The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Sunday 20 March 2011


Coined by Jeff Howe in an article entitled "The Rise of Crowdsourcing" in Wired magazine, June 2006. It elides the concepts of "crowd" and "outsourcing", the latter being an increasingly popular form of sleight of hand by which large organisations can unload whole areas of activity, often to suppliers in cheaper locations. Similarly, small organisations can give the illusion that they are much larger than in fact they are.

Crowdsourcing involves entrusting these activities to an undefined group of people or a "community" through an open call, and the Internet makes this a pretty easy thing to organise. It is possible because (as Howe explained) cheap consumer electronics have closed the gap between amateurs and professionals. Community patent review (or "peer-to-patent") is a classic example of crowdsourcing in the intellectual property world.

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