Donors Choose

According to the Oxford dictionary, Crowdsource refers to an action in which an individual or a group of individuals “Obtain (information or input into a particular task or project) by enlisting the services of a number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the Internet” (1).

Nowadays, there are many types of crowdsourcing, perhaps one of the most popular one is crowdfunding. In which individuals or companies fund their projects by the contribution of small amount of money of a large amount of people, usually via the internet.

One of the most innovative companies in 2014, according to the Fast Company, is, an online charity site, in which teachers from a public school of any part of the United States of America can post a request for materials that students need for their education. Once published in the website anybody who visits the website can contribute to any project.

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The World Wide Wedding Web: Curse or Gift?

A wedding ceremony is one of the oldest traditions. Every culture around the world celebrates a union of love. We have seen wedding ceremonies evolve throughout the years; from a traditional religious wedding to a destination wedding, an engagement photo shoot to a wedding video presentation. In the digitized world, the wedding industry has taken yet another turn. There are many wedding platforms on the Internet that offer service for planning a wedding. These platforms offer value co-creation between consumers and vendors/merchandisers.

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Recently, especially in the US, wedding websites have become very popular among the couples. Continue reading The World Wide Wedding Web: Curse or Gift?

Caution: Free Does Not Always Pay Off

I honestly admit that Dutchies are often the first ones in line when there is something to get for free. Even on an international scale this characteristic is associated with the Dutch. Because I sometimes experience this typical Dutch behavior as embarrassing,  I am glad to have found out that our behavior can be explained towards the world by the notion of the ‘penny gap’ which explains the huge psychological difference between cheap and free.

The difference between cheap and free is theorized by Josh Kopelman as the ‘penny gap’. This concept explains the difference between the demand for a good for free which turns out to be higher than the demand for a good at the price of one cent (Anderson, 2008). Obviously the penny gap is a concept which is strengthened by the (free) possibilities allowed by the worldwide web. The ability to access content for free like music, news and information is a dream come true for the Dutch, but of course also for the rest of the world.

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Selfies are good for business

We take pictures of everything and anything. Since the photo camera has been replaced with our mobile phone, we constantly take pictures of our feet and the shoes we’re wearing, the beer we’re drinking while out in a bar, a new gadget we bought and many other products or events. Sometimes we take these photos as memories, but most of the times we do it because we want to share them for the whole world to see – on facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. Could anything useful come out of this new hobby of ours, except building our self-esteem?

Well, Olapic found a way to leverage this: marketing. They realized all these images contain important product information related to how products are used, how they actually look in real life and even who uses them. And, they made collecting our photos their business, hence, crowdsourcing.fp1

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Crowdsourcing: a bridge not too far?

City dwellers like their cities to be nice. But what constitutes ‘nice’? And how to deal with the diverse and often opposing opinions that arise when proud residents have to think about improving the quality of life in their city? One solution is to turn this difficulty into a challenge by having municipal governments use crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is “the act of taking the challenge faced by a firm and, instead of asking internal research and development departments to solve the challenge, the firm broadcasts an open call to individuals with relevant expertise outside the firm to become involved in solving the challenge.” (Majchrzak & Malhotra, 2013). We could easily translate “firm” into “city” and “individual with relevant expertise” into “proud city resident”.

Take the city of Rotterdam as an example. Continue reading Crowdsourcing: a bridge not too far?

Students-to-Students: Making Free Study Spots Visible

As any consumer that switches from one company to the other, I’m prone to compare the one to the other. With universities, this is no different. When I switched from Utrecht University (UU) to Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), I saw a lot of points that both universities did differently and where they could learn from each other. But the one thing that the EUR needs most, I know exactly what that is.

As any good student, I regularly spend a lot of time on the university, working on projects, reading articles, doing research for my thesis, you name it. In between classes, before or after, I spend this time behind university computers (as I didn’t own a laptop) in the library, in computer rooms, etcetera. However, space is scarce in Utrecht’s university library. Whole generations of students have already been complaining that there are never enough study spots. Discussed measures have gone from a time limit on any computer use to banning HBO students from the library, but these were all rendered impossible to implement for the university. Of course there already existed a rule (and the on-screen timer that goes with it) that you are not allowed to spend more than 30 minutes away from your computer, or you’ll  be logged out and lose your current files, but this solves little as students usually don’t take other peoples stuff away if they want to sit somewhere.

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Crowdsourcing & Politics

Crowdsourcing has been a tool for companies since the 18th century to involve their customers in creating greater value. Whether it has been in creating a logo, or designing a product or developing a business plan, firms across the world have used the crowdsourcing phenomena to their advantage. But it’s not just the firms; it’s in politics as well.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) directly translating to the Party of the Common Man that is currently contesting in the current ongoing elections in India is the world’s first completely crowd sourced political movement. AAP was initially never a political party but was the lead of a social movement to end corruption in India in 2011. Continue reading Crowdsourcing & Politics