{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

I’m not a believer in the so-called wisdom of the crowd, but I do think that crowdsourcing has cemented its place in modern business.

Crowdsourcing, as you probably know, is a way of using ‘crowds’ to ‘source’ solutions to your problems.

10 kickass crowsourcing sites for your business

What have you crowdsourced lately? Nothing? Well, if you run a website and have embraced user-centricity then think again... perhaps you have conducted user testing? Well, that’s crowdsourcing – asking the crowd for feedback - and it beats a top-down policy of allowing your board to design the website.

Of course there’s more to life than usability testing. So what else can be crowdsourced? It turns out that there are plenty of dedicated crowdsourcing services that can be used for businesses. I've collated a bunch of the best ones, and some of them are really great.

Check them out…

Logo design = 99designs

Need a logo? No problem. Simply turn your logo / design project needs into a contest on 99designs. Submit a brief and determine a fee for the contest winner (minimum is around $150), then sit back and watch the crowd go to work. More than 40,000 designers that use 99designs. After all the submissions are in you can choose a design. What could be simpler? I'll be using this one imminently...

Brand names = namethis

Not dissimilar to 99designs, this is a way of creating a 48-hour contest to find a brand name for your venture. The namethis community suggests names, and then votes on the best ones. Fees are paid to the best three ideas. It costs $99 to harness the namethis crowdbrain.

Business innovation = Chaordix

“When you take direction from employees, customers, partners and other people passionate about your business, you will outperform the competition.”

Spawned from now defunct crowdsourcing startup Cambrian House, Chaordix is an enterprise platform for people who want to engage the crowd via the web to “submit, discuss, refine and rank ideas or other contributions” in order figure out “the most-likely-to-succeed solutions”. A one-stop shop for businesses that want to feel the love of the crowd.

Brainstorming / feedback = kluster

“Everyone deserves a voice. The question is—how loud? Find out now by creating your own kluster—a new breed of group decision-making tool that helps you bubble-up new ideas, identify the best ones, and make better decisions.”

Perfect for brainstorming ideas from trusted people, kluster allows you to harness and manage your hand-picked crowd. More a tool than a crowd itself, kluster supports group decision-making by capturing weighted feedback from participants. I reckon that’s pretty useful within a company itself, or perhaps it can be used by your most valuable user evangelists to help you finesse your business. From $27 a month.

Advertising = Poptent

“Poptent is the best place for independent and freelance videographers to build their portfolios, connect with companies and brands for commercial work.”

TV advertising is 99.9% creative rubbish, so why not start crowdsourcing your ads? They’ll surely be no worse than those prepared by the average Big Media Agency, and a hell of a lot cheaper (there is a significant fee for using Poptent, and another for licensing ideas, but it’s still peanuts compared with the vast sums spent on the usual rubbish). The likes of Harley Davidson and even Proctor & Gamble are using Poptent, so there might be something in this. Zoopa and OpenAd.net are doing similar things.

Product redesign – redesignme

“The first platform where communities and companies collaborate on new / revamped products and services.”

This innovative website hooks up companies with creative thinkers to develop new product / service concepts. RedesignMe’s Design Critique section actively seeks out badly-designed products, which the community can rate. If the manufacturer is receptive, users are then invited to complete design challenges.  

Product design and manufacturing = Ponoko

“Make, sell & buy almost anything.”

What’s interesting about Ponoko is that it allows shoppers and conceptual product designers to bring their ideas to life, however random they may be. You don’t need to possess the talent to design or manufacture the product, since Ponoko’s crowd of designers will do it for you. Better still, you can simply take a picture of a sketch, upload it, and then wait for designers to tell you how much it would cost to have made for real. You can do this for yourself, for bespoke / crazy gifts, or to sell to others. Ponoko rocks. 

Software & usability testing – uTest

There are plenty of reasons why you don’t want to ditch your preferred usability agency, since offline user testing is absolutely essential to businesses of all sizes. But if you want to conduct online testing then uTest’s community of “18,000 QA professionals from 150 countries” might be the place to start. Web, mobile, gaming and desktop apps can be tested, and the service also supports agile developers. 

Data cleansing & entry / content creation = Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

“Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for work. We give businesses and developers access to an on-demand, scalable workforce. Workers select from thousands of tasks and work whenever it’s convenient.”

There are plenty of occasions where the human brain works better than the fastest computer. Tasks that are better performed by humans can be outsourced to Turk. There are currently around 50,000 ‘Human Intelligence Tasks’ (HITs) available for its freelance workforce, including such gems as writing a review of a San Francisco street, or making a video about your coffee stories. Fees per task paid out range from a couple of cents to $30 (Amazon takes 10% commission). There are thought to be at least 100,000 Turkers from around the world.

Images = Flickr Creative Commons

Why bother paying ridiculous sums of money on pictures when there is an alternative as good as Flickr. It’s not perfect for everything (celebs, footballers, etc) but there are millions of high quality images that can be used, with appropriate credits. We use these pictures all the time on our blog. 

So that’s it... but before you stagedive into the crowd there are a few cautionary tales out there, which you might want to familiarise yourself with.

I'd love to hear about your experiences if you're actively crowdsourcing... please leave a comment below.

[Twitter users: if you liked this article please retweet it here. You can follow me here.]

Chris Lake

Published 4 August, 2009 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (51)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Gerrie Smits

Nice overview. Thanks for that. Chaordix and Poptent look particularly interesting.

We actually just experimented with Mechanical Turk to crowd-source the logo of our new company. Letter by letter. 

http://www.wewillraakyou.com/2009/07/the-story-behind-our-crowd-sourced-raak-logo/

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Adi @ The Management Blog

Good list Chris.  Isn't the Mechanical Turk just for US companies though?  I tried to sign up today to put some projects up and was told it wasn't available outside America.  Bit of a shame.

about 7 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Hey Adi,

I didn't know that. 100k+ workers in 100+ countries suggests it is global but it looks as if you're right. Amazon is missing a trick. I'll ask the question. In the meantime perhaps someone else can suggest an alternative? Opportunity knocks.

c.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Roy Morejon

no mention of crowdspring

about 7 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

There is now! Thanks Roy... it's another good crowdsourcing service.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Sarah Blue

Thanks for the mention on your blog. You've got a great list here. Since Chaordix is focused on helping businesses with open innovation style crowdsourcing, we use other crowdsourcing sites as well. 

What we use:

- uTest everyone should use this, brilliant

- Quirky from the Kluster guys, fun and different

- iStockphoto our neighbours, although we also use Flickr creative commons photos for our blog

- Threadless to keep us dressed :)

Two we think are great but haven't used:

- Innocentive (we love the big thinking that happens here)

- Better than the Van (everyone dreams of being a rockstar, a crowdsourced community of free places to stay for bands on tour)

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Cinnaminta

The content generation aspect of Mechanical Turk is interesting, but the rates are virtually nil.  Using Cinnaminta, some of these types of request could be fulfilled free of charge.  It depends how imaginative you are - yet another product review probably won't stir much interest.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Alex Guest

TV Pixie used 99designs for its logo design. We had a good range of submissions to choose from and we're very happy with the result.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Wessel van Rensburg RAAK

And here we have crowd sourced investigative journalism http://helpmeinvestigate.com/

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

David Ela

GeniusRocket uses crowdsourcing to provide a variety of marketing needs, including: viral and online videos, taglines, copywriting, naming, website design, blog design, and logos.


GeniusRocket has worked with brands of all sizes and has also helped start-ups establish brand identity. Past clients have included Pepsi, Heinz, South by Southwest, and Fractured Atlas.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

BountyStorms

How about BountyStorms (http://www.bountystorms.com)?  It's a brainstorming site that uses crowdsourcing to generate ideas.  Post a question along with a bounty ($5 to $25 currently) and in 24 hours you have a bunch of great, crowd-generated and approved ideas.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

John

namethis.com powered by Kluster are not able to reward users at the moment due to 'cash flow problems'. Many of the long time/regular users are owed hundreds of dollars and are not too happy.  New users, beware.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Marco Trombetti

1) Translation and Localization Services (Controlled crowdsouring)

Through an API

http://translated.net/en/hts.php

or stardard we quote

http://translated.net/en/preventivo.php

2) Creativity

http://www.bootb.com

Marco

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

eBusiness

Very interesting list, thanks Chris. The uTest looks especially interesting for development of ecommerce software that is intended to work on the global market. Definitely, it does worth to try it out.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Tom Folkes

Hi,

    I have developed a KM/research system which is driven by crowd source.   It leans ontologies by taking what the crowd has already developed and allowing the user to develop their own version which feeds the system model.  It also crowd sources the relevant site to search.  The site is www.alexlib.info

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

John R

Be very careful dealing with Ben Kaufman and his Kluster platform.  He is an untrustworthy person.  He isn't paying community members for the NameThis project, which is part of Kluster.  You'll see in his blog at namethis.com he posted some information a month ago about financial problems and hasn't addressed any of these issues since then.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Justin Hunter

Good list.

"I second that" for uTest and 99 Designs.

In addition, eLance is well worth checking out.  It has a similar theme: you can describe a project you'd like to have completed (e.g., "build a website based on this PowerPoint presentation I've put together which has some mock screens and the content I have in mind") and get bids from dozens of providers - along with the abilty to look at their portfolios.

A quick pointer for using 99 designs well: you set the price you're willing to pay and designers will submit many potential designs (logos, business cards, etc.).  My experience shows that while the amount of money you're willing to pay certainly influences the  number and quality of designs you're allowed to review, an even more important influencer is the frequency and quality of the feedback provided by the person asking for the design.

- Justin Hunter

Founder of Hexawise, a software testing tool company

almost 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Tom

At the moment namethis.com, which is operated by Kluster/Ben Kaufman, is not forwarding rewards to winners. I suggest you don’t waste your time there. It is scandalous that they are allowed to operate.

almost 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Derek

I'd like to add another one to the list. I came across a new site called Denook. They are a crowdsource ideas for logos, websites, apparel...

Pretty cool - http://www.denook.com

almost 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Kate Hiscox

We just added Spudaroo.com to the list! Crowdsourced business materials from slide presentations, business plans, web content, press releases and a bunch more. We launched recently and got the ball rolling with a contest for our press release. Would love your feedback =)

http://spudaroo.com/contest/7/

almost 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Pete

I was super impressed with DESIGNBAY.COM and they recently acquired DESIGNCROWD.COM so hopefully they are even better now. Visual identity/logo design, posters, tshirts etc...

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Afterburner

Do you know any croudsourcing for photoshop/image manipulation?

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Adrian

Good post. I already tried Crowdsourcing but for my companies Logo atr http://www.guerra-creativa.com

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Alex Mark

You forgot grafikguru.com (really low fees) and guerracreativa.com (nice layout but very high fees).

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Tatiana

Good list Chris. Thank you.

That is really great that we have experience of positive interaction with the companies which stand out for their professionalism, quality of work, ethics, and their commitment to providing great customer service.

Another great website is http://world4brains.com. World4Brains.com is an automated Global Consulting and Innovation Think Tank that helps companies innovate, solve problems, and grow bigger and better - at the price clients are willing and able to pay. Hundreds of well-credentialed consultants and accomplished innovators from around the world and across as many disciplines as required simultaneously collaborate and contribute their best ideas, advice and solutions - thanks to an innovative payment system that rewards all valuable input given. World4Brains clients are protected by a 100% money-back guarantee.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Kevin

Don't you think that crowdsourcing like this takes jobs away from working professionals, therefore diminishing the overall quality of the end-product?

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Rank on Top

I think this is still in it's baby stages as companies dont know enough about these markets and measures.

I'm Glad someone is making it a little more known.

Great article.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Wayne Munday

A good overview but no mention of Mypitch.com who have published over 600 pitches and have a global creative marketing network spanning 140 countries.

Mypitch.com starts its European roll-out of creative marketing crowdsourcing services this week (w/c 30th August) with the opening of offices in the UK, France, Poland, Austria, Spain in addition to its head office in Sweden.

It is good to see articles like this when community, collaborative or crowdsourcing marketing tools are beginning to emerge. They will quickly become mainstream as brand marketers see the benefits.

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

The Peoples Story

I've been amazed at the trajectory of crowdsourcing over the past year. When you can leverage the power of the world to create something amazing, why not?

In pondering such opportunities I created a social experiment crowdsourcing blog where a story is created by one sentence. Then I invite people to write the next line of the story by posting a comment. Its still in its birth phase but I am interested to see how far the story will go around the world.

If you are wondering what the story is about so far, its set in Sydney Australia about a guy named Chester who needs change in his life. He is disillusionded and aggravated by hypocrites.

If you're interested in writing the next line - please click on the link!

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Oskar

Nice Article! Only thing I'm missing is the videoplatform Brandfighters: young people who are creating video's for other young people: they made great stuff, check it out on www.brandfighters.com

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Jamie

One of the biggest issues with many design contest sites is their refund policy. A new website called www.klick360.com deals with this issue by offering a unique Satisfaction Guarantee where if the client is not happy with their contest they may extend it for an additional 7 days and up to 4 times. We believe this eliminates the need for a refund. 

This makes designers happy and happy designers equate to happy clients!

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Alan Wayne

Another interesting challenge that crowdsourcing can overcome is funding entrepreneurship.

Startups can join the crowd at Innovatrs.com, VCs and other investors can submit briefs and any crowdmember can send their executive summary to Innovatrs, with Innovatrs passing only the best couple on the investors!

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Dwight

Thanks for the info.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Aanchal

Chris,

Its a brilliant article to learn about crowdsrourcing with live examples and I appreciate the research done in the same.

But just wanted to add on to the list, other crowdsourcing models like paywithatweet.com for instance with a  "Social Payment" system i.e., no money, just marketing.

How is that beneficial????

We agree it is more of marketing and we realise its importance as well but how will they compete and grow with no cash????

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

mike kerr

Cheers for the 99dedigns tip. I'll be making use of it I think - I need a logo and design isn't a strong suit of mine.

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

jani

desklancer.com is the best crowd sourcing network i found

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Paul G

Looks like this crowd sourcing jobs bring an extra income,but can try as a full time as well.Thanks for the list

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

yogesh

99tests is a crowdsouring application for Testing

about 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

kates

Hatchwise.com and Squadhelp.com should be mentioned too. They are great places to get ideas, win and find skilled peeps :)

almost 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Coy

This post is invaluable. When can I find out
more?

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Cain

I think article spinning is exceptional when you have the
right sorts of quality software program! There are too many individuals that dismiss
article spinning due to the fact that it's something they haven't yet been able to work successfully. Article spinning is a terrific means of developing special content variations instantly at the click of a button that you can easily then utilize on your internet site or weblog.

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Segura

Yes, I'll agree to that but some projectiles were revealed by him in the finish. lol.. . Backpacking during the night in the dark is the only smart thing to do in a game similar to this if you're all alone. It is a lot better to cover an area the size of a door than it's a 360 degree? radius spot all over your self while not being able to see past 12 feet roughly. . . Activities like this are meant to be enjoyed pals, the more the superior. Being a loner is simply requesting trouble, particularly when you do dumb shit similar to this dude. lol

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Waggoner

I observed that my iPhone 4s, because the last update, shows
100% charge for 20 minutes or extra of heavy usage. One thing is not correct with that.

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Guenther

Great blog you have here but I was wondering if you
knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
I'd really like to be a part of online community where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Lipscomb

Hello ! I m below to convey how a lot I love this blog site!

Its truly a single of my favourite resources about this matter!
I would like to say once again thanks to the writer and I will appear again
to read this website every day !

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Bishop

You absolutely have a point there, I have never
studied it like it like that before. You make it sound so interesting.

I am going to have to investigate this more!

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Sherry Nash

Great resource! I realized there are so many out there and I did take many help from this useful website, i think this is good information for any beginners as well. And thanks for sharing!!!

over 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

lasik

It's hard to find knowledgeable people about this topic, but you sound like you know what you're talking about!
Thanks

over 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Emilia Dariel

Hi,

I would like to add to this list Pluralis - the crowd sourcing marketplace for conversion optimization, connecting online businesses with a community of creatives for the purpose of landing page optimization.

Thanks

over 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Scott

InnoGalactic.com is a great new crowdsourcing resource. Ask or answer questions and earn points.

over 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Rick Mullenix, Community Manager at 48HoursLogo.com

Loved reading this, looking forward to checking out namethis, Poptent, and Ponoko.

I recommend 48HoursLogo for crowdsourcing logo design, cost-effective and creative designers!

almost 3 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.