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Using Crowd Sourcing Tools to Solve Problems

crowd sourcing is people working together to solve problemsWhile at the Government 2.0 Summit, the QuestionPro and Survey Analytics team interviewed Bev Goodwin, Director of New Media and Citizen Engagement.  One of the programs they talked about was Challenge.gov.  This is a program that brings in a diverse set of voices to work on challenges together.  This program uses a crowd sourcing platform to get the job done.


What other ways can you use crowd sourcing platforms?

In 2008, I wrote about crowd sourcing as a trend and now, it's gone mainstream in ways we couldn't imagine.  I thought I'd show you some interesting ways that people are using crowd sourcing to do projects, solve problems and get more creative input.

Challenge.gov: Citizens can create challenges for the community to participate in or they can contribute their insights to a challenge.  If you've ever wondered what kind of impact or change one person can have on a problem -- try this out and see.

SquadHelp.com: Are you stuck on naming a web site, newsletter or a product or service?  Try SquadHelp.  They treat brainstorming like a contest.  Simply submit your challenge to the group and attach how much money you're willing to award the winning response.  Then watch the responses come in.  I submitted an SEO challenge for my web site and within 2 days, I received 10 responses with recommendations that were really, really good.  Granted, I'll need some help to implement them.  But I think I saved myself a couple of hundred dollars in getting the recommendations.

99 Designs - Need a logo or web design?  Check out 99designs.com .  As a matter of reference, you can hire a designer to do a logo project and pay about $1000 - $3000 depending on the scope of your project.  You can use Logoworks and pay about $300 and get assigned to a couple of designers to complete your project.  Or for the same price $300 you can get a bunch of designers to contribute their ideas toward your project and pick the one you like best.  I have not used this myself, but have heard rave reviews from a couple of colleagues.

Fiverr.com :  This is what I call completely out of the box, insane, attention getting fun for $5.  I first heard about Fiverr from my web site host who recommended I check them out for some creative marketing ideas.  And he was right.  I actually use this for brainstorming because the things that people will do for $5 will entertain you for hours.  Besides, it's a fantastic way to stand out in front of your audience.

I've listed some of the more popular crowd sourcing apps that have cropped up recently.  For even more examples, read this article that mentions 9 crowd sourcing apps for your business.
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