Crowdsourcing Platform vs. Outsourcing Business: The Clash

Before you get the starry-eyed with the idea of the outsourcing thing, you came across with something that looks cooler – a thing they named crowdsourcing platform.

How you won’t be lured, it promises you the moon and the stars. Say, a hundred times of the workforce you can buy in outsourcing, and at the same cost. That was really brilliant, if not for certain setbacks that will give you the second thoughts on dismissing the hunch that the deal is too-good-to-be-true:

            1.   Quality of Work

Heck, you may get thousands of products out there, but that won’t assure you that you’ll get what you’re expecting for. After all, nobody ever gets motivated to work without any assurance that he will get paid. Listen, even the third-world citizens of the world won’t take your $30-dollar grand prize seriously. You may reconsider and open your mind on the dispute about quality.

            2.   Per Hour vs. Per Product

Some rights advocates are already arguing out there that crowdsourcing may be deemed as unethical. First, the people who lost the contest won’t get paid on what they worked for hours (if ever they worked for it instead of copying in 30 seconds flat). Second, this type of setting is a hotbed for copyright infringers. Nobody knows who’s hiding under the alias of the winning designer.

            3.   Not getting the best professional

Whoever in his right mind will join a competition for your measly sum when he can just simply earn more by commissioning as a professional must either be bored or doing charity work. But that’s improbable. Just think that every talented artist or professional that you needed won’t bait in lowly contest sites. No, they aren’t getting snotty, they’re just being practical.

            4.   Flexibility

While outsourcing allows you to directly handle your manpower and give them emergency tasks, the platforms will set you a fixed price for a fixed task. If you want to add up something, you probably can’t do that until you see the entries.

            5.   Originality assured

If it happens that you want to outsource design or written projects, make sure that you are ready to sift through the entries and determine whether your choice/s are infringed or not. This is the main problem among the contest sites: there is no way to check whether the work submitted to you is original or not, and you didn’t even know the real name of the contestant who made each entry. So if by chance you caught an infringing work, all you have to do is to change the winner. Everybody happy, no complaints heard about the dang thing on these contest sites.

But despite of these opposition about the platforms, here we claim that some of them actually create positive effects on for the netizens; some of them, especially those which are created for the social good and not just for the profit of platform owners. There are pretty big names of these platforms like Wikipedia, Instagram, and OpenStreetMap.

The clear line that separates good crowdsourcing platform from bad is whether it exploits talent or not; whether ensures its patrons of quality or not.

And lastly, crowdsourcing and outsourcing will always be two different things.

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