Crowdsourcing (

Crowdsourcing involves a large group of dispersed participants contributing or producing goods or services—including ideas, votes, micro-tasks, and finances—for payment or as volunteers. Contemporary crowdsourcing often involves digital platforms to attract and divide work between participants to achieve a cumulative result. Crowdsourcing is not limited to online activity, however, and there are various historical examples of crowdsourcing. The word crowdsourcing is a portmanteau of "crowd" and "outsourcing". In contrast to outsourcing, crowdsourcing usually involves less specific and more public groups of participants.

Advantages of using crowdsourcing include lowered costs, improved speed, improved quality, increased flexibility, and/or increased scalability of the work, as well as promoting diversity. Crowdsourcing methods include competitions, virtual labor markets, open online collaboration and data donation. Some forms of crowdsourcing, such as in "idea competitions" or "innovation contests" provide ways for organizations to learn beyond the "base of minds" provided by their employees (e.g. LEGO Ideas). Commercial platforms, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk, match microtasks submitted by requesters to workers who perform them. Crowdsourcing is also used by nonprofit organizations to develop common goods, such as Wikipedia.

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The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research.

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Aid agencies 'must use new tools'

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crowdsourcing crowdfunding