– Debate – Final Round
Crowdsourcing: Good or Evil?

Final Round Posted

Our debaters have posted their fifth and final round arguments, responding to the following statement:

Crowdsourcing is an Ethical Business Practice

Vote on the overall topic: Good or Evil?

You can also vote up or down each individual opinion: Did the debater make a strong argument?

 

9 comments
jrcorke
jrcorke

Like anything else, crowdsourcing is a tool that must be used properly to result in benefit. The problem is that too many people are trying it without understanding how to use it, and getting less than optimal results.  The comment about about inconsistency, and skating to where the puck is is exactly that, crowdsourcing implemented poorly.  There are lots of examples of how crowdsourcing has enabled organizations to better position themselves for the future (i.e. skate to where the puck will be.)

Sam ODaniel
Sam ODaniel

I can understand both sides of the debate, but I still count myself on the pro-crowdsource side. I suppose the caveat applies that I'm for the discussion and community aspects, perhaps not so much of the "cheap labor" aspect of some campaigns.

samfiorella
samfiorella

@Sam ODaniel Ha! Yes, exactly. It's easy to say that crowdsourcing is the way to go...until we really think about it. Then the caveats start to appear. :) 

samfiorella
samfiorella

@AmyVernon Therein lies the problem with most social media marketing/communication efforts. It's not a catch-all solution and it does not solve every business or charity's challenges. Whatever side of the debate one falls on, I hope that this dialogue will get people to THINK about crowdsourcing and not just turn to it without first considering how the pros and cons will affect their businesses. 

MerlinUWard
MerlinUWard

Great debate! To Sam's point, if you do it wrong, it won't work well for you. As, Ric pointed out, there are plenty of ways to "tap the crowd" that can give great insights for a company to innovate. 


A proper feedback loop is necessary to improve a product for the people by whom it is intended to be used. Software companies probably do this the best, but consumer packaged goods (and others) are doing it as well. For example 5 Hour Energy did this with it's "Yummification" campaign, and Eggo's recipe competition which is just a pile of crowdsourced ideas for making their products better or more enjoyable. 

samfiorella
samfiorella

@MerlinUWard Good point. I think we have to draw differences between how crowdsourcing is used: As a marketing/engagement campaign, as a funding source, or to acquire ideas/labor. Even then, there are pro and con considerations that businesses must weigh before embarking on a crowdsourcing effort. 

This is what we hope to explore in the next few rounds.