Crowdsourcing is a rather elaborate sounding term that actually refers to something that is both simple and quite powerful. In the past if you had a question you might ask one of your friends for their advice, perhaps you’d meet them for coffee or give them a call. Perhaps they could help you with your problem, perhaps not. Social networking technologies such as Facebook and Twitter have given us the ability to broadcast information to a lot of people with a minimum of fuss. In a sense crowdsourcing is like thinking aloud and seeing who has something to add to your thought.
I’ll illustrate this concept with a recent example from my own Twitter feed. I’ve been enjoying sketching in my little sketchbook lately but invariably I find that I end up smudging the picture itself. So I decided to ask the question…
I am clearly a n00b… but how does anyone draw with pencils without smudging their artwork and/or their hands? lol
I got some great responses – certainly information that isn’t in any of the art books I’ve been studying and not things I imagine I would’ve figured out for myself.
Place paper towel under hands. It works! RT @JohnLacey: how does anyone draw with pencils without smudging their artwork and/or their hands?
@JohnLacey draw on an easel; fix the drawing with fixative at diff stages; better pencils???
Erin Gibson is a very talented artist and someone I’ve come to know through YouTube. The thing I found really interesting though is that Leesa Watego is not an artist but as someone who is married to one still offered great insight into possible solutions to my problem. And with crowdsourcing you don’t need to decide who to ask (and aren’t constrained by the assumptions you make about other people’s expertise), you just put it out there and see what comes back to you.