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Crowdsourcing | Anti-Social Musings


Jun 09

Crowdsourcing – the interns of web 2.0?

Paidcontent today writes about whether or not crowdsourcing is exploitation in their article, “Is Crowd-Sourcing Helping Businesses Leverage Social Media, Or Just Get Cheap Labor?” which of course leads to the question of how and when to draw the line, and how do we define exploitation in this age?

If LinkedIn asks people to contribute translations and 90% of people refuse on the grounds that it’s exploitation, but 10% decide to contribute for whatever reason – perhaps they just want the experience, or the notoriety, or they just really want to see LinkedIn in their language and don’t feel like waiting for them to get around to it – then does the end justify the means? Should they ignore the negative backlash?

It’s interesting to note that in Russia an exact duplicate clone of Facebook was created and is generating far more traffic than the actual Facebook was in that country, and in fact is one of the most trafficked web sites in Russia. Facebook’s solution? Get the Russian company that invested in that clone to invest in them, granting equity in return for a sizeable investment, perhaps indicating the pitfals of trying to expand globally but moving too slowly to provide localized languages.