Crowdsourcing creative work

Main article: Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing creative work (CCW, also known as Creative crowdsourcing) is the process of gathering novel and useful solutions for creative tasks through an open call to the online crowd, often implemented in the form of a contest. Crowdsourcing may be appropriate when experts are in scarce supply, multiple diverse ideas and/or contextual insights are needed. Creative crowdsourcing, or crowd creativity,[1] may tap into online communities to source creative projects spanning graphic design, crowdsourcing architecture, apparel design, advertising, movies,[2] writing, illustration, etc.[3][4][5]

Creative crowdsourcing benefits from the unique properties of the web: it allows users to collaborate remotely in a single web environment.[6] The very nature of Wikipedia is about users collaborating in the similar way and Linux became popular because of collaboration work. Crowdsourcing creative work allows people who are acknowledged for the quality of their ideas other than their backgrounds to emerge. Although creative crowdsourcing represents one possible method for requesting and collecting innovative work, it is not the only means.[7]


Jeff Howe of Wired Magazine first used the term "Crowdsourcing" in his 2006 article, "The Rise of Crowdsourcing."[8][9] The phrase "crowdsourcing creative work" (CCW) was conceived at the Workshop on Crowdsourcing and Human Computation at CHI 2011.[10]

The Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector has increased investment in creative crowdsourcing in the past ten years, and top global brands have been particularly active since 2004.[11] Through crowdsourcing, companies such as iStockphoto and Threadless generate millions of dollars in revenue by just employing a few of people.[12] By 2011, 6 best global brands including Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, Google, GE, and McDonald's have used crowdsourcing creativity to build engagement and source authentic insights from consumers.[13] In fact, Interbrand's 2012 Best Glabol Brands list shows that 11 of the top 12 brands run various types of crowdsourcing projects.[14]

Aspects of creative crowdsourcing


CCW may or may not be technologically enabled. Recent advances in technology have supported greater participation in and new types of crowdsourcing creative work. Advances may create new platforms that draw together participants, or enable new forms of coordination that allows multiple participants to contribute jointly to a creative task.


Creative work spans creative domains such as graphic design, crowdsourcing architecture, apparel design, advertising, writing, and illustration. Examples of crowdsourced creative work platforms include:

Creative Work

Tasks may be assigned to individuals or a group and may be categorized as convergent or divergent. An example of a divergent task is generating a large number of designs for a poster. An example of a convergent task is selecting one poster design.


Creatives find worth in their creative work and by participating in a community with other creatives. Even if their designs/concepts/executions aren’t chosen – they maybe exposed to a pool of talent and subsequently an opportunity for growth and learning which maybe enhance crowdsourcing creative work. Creatives can also be assured that their ideas are protected – after all, crowdsourcing involves the transfer of intellectual property.[17]


Crowds are motivated to do creative work for both extrinsic and intrinsic reasons. Examples of extrinsic motivators include financial compensation, recognition, and awards. The effects of extrinsic incentives have been studied in recent research, which has found that winner-take-all competition can be effective at motivating creative work, but only when the intensity of competition is moderated.[18]

Examples of intrinsic motivators include autonomy, relatedness, learning, self-expression, control, and enjoyment. Recently scholars have attempted to use affective computational priming, or embedding stimulus in crowdsourcing platforms to increase creative performance.


Barriers to effective crowdsourcing creative work include social loafing, evaluation apprehension, and production blocking.

Creative performance is informed by domain knowledge, creative thinking skills, problem orientation, and motivation.


Collaboration is defined as people working together on a shared problem. Currently, crowdsourcing creative work often assumes that workers are autonomous, anonymous individuals. However, recent work seeks to bring workers together, provide feedback on each other's work, and experiment with new types of leadership and/or divisions of labor. For example, crowds might design chairs through an evolutionary process: one crowd designs, another evaluates, and another combines highly rated designs to create a new generation of designs.[19]

Open research question:


Crowdsourcing creative work has generated criticism soon after its increase in popularity. The main issue cited is the fact that the designer is working "on speculation" without any guaranteed payout or compensation.[20] There has been enough public outcry over speculative work that AIGA has issued an official position strongly discouraging it, saying that professional designers should be compensated fairly for their work and should negotiate the ownership or use rights of their intellectual and creative property through an engagement with clients.[21] However, designers may nevertheless benefit from participating in crowdsourced competitions, which provide real opportunities for practice, portfolio-building, and publicity.

Individual quiet-time processing is also missing, causing the insufficiency of innovation since that some introverts who are not fans of collaboration work such as brainstorms are the driving force of creativity.[22] In some cases, creative people are not productive and feel depressed as the solution are expected there and then.

See also


  1. "Crowd Creativity". Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  2. Cunard, Corinne (19 July 2010). "The Movie Research Experience gets audiences involved in filmmaking". Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  3. "Compete To Create Your Dream Home". June 4, 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  4. "Designers, clients forge ties on web". Boston Herald. June 11, 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  5. Coleman, Alison (3 December 2014). "Disrupting In Style: Italian Startup Takes Interior Design To The Crowd".
  6. Brabham, Daren C. (February 2008). "Crowdsourcing as a Model for Problem Solving: An Introduction and Cases". Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  7. Kahn, Asad. "5 Myths About Crowdsourcing Creative Work". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  8. Howe, Jeff. "The Rise of Crowdsourcing". WIRED Magazine. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  9. Gilmour, Julia. "The Long History of Crowdsourcing – and Why You're Just Now Hearing About It". Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  10. "CHI 2011".
  11. Alasagas, Ashley. "FMCG brands boosted crowdsourcing investment nearly 50% in 2014". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  12. Howe, Jeff (2009). "Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business". Business & Economics.
  13. "The 6 Best Global Brands use creative crowdsourcing | eYeka's Thought Leadership Blog". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  14. "Hook & Blade | Crowdsourcing for Better Business Decisions - Hook and Blade". Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  15. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. Zinola, Anna. "Crowdsourcing in arte". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  17. Drummond, Emma. "Crowdsourcing Creativity: The future or a kick in the nuts for creative folk?". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  18. Gross, Daniel. "Creativity Under Fire: The Effects of Competition on Creative Production" (PDF). Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  19. Structures for Creativity: The crowdsourcing of design by Jeffrey V. Nickerson, Yasuaki Sakamoto, and Lixiu Yu
  20. Howe, Jeff. "Is Crowdsourcing Evil? The Design Community Weighs In". WIRED Magazine. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  21. "AIGA - AIGA position on spec work". AIGA - the professional association for design.
  22. Dzamic, Lazar (10 July 2013). "Crowdsourcing can't beat power of the individual genius". Retrieved 2015-12-18.

External links

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