Crowdsourcing Companies

Week three of class brought us to the idea of crowdsourcing as a way to generate buzz. I found this idea to be really interesting. Jeff Howe of WIRED Magazine defined crowdsourcing as “the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call.”

I thought it would be neat to create a top five list of interesting companies that are utilizing crowdsourcing.

Threadless.com

Cute design on Threadless.com
Cute design on Threadless.com
  • This company takes designs submitted by users and creates rockin’ tee shirts from them. Who doesn’t love a great tee shirt? Plus, the prices are really reasonable. I saw tee shirts as low as $9 being showcased on the main page. The winning design gets printed and the artist gets cash & prizes. Sounds like a winner to me!

RYZwear.com

Winter Wonderland from RYZwear
Winter Wonderland from RYZwear
  • This company isn’t just about fashion; it’s about a new way of thinking that includes getting input and forming a partnership with their customers.RYZ Wear was founded by ex-industry sneaker people who found a better way – instead of dictating from the top down, RYZ wear dares anyone to design the perfect pair of shoes.The winning designers will get cash for their work, too!

Wikipedia.com

The Logo
The Logo
  • I think that this encyclopedia should be nominated as a top crowdsourcing company.Wikipedia is written by volunteers from around the world and anyone can edit it. The online encyclopedia was created in 2001 and quickly grew into one of the largest reference websites.While people don’t get paid to edit the pages, it’s still outsourced work over the Internet.

Zazzle.com

Travel mugs from Zazzle
Travel mugs from Zazzle
  • This company takes user submitted designs and allows anyone to instantly create an array of products online. The products on Zazzle are made one by one, as soon as the user clicks on purchase now. Products are produced within 24 hours. Sounds pretty cool!

CambrianHouse.com

The logo
The logo
  • This crowdsourcing company gets double the points.First, its tagline is the home of crowdsourcing, and it’s exactly that.Take a look at all the crowdsourcing companies trying to make it.I found some really neat ones… from a customizable gift card company to a company that helps make wishes come true! Cambrian House is crowdsurfing for crowdsurfing companies.  Pretty brilliant!

Do you know about any crowdsourcing companies that I didn’t mention? Share them. They’re popping up on the Web every day, so I’m sure there will be even more cool crowdsourcing companies tomorrow.  Have you purchased anything from a crowdsourcing company? What was your experience like? How did it compare to purchasing from a regular retailer?

* Julie*

November 18, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , . IMC. 4 comments.