One topic running, at least in the background, through the recent posts of this weblog has been crowdsourcing. Despite having a working definition for this newly created term, I am still wrestling with fitting it within related web 2.0 jargon. At its most basic it seems to be an individual or entity with an entrepreneurial bent using the labor of unnamed masses transforming services into commodities.
How does this differ though with what was considered under the Challenging The "Popular" Theory Of Group and Individual Interaction regarding social influence? What factors move the process from crowdsourcing to collaboration or is it to a great degree a matter of perspective? All these perspectives would seem to depend upon one degree or another on some form of the wisdom of the crowds concept, without ever knowing what elements make up the crowd. We become connected without ever knowing who we are connected to, but does being connected to hundreds intimately to accomplish a specific task that is part of a larger goal really make any sense? Maybe if discussing one's favorite pizza, but preparing the financial statements for a business plan?
Some people, as this Wired article demonstrates, can make this aspect of the new economy work for them. Wired 14.06: The Rise of Crowdsourcing.
One arena of the crowd networking with the crowd is the new StumbleUpon community I recently joined. This StumbleUpon site that I sent to myself includes a companion piece to The Rise of Crowdsourcing article on the 5 rules of crowdsourcing labor. It also goes beyond that utilizing the wisdom of the StumbleUpon crowd to find other sites through related concepts. At least as far as I related them.