites. In fact, we’ve listed six awesome crowdsourcing sites for learning and sharing knowledge 6 Fresh Crowdsourced Sites For Learning And Sharing Knowledge Sharing knowledge is just another side to the great classless spirit that finds space on the web. We have seen earlier how crowdsourcing web services have tapped the power of collective wisdom for the betterment... Read More . If you’re interested in sharing or discovering new information, ideas, educational info, business ideas, career advice, translations, and even info on your food, you can use these sites to find out more about your topics of interest. If you’ve got the expertise, you can always submit info to these sites as well.


While you can crowdsource information that’s simply of interest to you, you can also crowdsource news to keep up with the latest happenings around the world and share domestic events. Sites like NowPublic allow you to share and discover opinions and news from around the world, while CNN iReport encourages users to submit photos and videos on major world events. You can check out a list of seven citizen journalism crowdsourcing sites 7 Citizen Journalism Websites For Crowdsourced News Read More here.


Crowdsourcing is in right now, and it makes sense to tap into the wisdom of the crowds. What other uses for crowdsourcing can you think of? Have you contributed to any crowdsourcing project? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Crowd silhouette

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