Having learnt quite a bit about crowdsourcing two weeks ago, has given me insight onto what its benefits are for Design, but also just in general. The idea behind both of these approaches is to use the crowd to help out in your process, be it in Design, Science, or Arts. Of course there are different levels of crowds, as we discussed in week 2 & 3. The me, we, network approach, can help divide this larger topic of crowdsourcing into narrower fields. Depending on what we are trying to source ( for example Ideas on how to improve a IT company office) there can be many different paths to follow. In the example given, it would be almost futile to address this issue to the entire Internet community. In order to hopefully ever get good results, it would be a lot more beneficial to pitch this issue to a specific online community through one of the many platforms (linked IN, Facebook, ResearchGate). This community has already formed prior to the issue, and have a shared interest in Office Design, Healthy office spaces, or even Work Psychology. When addressing this issue to a group of people who are familiar with such a topic, will first reduce the number of total ideas that are not applicable, second will generate a number of useful & grounded ideas, and third might allow for a discussion on the issue to be started, which could bring up new parts of the problem. Depending on the community the creativeness of ideas can vary. To impact this it is important to ask or state a clear & focused problem to the crowd, so that they may understand the problem fully reducing the amount of possible misunderstanding. Having said this about crowdsourcing, lets take a look at Crowd funding and how this differentiates itself. Crowd funding could be considered a form of crowdsourcing, as it uses the public to help give momentum to a project. However, in order to Crowd fund a project, be it for financial reason, or Human Resources, it is necessary to have a clear objective, mission, & reason for the project, to help people support the idea. In order to do this a degree of marketing will be needed to portray the product/service that is being developed, so that it can simply attract attention on different crowd funding websites, and look legitamate. However with only a good marketing effort, no product will ever be funded & developed fully. In order to get support from the crowd, you have to ensure the integrity of the product itself (technically & aesthetically), and be certain of the people who you are developing this idea with. This means that you need a team of motivated & trained people that keep pushing the project to its limits, to actually make this product worth funding for people who just take a glance at it online.
In the end, Crowdsourcing differs from funding, in one major way. When using crowdsourcing, ideas can still be in their incubation stage, or barely developed, before they get brought out to the public to ask for help or insight on what could be improved. This doesn’t mean, that the issue doesn’t need to be clear and concise, but that the actual technicalities of the final design do not need to be considered. Therefore it can be easier to get input from the Crowd at this stage of a project. Crowd funding on the other hand requires a project already well on track, in order to get enough momentum online, to get it funded and supported. Herein lies the major difference, of how to apply these two concepts. However they share many similarities, like the fact that no matter what project, or idea you have, to bring it to the crowd, it will requires a lot of energy, and persistence before the goal is reached.