Tapping the Crowd for Fast Innovation

THE TERM CROWDSOURCING HAS BEEN USED TO DESCRIBE ALL kinds of ways to tap the knowledge and skills of large groups of people. But different “crowds” function very differently, and the term may be losing its value. (One recent paper counted 40 different definitions of crowdsourcing.) It’s becoming common instead to refer to this way of working as “collective intelligence”—deriving data, knowledge, and insight from large groups connected online. While there are many varieties of collective intelligence, I think of it as encompassing three different approaches that use Open Data in different ways.

Open Innovation Through Collaboration. This is the model that may be most useful for scientific and ...

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