Most likely, you’ve heard about crowdsourcing. It’s no longer just a buzz word, there are a lot of practical and affordable web services that chose crowdsourcing as their business model that help website owners save time and money. These are the eight you absolutely have to know about.
If you are planning to open a website, the very first problem that faces you is domain name. This is what PickyDomains is for. It’s a risk-free crowdsourcing naming service – you simply deposit $50 and specify what you want (desired length, extension, keywords). Within minutes you start receiving suggestions (typical volume is 100-200 suggestions within the first 24 hours). You then pick a domain you like the most. The person who made the winning suggestion gets half of the fee (anyone can register as contributor as long as you have PayPal account to receive money). If none of suggestions fit, $50 is refunded, so there is no risk involved.
Design comes next and 99Designs is probably best known crowdsourcing design service out there. The prices are more than reasonable – logos start at $99, complete custom website design is offered for $350. Currently there are 40,000 designers from all over the world registered 99Designs and an average project receives 89 designs to choose from. Like PickyDomains, this service offers 100% moneyback guarantee.
If your website needs photos, audio or video clips, your next stop is iStockPhoto, a crowdsourcing platform that deals in stock photographs, video footage and audio clips. If you work with media on a daily basis, this resource sure comes in handy, because prices are generally a lot lower than most big photobanks. The only quirk that might confuse some is “credit” system, instead of pricing things in dollars directly.
After your website is launched, you’ll have to think about promoting it. In this case Microworkers might be your next step. Microworkers.com specializes in ‘microjobs’ that cost as little as 10 cents per ‘job’. That job might be place to comments about your site or to upvote a video you posted or to follow your twitter account. It takes a little time to understand how it all works and how to use this service but once you do, you’ll be able to spread the word about your new website on the net and various social networks for as little as $25-$50.
Still have problems? Hypios.com is a broad range problem-solving crowdsourcing service that matches experts and businesses. The major benefit of using Hypios is that you can formulate your problem as broadly or specifically as you need, and still get qualified expert help for reasonable amount of money.
It’s very hard to get it all right the first time and RedesignMe occupies crowdsourcing niche that deals with redoing things – it will tear your product or service and put it back together, as the service name implies. Its wonks also offer other services, like market research, knowledge management, creative consulting and much, much more. Remember, oftentimes best ideas come from outsiders.
This crowdsourcing service will save a ton of money for anyone who wants professional ads without ad agency rates. Poptent pitches itself as the best social network for commercial videographers, directors, actors and animators, but what really matters that for $5,000-$10,000 you can get an ad spot that would be as good as anything done on Madison Avenue. If you don’t believe me, check out samples – very impressive.
LiveOps is a call center, but not the one you imagine. There aren’t 500 apathetic people stuck in dreary cubicles with headphones on. Instead, LiveOps lets you hire individual workers to essentially do the same work – either to call or receive calls. Combined with a screening process, and a flexibility to work when they want, folks who signup to field calls from businesses can earn competitive rates. This flexibility can be passed onto customers, who in turn see fluctuations in calls being handled in a more efficiently.