I decided today to launch an ambitous Crowdsourcing effort, and I need your help to make it happen. It'll benefit just about anyone: Prosumers (producing consumers), creative freelancers, stay-at-home moms and dads, idea generators -anyone looking for opportunity and work. It'll also benefit any business small to large interested in a non-traditional, dynamic way to tap a variety of innovative ideas from people from around the world. The platform would enable extremely affordable, impactful business solutions, and offer talented people opportunities to earn money and build/showcase their personal brand. I'll use three main tools:
1) A Global Crowdsourcing Platform - I have the keys to Fellowforce.com, an Open Innovation platform and portal. Fellowforce has an Open Innovation/Crowdsourcing Challenge Board where businesses post challenge contests to ask for solutions and ideas. All the platform needs is a growing, vibrant and passionate consumer community ... and a Challenge Board offering a variety of fresh, interesting opportunities. The Challenge Board has a legal framework and community forum/voting/reward system. When a challenge is posted, an e-mail is sent to the global Fellow Community - people looking for the opportunity to put their ideas to work. To become a Fellow, all it takes is s simple registration and quick profile creation to let us know the type of challenges that would interest you, along with your areas of expertise and passion. Fellows can choose to enter Challenges and compete for cash and other rewards. Challenges can be Fellowforce-hosted, or hosted elsewhere and linked on the Fellowforce Board so you don't have to search for opportunities. We find them and bring them to your attention.
2) Twitter - there's nothing like the viral connectiveness of Twitter. I remember hearing about a group on Twitter half joking about joining forces to create a Twitter Agency to compete for a large advertising account. Laurel Papworth, aka @Silkcharm on Twitter, 'tweeted' this idea and wrote a post called Twitter Agency: Crowd-sourced Consultancy.
I thought after reading her blog post ... what if I could use Twitter as a massive, all-encompassing crowdsourcing platform? Not just for ad agency pitches ... but for anything. However it wasn't until today, on that brisk dog walk, that the idea gelled. I didn't need to build a new platform. I already had access to one (Fellowforce). What I needed to do was explain the benefits of Open Innovaton and Crowdsourcing to my Twitter friends, ignite interest in the existing platform, then combine the two (Twitter & Fellowforce) to communicate about opportunities for consumers and businesses to connect. There are several benefits in taking part in this effort and telling others to join it as well:
- the bigger and more vibrant the crowdsourcing community and platform, the more attractive it will be in attracting money-making and personal brand building opportunities
- There isn't a truly global crowdsourcing platform that caters to SME (small/medium businesses) and the broadest possible pro-sumer crowd. Innocentive is the best known crowdsourcing platform, with a massive community of 'solvers' (160,000), but it's expensive, aimed at Fortune 500 companies, and it's community consists mostly of scientists, engineers and researchers. With Fellowforce, a business can pay as little as $49 (the current rate to post a self-serve Challenge) to $495 for a Premium (expertly guided) Challenge. The goal is to make it attractive for businesses small to large worldwide, and offer numerous opportunities to a wide range of talented people.
- Twitter is growing more popular every day, and it empowers and gives voice to individuals in a uniquely powerful way. When Twitter users like something (or dislike something, as in the case of Twitter Moms and a Motrin ad campaign), word travels fast, and can attract attention on a large scale and in a short period of time. There are plenty of people on Twitter itching for the chance to showcase their talents and ideas. When you help make this effort a success, you're helping create opportunities that could be benefit you and thousands more in the community.
- There's an opportunity at Fellowforce to be a Sales Partner. The more attention you bring to this, the more opportunity you have to attract business and earn a piece of the pie.
I believe that if this catches on ... if people 'retweet' this post and get excited about creating a global crowdsourcing powerhouse ... energized about the potential that we have to be problem solvers and creative idea generators .. then we can build a community with tens of thousands of people in a short period of time - a community that will attract businesses and create opportunities.
3) Blog - the third leg of this project is a blog acting as a central communication point. Right now, it's Consumer Passion. I'm considering a new blog specifically for this project, and have a couple of names under consideration. I'm also using #hashtags in all of my Tweets that relate to crowdsourcing, open innovation and this effort, to enable effective search and tracking. Right now, I'm using the hashtag #TwitForce on Twitter (conbines Twitter & Fellowforce), and when you enter that hashtag in the search field on Twitter, you can quickly locate any conversations about this, anyone else Tweeting about it, crowdsourcing opportunities and ideas and so on. I'm also considering the name #TwitSourcing - a play on crowdsourcing and Twitter.
This is the idea in a nutshell. I'm open to any thoughts and suggestions. Leave your opinion about the #name in the comments section. Any suggestions you have about this Twitter + Fellowforce plan to rule the crowdsourcing world, leave them in my Suggestion Box, which enables and manages transparent feedback. If you're interested in posting a Crowdsource Challenge on the Fellowforce platform, or would like to know more about Suggestion Box as well (I'm affiliated with both), contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget about my Coca-Cola Brand Fan Contest at TwitFizz.com. Come up with a creative jingle, slogan, poem or brand idea, toss it into the ring, and you might win cool Coke gear, products and a $6,000 Fellowforce Webforce Consumer Co-creation & Feedback Application license (the platform the contest is using).
Jeff Crites (Brick and Click Consulting)
Have you read Jeff Howe's book? (he coined term crowdsourcing):
Picture at top of post courtesy of this Flickr account