I first learned about Crowdsourcing in The 4-Hour-Workweek, but since the book’s release the idea has taken off in a big way. Crowdsourcing simply means outsourcing tasks to a group of people rather than a contractor. This allows businesses to save money while getting valuable tasks completed, and can be used for many different projects. As productivity geeks, we’re always trying to delegate as much of our work as possible, so let’s take a look at some of the things we can crowdsource and make our lives just that much simpler.
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk
One of the oldest and most used crowdsourcing platforms is Amazon’s Mturk, which is primarily for small, basic tasks that require a person rather than software. There is no limit on what tasks you can post: it can be anything from filling out a survey, keyword research, writing an outline, researching information or leads, etc. You can price your task however you want, and most tasks on the site are listed under $1.
CrowdFlower is all about data. If you need a large data set analyzed, edited, or generated, you submit the project to CrowdFlower and they break the project down into small tasks that will be completed by people all over the world. Once the small tasks are done, the CrowdFlower team will ensure quality and send you the results.
This site is like a creative video agency without the fancy Madison Ave. skyscraper. Genius Rocket creates commercials, education videos, viral videos, sales videos, and animations for your business. By crowdsourcing writers, directors, and producers you save a ton of money on multimedia that would costs tens of thousands of dollars at a real creative agency.
PopTent is very similar to Genius Rocket and connects videographers and commercial directors with brands. They can produce everything from a viral video to a legit national TV spot.
Need your software tested? Look no further than uTest. By using the many uTest users to test your application, you can immediately find crashes and bugs, and receive feedback and quickly find solutions. They offer functionality tests, security testing, load testing, localization testing, and basic usability testing.
Similar to uTest, Mob4Hire tests only mobile applications and delivers in-depth results on user experience and usability.
Need documents translated but don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a translation service? Submit it to the translators at GenGo and your document will be translated, checked, and edited by their extensive team of translators.
Both of these are hugely popular ways for brands to get logo or graphic design on the cheap. 99 Designs offers logo, business card, apparel, postcard, flyer, brochure, product packaging, web site, mobile app, icon, banner, or book cover design. Crowdspring does that as well but helps with brand and product naming as well.
SmartSheet is a unique project management platform that allows you to assign tasks to your own team and then fill any holes or gaps with their virtual workforce. The SmartSheet crowd is integrated with Mturk and other platforms so you get access to a massive amount of people around the world.