An Overview of Crowdsourcing

An Overview of Crowdsourcing

Eman Younis (Minia University, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7598-6.ch130
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During the past decade, there were rapid developments on the internet, computing technologies, and widespread use of location-aware technologies such as GPS and mobile technology. These developments made it easier for people to communicate and share their opinions, views, knowledge, maps, and much more through software platforms. These technologies have participated in the creation of what is now called Web 2.0. It is a new era of the web where users play an active role in adding contents to the web in a collaborative way, instead of just consuming the web contents. People are sharing social media posts, blog posts, product reviews, ideas, opinions, and much more. Crowdsourcing is a phenomenon that appeared due to the ability of web users to contribute to the web (Web 2.0). This chapter serves as a general overview of crowdsourcing. It investigates various attempts to defining the term, its conceptual models, its benefits and challenges, its applications, and explores some online crowdsourcing systems, software platforms, current and future research avenues.
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Crowdsourcing Definitions

Crowdsourcing is not a new phenomenon; it has been used in the past in many cases for collecting users’ participations (Howe, J. 2008). But, until now there is no standard agreed upon definition of crowdsourcing. The term was first proposed by Jeff Howe’s in a Wired Magazine article (Howe, J. 2008) and defined as:

the act of a company of institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined and generally large network of people in the form of open call.

After that, there were several other attempts to define it in the literature such as (Ambati et al. 2012 Azzam, T. et al. 2013, Von Ess 2010, Bell, 2009, Doan et al. 2011, Lebraty et al. 2013, Brabham, 2013, Estellés-Arolas et al. 2012, Sharma et al. 2014 and many more). These definitions are different in their view regarding the targeted application of crowdsourcing. The definitions of Crowdsourcing are unified in terms of the general concepts and components, but, targeting different applications.

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