How is crowdsourcing different from collective intelligence?

Engage collective intelligence through crowdsourcing

The “Crowdsourcing” guideline was created by the Bitkom Social Media working group with members of the German Crowdsourcing Association and other experts. “With crowdsourcing, companies can implement their projects more flexibly and enrich them with external knowledge. New perspectives, innovative ideas or expertise that do not yet exist in the company can be integrated easily and directly into the internal processes for the benefit of all those involved, ”says Catharina van Delden from the Bitkom Presidium.

Social motives and a high degree of transparency

Crowdsourcing is the term used to describe the outsourcing of work and creative processes to the mass of Internet users. A heterogeneous, temporally and spatially independent group works together to achieve a common goal. Companies can thus incorporate the activities and collective intelligence of a large number of Internet users. This type of collaborative work is characterized by transparency. Social motives for cooperation dominate and complement established working mechanisms. Van Delden sees this as the basis for a new understanding of work, innovation and finance.

Types of crowdsourcing are crowdfunding and crowd investing. Projects or companies are financed by the crowd. On crowdfunding platforms such as Bergfürst or Companisto, founders also receive quick feedback as to whether they are on the right track with their idea.

Train employees, clarify copyright issues

The guideline also describes the challenges of crowdsourcing in corporate use. Management and employees have to deal with new requirements and tasks: open innovation processes, quality control, incentives and fair remuneration for crowdworkers, clarification of any labor and copyright issues that arise. Companies should educate and train their employees if they want to include swarm intelligence.

“Most crowdsourcing projects are started and managed in isolation in departments such as research and development, IT or marketing - and not understood as cross-sectional processes for networked knowledge and work,” says van Delden. The required high level of transparency in crowdsourcing projects often collides with a silo approach in corporate structures. Van Delden emphasizes: “There is enormous potential for competitive advantages, innovations and new business models for those who are open to them. This can be tapped with structured crowdsourcing and open innovation approaches. The view of protecting one's own company from the outside world and strictly regulating the flow of information is therefore no longer appropriate. "

The guide can be downloaded here. (Bitkom / asc)