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Are Millennials Crowdsourcing Themselves Out Of Jobs? (WK 10)

October 23, 2012


I selected this article because I was curious about crowdsourcing and its effect on society. The article is great at showing how crowdsourcing can be a double edge sword. On the one hand, it can be a great opportunity for someone like a freelance designer to get their work out there. And the money might also be good (LAYS was offering $1 million for a new chip flavor). But it can also backfire. Major corporations can be going for the cheaper source than their usually high price marketing company, which hurts the growth of the job market. So all those who just graduated with a degree are now in a tough position. So what does the future look like for crowdsourcing? Only time will tell.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. jnetzloff permalink
    October 23, 2012 7:48 pm

    Hi lowdowngroove,

    Interesting article on crowdsourcing.
    One the crowdsourcers I find most compelling is 23andme, a company that crowdsources medical research. Volunteers (and I am one), pay a fee, send a saliva sample to their lab and get a genetic workup. We’re all invested in the results, so we fill out surveys for medical researchers, who can match our genes to our answers and complete medical research in record time. They share the results with us – so you know if you’re at higher than average risk of disease a or b, or if you are genetically disposed to have an adverse reaction to a particular medication.

    That said, the researchers are completely dependent on the answers of the crowd, and whether they are accurate or not. So they get a lot of data, and they get it quickly, but it may be less accurate than the data they would collect in a more rigorous scientific study.

    The advertisers and potato chip makers in the article may be getting free work, but they’ll have to sift through a lot of low quality submissions to find the good stuff. Perhaps it’s creating a new line of work – crowdsource quality control.

  2. Alice Worden permalink
    October 24, 2012 9:39 am

    This is pretty scary when I start to think about it too hard. (Okay, at my stage of unemployment, every article about jobs is scary.)

    The article didn’t mention this directly, but it seems like a loop to me; crowdsourcing (may) reduce/s jobs, unemployment leads to more people with the time to put into crowdsourcing (and the desperate motivation to win any potential prize). It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run and when/if (fingers crossed) the economy improves.

  3. October 24, 2012 11:11 am

    Thanks for the article. Once you start reading the article it really makes you think…Why would I spend time on something for someone else to make money? Well, it makes sense. There are people out there who just want to do things because it is something to do and for others they may be looking for a prize. I do have to agree that there is good that can come out of crowd-sourcing. Even though it is getting rid of jobs there are now so many different possibilities that can be chosen for an add. Different personalities and different backgrounds are creating new and exciting material. I like the idea of this and how those who like a particular product can put their take on it.

  4. October 25, 2012 11:11 am

    While I think there may be some impact on jobs. I do not think crowdsourcing will have a major impact. Businesses and researchers are on a time schedule – to be profitable they need to complete projects in a reasonable timeframe. Crowdsourcing may not be dependable for every project. I think it is good as a supplement not a replacement.

  5. October 25, 2012 9:23 pm

    I agree with jnetzloff, new jobs such as quality control could come from crowdsourcing. With each new concept there is a time of change. Think about how many monks were out of work after the printing press was invented. With time new jobs will be created to work with the new ideas, or to fill in the holes that the new ideas have created. In the long run the middle man might be out of a job, but the quality control people will be in high demand!

  6. rbush953 permalink
    October 25, 2012 9:31 pm

    I have an interesting parallel (maybe) with this that’s been around for years and affected my family no end–“reality TV.” I’m married to an actress who’s managed to have a successful career in a really tough business for over 20 years, but there’s no doubt the advent of reality TV has made it harder each year for her to make a living. Why pay writers and actors a real salary and benefits to perform when you can pay a reality “performer” next to nothing? And as the shows become successful, the fact that the people on them have been paid next to nothing becomes an excuse to pay professionals less and less. So, yes, I’d think twice about giving something that requires thought and talent to any company for free.

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