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February 17, 2008 / kaigani

Coversourcing is not Crowdsourcing

I was reading about a competition where designers were invited to create a cover for the upcoming book, Crowdsourcing. This competition, cleverly named ‘Coversourcing’ — was presented as being an example of crowdsourcing in action.

Except it’s not. It’s spec work.

I was compelled to comment on this on the Creative Review blog post about it.

Reprinted below:

I disagree with the definition of crowdsourcing presented by this competition.

This competition is spec work — getting lots of designers to design something, with only a few getting compensated.

Crowdsourcing is when ‘the many’ can do a job better, faster, and more comprehensively than the ‘the few’.

Wikipedia is an example of crowdsourcing. Facebook being translated by members into multiple languages is an example of crowdsourcing.

This competition is not.

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