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Ross Dawson’s Second Edition of “Getting Results From Crowds”

25 October 2012

book cover photo

Ross Dawson, one of the most active (and objective) promoters of crowdsourcing, has recently announced the launch of the second edition of his book, Getting Results From Crowds, co-authored with Steve Bynghall. I already have the first edition, but purchased this one anyway as it has three new chapters about possible applications of crowdsourcing: Crowdsourcing for small companies vs. big corporations, crowdsourcing for marketing, and crowdsourcing for media and content. Here’s a very brief review of the book.

Ross Dawson is an Australian entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and author. Among the books he wrote are Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, now out in its second edition, Living Networks about the social networking revolution, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. He has also written whitepapers for organizations including SAP and Microsoft. If you want to have an examples of Ross’ typical appearances, check out the following video of The Next Web in Amsterdam earlier this year:

His books are very practical “how-to” guides, and Getting Results From Crowds is definitely one of them (by the way: it’s a self-published book, not Most of the book content is made of big titles, small titles, tables, bulletpoints and short paragraphs. This might shock the pure scholars out there, but I must say that it’s very convenient for the reader. For a journalistic book about crowdsourcing, you certainly want to read the original Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe (2008) and the forthcoming Crowdsourcing by Daren Brabham (2013). Can’t read to read that one by the way.

Back on Ross’ book. It has 8 parts: from “Fundamentals of Crowds” to “Applications of Crowdsourcing” (the three new chapters), “Crowdsfunding” or “Using Service Marketplaces.” All of these parts include extensive information about the way these forms of crowdsourcing work, when it is useful to use them and how they perform best. For example, in “Crowdsourcing for Marketing,” he says that there are 7 major applications of crowdsourcing marketing:

  1. Content creation (ex: Doritos Crash The Super Bowl)
  2. Idea generation (ex: Sunsilk on eYeka)
  3. Product development (ex: Dell Ideastorm and My Starbucks Idea)
  4. Customer insights (ex: Volvo’s You Inside campaign on facebook)
  5. Customer engagement (ex: Sam Adams for SxSW)
  6. Customer advocacy (ex: P&G’s Tremor platform)
  7. Pricing (ex: Quirky’s Pricing Game)

The same part about crowdsourcing in marketing also gauges the advantages and drawbacks of building ad hoc crowds rather than using existing platforms. An interesting list of crowdsourcing platforms that do one or more of the above things is provided on pages 43 and 44 (by the way, Ross, I think the Italian platform BootB is dead… you might want to have a look at their website: it’s still online but there are no open contests).

My last remark is about the last part of the book: “Getting results as a service provider.” I think it’s a great idea to include a part for the members of the crowd, not only for the people who might use these crowds for business. In this part, Ross features some examples of crowd members and provides tips to work in the crowd and stand out from other members. I think this aspect is of growing importance as crowds grow in size and power! If your interested, look at this post about an Indian designer, this one about an American videomaker or this one about Philippino crowd workers.

Hope this helped! Don’t hesitate to ask questions and remarks below.

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