In Jeff Howe’s article, The Rise of Crowdsourcing, I found two points that I feel speak very clearly to how we see and use the internet and blogging today. But before I talk about those two points I want to flesh out what crowdsourcing is. According the Howe crowdsourcing is using the internet to access the ideas and content of other people. This picture I felt did a good job of defining crowdsourcing as well.
The first point that I felt stood out in Howe’s article was about the viral video. As a culture we currently seemed to be obsessed with viral videos. As Howe says in the article there are many T.V. shows dedicated to viral videos, “Bravo launched a series called Outrageous and Contagious: Viral Videos, and USA Network has a similar effort in the works. The E! series The Soup has a segment called “Cybersmack,” and NBC has a pilot in development hosted by Carson Daly called Carson Daly’s Cyberhood, which will attempt to bring beer-drinking farm animals to the much larger audiences of network TV. Al Gore’s Current TV is placing the most faith in the model.” Everyone seems to be interested in the latest funny/cute/stupid video that has been posted to the web. And not only are there T.V. shows dedicated to this stuff but sites like youtube and buzzfeed are filled with senseless/funny videos and receive a lot of traffic for said videos. For bloggers I believe this obsession can be useful in that if a blogger can find a way to incorporate a video that either is or they think will go viral they can increase traffic to their site. Bloggers can also crowdsource in that they can find out what their readers and readers of other blogs what to read about and provide it for them. Asking the simple question to your readers “What do you want to hear from me?” and then reading the responses is crowdsourcing because you are taking information from your readers that you didn’t previously have.
The second point that I found important about crowdsourcing is that people like agents, of all types, and other influential business people are now crowdsourcing. “Not everyone in the crowd wants to make silly videos. Some have the kind of scientific talent and expertise that corporate America is now finding a way to tap.” I know at this point in the article Howe was referring to scientific crowdsourcing but when I read this I immediately thought of musical artists like Karmin who started as a youtube channel and now have a record deal. If you don’t know who Karmin are look at the video below. Bloggers have been doing the same thing. Earlier today I read an article by Jeff Goins on how to get a book deal through blogging. So now, that crowdsourcing is a valuable tool, the important thing for bloggers to do is to create content that is worth someone’s time to find. Crowdsourcing can be an extremely profitable enterprise and being able to tap into that as bloggers I believe is going to be a huge help.