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Posted by on Oct 27, 2009 in Leadership | 0 comments

The Power of the Human Jumbotron: A Lesson In Crowdsourcing

When has the crowd been more exciting than the game? No, it’s not the wave, nor is it the “war paint” covering bare-chested men. It’s crowdsourcing: when everyone works collectively towards a single objective. Below there is a video of a soccer game where the power of the crowd created more compelling entertainment than the game itself:

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Crowdsourcing has never been more apparent and pervasive than in the online world. Wikipedia is often the most cited example of crowdsourcing–as it has met extreme success since its inception in 2001. It has tapped into the collective knowledge of the world to create a comprehensive and awe-inspiring assortment of content.

To understand how more brands can incorporate crowdsourcing into their business model consider the following key characteristics that lead to successful crowdsourcing initiatives:

Set an objective — Before throwing in tons of money and time in to your project, what are you trying to create; who is going to get you there; and who is going to benefit? In Wikipedia’s case: create an online encyclopedia; those experts specialized in specific areas of study; all those with web access seeking more information knowledge in one site.

Rally the troops — When you tell 100 people you want to create a human jumbotron, they can get excited about it because 1) it’s unique and 2) it’s tangible. With two words, you can inspire and lay out a clearly defined objective.

Plan — A human jumbotron does not get up and running overnight. It takes time, training and planning to make a vision a reality. Consider Wikipedia, they have a solid foundation for which individuals can build an rich resource for information.

Work as a team — The human jumbotron exemplifies how no one person is of greater value than another. It is through the collective efforts of everyone that the human jumbotron was successful. If even one person was of greater value, it would dissolve the final outcome.

Have a pay-off — Sellaband is an example of a crowdsourcing website that has a financial pay-off for participants. Fans give money to their favorite bands so they can cut a record. Once the record is released, fans can even share a portion of the profits if the album is successful.

Leveraging the power of the crowds, even if it’s only to fact-check or spark a discussion on your blog, can be invaluable for your brand. Allowing users to participate in something greater than themselves is tremendously rewarding and the nature of the web as a connector and facilitator has made collaboration and crowdsourcing more possible than ever before.

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