Linked by David Adams on Tue 29th Sep 2009 14:53 UTC
In the News Forbes has an interesting article that attempts to push Crowdsourcing off its pedestal by pointing out that "crowds" don't actually invent or create anything; individuals do. What the crowdsourcing phenomenon does is put an opportunity in front of a large number of people, some of whom may be uniquely suited to solve a particular problem or achieve a particular goal. The article goes on to discuss Open Source Software, and points out that Open Source's success isn't because of crowds of anonymous people, but the largely the efforts of identifiable virtuosos.
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Comment by OSbunny
by OSbunny on Wed 30th Sep 2009 03:10 UTC
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The article seems to be a rant in favour of individualism. I guess that is what you should expect from an american capitalist magazine.

He is right that individuals often make open source software for their self interest. But the crowd isn't entirely useless. Bug reports, feature requests and donations/funding all come from the crowd. The crowd promotes the software by using it. This increases the visibility of the software and attracts more people to it some of whom end up contributing to the software. So you have to nurture the crowd too.

Look at wordpress for instance. There are a whole bunch of CMS out there that are better than wordpress but wordpress has the support of the crowd. People recommend it to their friends and make it more popular. The more people it attracts the more theme and plugin developers it brings in. The more themes and plugins there are the more attractive the software becomes. People make themes for wordpress to make money of footer link sales. They can only do it because of the popularity of the script. Wordpress has a lot of growth momentum now because of this huge crowd support.

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