Crowdsourcing has become an interesting new word that seems to complement the popular term and concept of crowdfunding. While the latter is a prevalent practice on the net of late in funding everything from film to inventions, the former is still a growing process. Some businesses have been using the process of crowdsourcing to gain ideas on what direction their business should go.
Is this a smart method that you and your business should take on? It all depends on the type of crowd you’ll want to take seriously.
Crowdsourcing for Feedback or Ideas
The most common method for crowdsourcing is gaining feedback from customers or peers to gain collective opinion. This can help you gain insight into what you might want to do to change specific business tactics. Especially with quick surveys on mobile, you can do a quick form of crowdsourcing that helps you gain real-time results. When you gain results this fast, you can change something virtually overnight that might be bothering your customer base.
On the other end of the spectrum is gaining ideas about how to progress your company through the means of crowdsourcing. A message board might be the best place for something like this, even though you’ll have to be sure to have it moderated so you don’t have spammers and other troublemakers.
And this brings crowdsourcing to a fork in the road that has to be seriously considered. Should you really take advice on how to solve or advance your company from outsiders who may not have the expert knowledge you want?
Who Should You Really Take Seriously?
As Social Media Today points out, using the entire public in a crowdsourcing forum can help a company get wider opinions they may not have considered before. It’s easy to get trapped into an inclusive world where only your immediate staff come up with ideas that don’t really go outside the box.
For basic directions of a company, this might be the best solution. However, for something much more technical in nature that a company needs a solution for, they’ll need to depend on those with accreditation so opinions can be taken seriously. With the net having so many dubious people posting on boards, a technical explanation for something complicated might be faked or somewhat flawed without looking at credentials of the person.
In the above regard, you may want to create a private forum by invitation to those proven to have certain educational backgrounds.
You also may want to consider working with your own staff as a place where they can consolidate ideas. A large company with thousands of employees can’t really hold a large meeting where everyone meets collectively to discuss how to take things forward. Using a public forum where all of those people can meet is a way to understand issues in every department. Frustrated employees who don’t ordinarily have a voice can then take part in helping shape your company into a much better place for everyone.