Live from #DiG2015: Five Crowdsourcing Tips for Improving Your Business

This is the first post ever for the BlogMutt blog written from another continent.

You see, I’m traveling this week, and just finished a keynote presentation for the DiG Festival in the charming port city of Newcastle.

That speech will be available in its entirety sometime soon, but until then I promised the people in the room that I’d provide the links and some of the tips that I talked about here on the blog. And they can be helpful for just about anyone interested in solving problems using crowdsourcing, so herein are:

First is a link to the infographic describing the history of advertising and marketing choices for small businesses over the last 100 years. That infographic is so big I think it took up about five slides in the presentation, so it may be a bit easier to digest in blog form.

I also gave five tips of ways to use crowdsourcing to help your business.

 

1. Amy Adams

The first is one that I come back to over and over, The Amy Adams tip, otherwise known as: “Why you must publish posts that you personally don’t like.”

That tip was done in full form here.

2. Cheat to Win

The second tip was about how to use crowdsourcing to cheat. Well, it wasn’t exactly cheating, of course, I had to be a bit of hyperbole.

Anyway, there’s a great description of the ability to use a crowd to make accurate predictions here.

3. Talk More

Tip three was to talk more. That was the one where I quoted the super niche academic journal (introduction here) that shows that the more someone asking for a crowdsourcing service describes the project, the better results that person will get.

As I mentioned during my speech, we certainly see this in the blogging world, too. The more a client gives instructions up front, the more comments left on posts, the more times that the customer puts stars on posts — all those things translate into that client getting more and better posts than the clients who just put up a couple of keywords and then hope for the best.

4. Don’t Own It

Tip four was a truism of crowdsourcing, that the key to success is to give up on the idea of owning the product.

Uber is the largest single provider of rides in the world now, and it doesn’t own a single car. AirBnB rents out more rooms than anyone, and doesn’t own a single bit of property.

BlogMutt is the same, the only blogs we “own” are the ones on our own blog. All the posts are “owned” by the writers until the clients purchase them, at which point they are owned by our customers.

5. Play Games

And the fifth and final tip was something pretty esoteric, and way inside the world of crowdsourcing.

It wasn’t a tip for people who want to use a crowdsourced service, like BlogMutt, it was for people thinking of setting up their own crowd to get some work done. The tip was about the proper way to set up a points system to reward the members of a crowdsourcing service.

For this, I referred them to the godfather of gamification, Gabe Zichermann. I made the point that I’ve heard Gabe make several times, that people who swear that they don’t believe in the concept of gamification at all can tell you exactly what “level” they are at with their frequent flier miles program. 

(Thanks @eluminate_me for the great live shot.)

 

There was much more in my keynote presentation, and there’s much more to say about this country that is living in the future in more ways than one. (Most specifically, I’m writing this late in the day Tuesday, but it’s still Monday back in Boulder, so it will be easy to publish this post on the same day of my speech before I even gave it. Or something. I’m still kind of confused.)

But right now I’m going off with some of my mates to throw some shrimp on the barbie. 

Actually, I haven’t seen much of that. I also haven’t seen much in the way of Fosters, which I thought was Australian for beer. Turns out the locals say Fosters is Australian for … umm… a colloquial word for urine.

Turns out Australians are pretty casual when it comes to using adult language, too.

Let’s see, they like good beer, salty language… They sound like startup types to me.

OK, look for another installment from down under tomorrow, as long as I don’t get hit by a car going on the left side of the road through a roundabout. I have no idea where the cars are coming to or going out of through those things.

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