Crowd-sourcing Revisited

It's been almost three years since the book, "We are Smarter Than Me" was published, yet the concept of crowd-sourcing is still making headlines. Recently, Susan Koutalakis, Mzinga's PR manager, shared this story with me from the New York Times. It's about a short animated film, titled "Live Music" which was crow sourced by the group Mass Animation on Facebook. Mass Animation engaged 57,000 people from 101 countries and successfully collected user generated content to produce the film. According to the article, "The 51 winning animators hail from 17 countries, including Kazakhstan and Colombia. Eleven are women, the Hollywood animation mines are staffed almost entirely by men and the group ranges in age from 14 to 48."

"Live Music" will now be shown in theaters thanks to Sony Pictures, and is perhaps the first of many "viewer-generated" films in years to come.

The real question we should ask ourselves is what can businesses learn from this story? A lot.

  1. Crowd-sourcing leads to better results faster and cheaper. We've said it for years now, if you're interested in creating a new product or improving existing ones, why not turn to your customers? Simultaneously, why not use the knowledge and talents of existing communities to leverage your brand?
  2. We will continue to see more user generated everything in years to come. We can look at Dell's Idea storm or Starbucks' MyStarbucks.com and see mainstream brands doing this already. With more examples like the film "Live Music," I can only predict that crowd-sourcing will continue to be embraced and used towards product development, decision making and problem solving.
  3. Crowd-sourcing empowers individuals by giving them a voice. It also results in effective, authentic marketing. Through crowd sourcing, it's easy to transform customers, users, or employees into your best brand advocates because they are part of an experience. Through word of mouth, they can help promote products and services to audiences that might otherwise be hard to reach.

Thanks to Susan for sharing the article and reminding me about a concept I care a lot about! I look forward to a day when we can attribute this method to curing diseases, reforming social systems, and who knows, maybe creating or inventing something beyond our wildest dreams.

Cailin Darcy