A. Defining Crowdsourcing
The narrow definition of crowdsourcing focuses on the aspect of an ‘open call’ to the general public,as opposed to systems that try to profit from more exclusive ‘lead user’ contributions. For example,see the following definition, taken from an excellent overview essay by Katarina Stanoevska-Slabeva,from which we will quote more later on:
"Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by adesignated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call."
Indeed for Jeff Howe, the coiner of the term in 2006, the open call is crucial:
“The crucial prerequisite is the use of the open call format in the widenetwork of potential laborers.”
According to James Surowiecki, author of the best-selling The Wisdom of Croweds,
“a crowd can be defined as a large set of anonymous individuals. Implicit inthis definition is the idea that a firm cannot build its own crowd. Thestrength of the crowd is the possibility to choose from the contribution ofmany contributors with different backgrounds, qualifications and talents."
In practice however, crowdsourcing has acquired the more general meaning of sourcing contributionsto an outside public, even if selection procedures are being applied.Both methods are used, i.e. crowds vs. experts, as explained by Patrick Philippe Meier, who uses andmonitors crowdsourcing in the generation of disaster area mapping:
"the term 'crowd' can mean a large group of people (unboundedcrowdsourcing) or perhaps a specific group (bounded crowdsourcing, also
121 http://crowdsourcing.typepad.com/cs/advertising/index.html122 Stanoevska-Slabeva, Katarina. Enabled Innovation: Instruments and Methods of Internet-based Collaborative Innovation. 1stBerlin Symposium on Internet and Society (2011).http://berlinsymposium.org/sites/berlinsymposium.org/files/crowdsourcingenabledinnovation.pdf123