The rise of online communities has led to an increase in crowdsourcing of all types and possibilities. There was once a time when experts with a list of degrees and published books would be the only ones called in to solve a particular problem or puzzle, but today there is increasingly strength in numbers and increasingly, problems are solved collectively. And while we haven’t fully witnessed the death of ‘the expert’ (and maybe we never will), ‘the crowd’ has nonetheless become a new and important collective expert of its own.
The term ‘crowdsourcing’ is a relatively new one. It was coined in 2006 and refers to the possibility of obtaining services, ideas or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from online communities rather than going through the traditional routes of experts, employees or suppliers. Crowdsourcing can work to serve innovative problems through greater manpower and a higher level of resources, and can also breakdown impossibly large tasks over gigantic audiences to make them manageable.
Crowdsourcing is essentially a way of harnessing the wisdom of the crowd, and it can be used to fulfill many purposes. While some of the tasks are relatively mundane, some of the more interesting crowdsourcing efforts include SETI’s attempt to expand the hunt for extraterrestrial life. Ultimately, the wisdom of the crowd is a powerful force that can be harnessed for all things trivial, serious and everything in-between.
And the wisdom of the crowd isn’t only interesting because of its problem-solving potential; it also opens the doors to the game-changing world of big data. Every online community has essentially become a potential harvesting ground for information that can tell a variety of businesses, institutions and more, exactly how their customers or users behave.
Yet the way online communities communicate and gather their wisdom remains relatively limited. Most of the time they communicate through text. And this means that a lot of meaning is lost. However sophisticated an online crowd or community is, it cannot surpass the inbuilt ambiguity of the written language. And while there are some advantages to this – including the feeling of online anonymity – it arguably takes away one of the most important and intimate aspects of person-to-person communication, and that is tone of voice.
Running an online platform or community with a traditional comments and/or reviews section is a great way to harness and build community. It’s also a way to gather statistics and even venture into the realm of big data. And there are plenty of text-based technologies that do this. But without voice something is inherently missing, and these online text-based communities are fundamentally lackluster. Luckily, there is a solution, and it is the new and wonderful creation of voice comments and reviews. This technology allows online communities to have a voice (literally) and to communicate between members almost as they would face-to-face.
Heyoya is a unique comment and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
or more information about Heyoya, or to start using Heyoya for free today, click here.