What Is Crowdsourcing – Advantages and Disadvantages

Crowdsourcing, a combination of the terms “Crowd” + “Outsourcing”, is the practice of companies, business owners or even individuals, making an open call to a broad community of people to help them solve a particular problem. One of the advantages of crowdsourcing is that it can drive down the cost of solving a problem quite substantially, in addition to being able to receive a huge amount of ideas, suggestions, etc.

As an example, say you want to create an eCommerce website about audio books. In this case, your problem is coming up with a nice and catchy name, find an available domain name and a great slogan. Instead of banging your head against the wall and spend a lot of time trying to figure it out for yourself, you can go to sites such as prizes.org and put up a competition, where the best entry gets a prize (normally money). The community over there will then do the work for you and all you have to do is wait for those entries to come in, and pick the best of the best.

As you can see from the example above, crowdsourcing has a lot of advantages. Combining the power of a “massive” amount of people providing you with ideas, suggestions, etc., is simply too good to not take advantage of. Now, not everything is a sea of roses. Crowdsourcing, depending on what problem you have, may not be the right way to go. There is no guarantee that the end result will be of good quality (e.g. logo design for example). At the end of the day, it really depends on what solution you are looking for.

Regardless, crowdsourcing is here to stay and there are more sites being launched everyday. If you are looking for a “freelance” opportunity and earn some money yourself, you can join sites such as eLance, oDesk, etc.. Crowdsourcing is a huge market and it is estimated that over $1 billion has already been paid to workers for several projects.

Below is an infographic courtesy of oBizMedia. Nothing better than a visual summary about the topic in question. Enjoy!

What Is Crowdsourcing?

That’s it! What do you think of crowdsourcing? Have you used it? Are you taking advantage of this possible opportunity to make an extra income on the side?


DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

17 thoughts on “What Is Crowdsourcing – Advantages and Disadvantages

  • As a my part crowdsourcing works good!
    like i am logo designer and work for different clients, n also there are some huge sites of logo design crowdsourcing where we participate, get more projects to do, n more project means more money. so this is good strategy to me!

    • I can see how crowdsourcing works well for you Nora. There is a great demand for web and logo design out there. Good luck with your endeavors and thanks for stopping by

  • I have yet to use crowdsourcing but there seems to be so many practical applications for it.

    I have heard of amazing inventions and ideas come out of crowd sourcing, especially when there is a prize involved for up and coming young minds.

    You got my brain churning about this crowdsourcing idea. I am still a small blogger but it would be interesting to find a way to use the minds of my readers to find new innovations for my blog or other blogs.


    • I agree Allie. Crowdsourcing can be a great “source” for brilliant ideas and even better when there is some sort of prize involved as the participation can get really “hot”. the example I gave above about “prizes.org” is a perfect example. All you need is a bit of creativity and you are good to go. Plus, it is a way to earn some money on the side without having a website, or blog or anything 🙂

      As for using the minds of your readers for ideas, that’s also a great way to make use of “crowdsourcing”.. getting them involved can mean a lot. Blog post ideas, something specific they want to know about, etc…

  • Hello DiTesco!

    This was new to me. But now I completely understood what crowdsourcing is. Very good example you used to explain, in the second paragraph. I could guess it’s advantages after I understood what is crowdsourcing, actually. But not it’s disadvantages, completely.

    Don’t know when, but I’ll try crowdsourcing once, for sure.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Abhi. Some disadvantages of crowdsourcing is actually for the professionals who use to charge higher prices to perform a certain tasks. For example a logo designer who works individually may find that his/her price is higher than what someone can get via crowdsourcing. On there other hand, perhaps you may better quality than if you get a design from mass collaboration. Did not help?

      • Okay. So, the disadvantages will be for professionals in that particular field, basically. Thank you for your informative reply, DiTesco!

  • Great post!!
    In a way, the company is solving its business problems and also getting feedbacks at the same time from people who may use their products. In addition, there product is also getting marketed.

  • Absolutely great post with good content!!

    Crowdsourcing brings some genuine advantages to companies and individuals looking to complete defined tasks with affordable price. The main attraction so far has been its fairly lower price, compared to the price for hiring a dedicated professional. Also the best thing with the low price is the high number of people who are ready to work for you anytime.

    Lineage of TechInfo

  • Seriously it’s a great way to expand your site/organization. You’ve indeed provided a great insight Francisco.

  • Hi DiTesco, Nice infographic Love the information and the layout. Worth the share. Thanks for letting me know of this inforgraphic.

  • One of the best techniques used by the companies today.Even after having some negative points its still has many positive sides and a worth implementing strategy!

  • Hey DiTesco, thank you for letting me know more info about Crowdsourcing, also, you’ve made a very nice infographic.

  • Good article and infographic to share on Crowdsourcing… http://t.co/AgeuL1WT

  • @ditesco
    Crowdsourcing: What Is It, Advantages and Disadvantages


    #outsourcing #SmallBusiness #socialmediamarketing

  • I see that this is a post almost a year old but the infographic is going viral on Pinterest! Couldn’t resist commenting.

    Overall, it’s a great infographic and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We, GeniusRocket, are a creative video agency operating on a curated crowdsourcing model. Our model prevents the exact downsides mentioned in this infographic. A) We only admit professionals into our community who have demonstrated superior quality work and can produce high-impact ideas. This eliminates amateurs and guarantees quality to the client. B) We also believe in aligning incentives- if you don’t properly compensate the creatives, then they won’t stay loyal to your community. Top creatives would exit, and we would then lose the ability to match clients to top quality creatives. This is why we take a stance against spec work and compensate creatives as they should. When we send out our creative brief, we only send it to a small pool within our already selective community, limiting the number of people we ask to submit ideas for the project. We also take an incremental approach- we ask for a simple concept, limiting the time creatives initially put in. We then compensate generously for the idea that the client decides to move forward with; the ideas that don’t move forward remain the property of the respective creatives, not the client. And obviously, we compensate the production company for producing the video.

    We’re excited to be part of the momentum that crowdsourcing is having on all aspects of business. Thanks for sharing that infographic and your insights; we’d be glad to chat for any questions you have! hello at geniusrocket.com

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