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An Ode to Crowdsourcing

by Rob Addy  |  August 9, 2012  |  2 Comments

A while back I brutalized a Kipling classic in the name of Product Support. Well, now it’s Wordsworth’s turn. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” gets a revamp in aid of the myriad of knowledge marketplaces and developer exchanges that are now prevalent across the globe… Talent and expertise are no respecters of creed, geography or race. And it may appear that I am no respecter of poetry either. Once again, I apologize unreservedly to anyone who may be offended by the butchery of this literary gem!

I pondered idly on the cloud
That floats on hype o’er sales and bills,
When all at once I spied the crowd,
A host, of “jobless” ne’er-do-wells;
Inside the app, beneath the code,
Muttering and cursing at their load.
Continuous refactoring that refines
Eating Twinkies through the day,
They program never-ending lines
Making margins on Pirate Bay:
Ten thousand saw I on eLance,
Posting their threads in far advance.
Wage slaves beside them pranced; but they
Out-did the shackled slaves in glee:
Ace coders cannot help but play,
In such an agile meritocracy:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the crowd to me had brought:
For oft, when at my plans I peep
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They deliver fast and good and cheap
Which is the bliss of multitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the ne’er-do-wells.

Micro-sourcing to the crowd via global talent marketplaces is a reality. And yet the true power of the crowd remains untapped. What are the crowd-sourcing use cases within the support context? Provider’s who learn to leverage the power of the collective effectively will have real advantage. How can you embrace the unwashed un-blinkered masses? How can you harness and direct the raw intellectual power of the collective? How can you get the ne’er-do-wells to do your bidding? These are some of the big questions that every support provider needs to answer.


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Category: support-strategy  technologies-underpinning-support  

Tags: alternative-support-providers  competitive-advantage  processes-and-methodologies  strategic-planning  support-technologies  trkfam  

Rob Addy
Research Vice President
5 years at Gartner
More years than I care to remember in the IT industry

Welcome to my blog! I post about all things services related from the provider perspective. End-users are welcome to read but please be aware that you may sometimes find its content unsettling. I will endeavour to post frequently (as it's a lot cheaper than a therapist) but please forgive me if other more mundane activities occasionally get in the way...Read my official Gartner bio here

Thoughts on An Ode to Crowdsourcing

  1. Stan says:

    As providers of micro-sourced crowd labor, we at Ziptask are fully supportive of such a creative interpretation of industry trends. Quality is achievable in scale. Just give it a try.

  2. Utilizing gamification and a rank and reputation to motivate passionate brand advocates (who often know your own products than you do) is a reality and saving technical support organizations across the glob millions of dollars.

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