For anyone who’s trying to grow a business, there will always seem to be much more to do than there is time to do it. One of the newest ways of tackling challenging tasks that can be done on the web is called crowdsourcing (the Wikipedia is an example). It essentially means that you hand a difficult task to an undefined, large group of people. Remember that old screen saver ([email protected]) that harnessed your computer to help search for extra-terrestrials? It’s sort of like that, but instead of harnessing your computer, crowdsourcing harnesses other people willing to work for a per-task fee.
The easiest way to put this power to work for your company is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. This somewhat strangely named service gives you the power to crowdsource almost any task you might imagine. To get started using the service, you’ll need to first create a HIT (human intelligence task). You will probably need some technical help, especially if you want to build this capability into a web-based application.
Here’s a good example of what’s possible – the transcription service named CastingWords. This web-based service uses the Mechanical Turk service to transcribe MP3 files – for as little as 75 cents per minute.
Couldn’t you find a way to improve your current offering and sell more with the help of a cast of thousands?