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 DonorsChoose.org, 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.
This website differs from other charity website since uses active recommendations agents, specifically a content filtering system, which allow the users to identify and contribute to the projects that most inspires them.The initial filter helps the visitor decide which category of projects he would like to fund. This filter allow visitor to find projects related to certain subject or projects that are near them, which is very convenient taking into account that in the United States people are really involved in their local communities.
Once a category is selected, projects that need funds appear, and visitors can see how many people have donated,
when deadline of the projects is and how much money needs the project to go, besides a description of the projects. There are more filters within the category that can make people decide which project they one to take part of (eg. Most urgent, lowest costs, etc.).
In my opinion, this is the reason this company was chosen as the most innovative one, since effectively integrates crowdfunding and active recommendation agents, that allows visitors to fund the project that inspire them the most.
(1) Oxford Dictionaries. (n.d.). Crowdsource. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from Oxford Dictionaries