It seems that more individuals are utilizing the internet for different things that have amazing results in the long run. As time has gone on, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding have both become popular ways to get information, money, and other things around the internet to the organizations and individuals that need them the most.
If you’ve never heard of crowdfunding, check out IndieGoGo or Kickstarter. Both of these websites (and others) focus on helping creative and innovative entities get the resources that they need to do some pretty cool things. These include games (board, video, and card), music, movies, and inventions. Almost anything you can imagine is on crowdfunding sites. Take a look around at one of them at one point; if you can imagine it, it's likely somewhere on the internet.
Crowdfunding is the type of crowdsourcing that we hear about the most, but crowdscourcing is using a common platform (in this case, the internet) for individuals and groups to gather up resources and use them for the greater good. It can involve money, absolutely, but it can also be information (like the stuff you find on InfoBarrel!). Crowdsourcing will likely continue to be popular as newer generations start to use the internet and contribute their resources to these causes.
Why is it so popular now? Most people speculate that it’s popular because that means that people only have to pursue a project if they know that they are getting the funding for it. And even if some people only donate a few bucks toward a project, the more people that throw in a few dollars, the more money there will be for them to work on their project with.
Another reason for its popularity is that it allows the people involved in funding (or providing ideas, or something else), to play a role in something bigger. All of us want to play a role in making a difference in the world, and crowdsourcing can actually play a significant role in helping us to do exactly that. With a few dollars, you are helping something move forward; with a couple of ideas, you are adding to the larger conversation that the world is having.
It also helps people to understand the demand for the product, idea, or innovation in question. Think about it - if you are in a band, and you want to see if there is interest in your band and what it is doing, you could start a Kickstarter campaign for your new album. If your album gets funded quickly and/or goes above and beyond what you expected, then you know there's a lot of interest and you'll be more willing to do another album in the future. If it's hard for you to get full funding or it seems sluggish, then you may assume that you are losing popularity so you either have to 1) work harder to get back into the public eye or 2) put down the banner and call it quits.
With information, it’s because there is a mindset that more people equals more ideas, and it does. And people like to share their thoughts and ideas with other people. With information sourcing projects, the internet suddenly has access to the thoughts of hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who are providing ideas that may have even been previously unexplored. Many informational crowdsourcing sites also facilitate discussions, which allow the information and the thoughts to go even further than initially intended. All in all, it’s a very valuable thing.
Have you been involved in crowdsourcing/crowdfunding? Have you donated money or information to a campaign or project that is important to you? Would you ever consider doing so? Do you think it's a good idea, or do you think that it's more of a hassle than its worth?