University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Crowdsourcing at AOL
1. Is crowdsourcing, as used by AOL, a form of outsourcing? Why or why not? In a way yes because the work is ”outsourced” to workers outside the company itself. The tasks are not done by companies employees instead the tasks are put on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and half a milion workers that are registered there could read about the tasks and decide if they wanted to perform them. Outsourcig means that the purchase of a god or service that was previously provided internally or that could be provided internally, but is now provided by outsource vendors. This is basicly the case with AOL, they could hire personell to perform the tasks but instead they ”hired” workers outside the company and that is why it is a kind of outsourcing.
2. What steps do you think Maloney might have taken to ensure that the crowdsourcing would be success for the inventory project?7
Maloney broke the large job into micro tasks and described the tasks that needed to be done. Each worker was also asked to find webpages containing a video and identify the video´s source and location of those pages.
3. What factors should be considered when desiding whether or not to crowdsource a particular part of a business?
A couple of factors should be considered when deciding to crowdsource. One of the factors is the economy itself. As mentioned in question 4, crowdsourcing is usually much cheaper then hiring a professionall to do the tasks for your company, and also you pay when the task is done and take the best option. Hiring a full time professionall or professionalls with special skills can be very expensive and you might not need them for a long period and you also need to manage them.
4. Describe the advantages of crowdsourcing.
Advantages: Main advantages of crowdsourcing is that is fairly low price comparing to the proce for hiring a dedicated professional. Also the high number of people who are ready to work for you anytime. You also dont need to envise tasks to be done, instead you get the finished form and then pay for the best option.
Disadvantages: Cheap labor results less credible product compared to professionals. Also there is no contract in most crowdsourcing cases which means that workers can run anytime they want, and your design might be reused in anytime. Also there is some critics that are saying that crowdsourcing can lead to ”digital sweatshops” where workers work long days with little pay and no benefits and workers might also be underaged. You dont really know who is working for you.