Where do creative crowdsourcing participants come from?

World map with pins representing interviewee locations

Image via ZeeMaps.com

My dissertation on creative crowdsourcing is going along well, and I’d like to share some findings in this post. This is not rocket-science, especially at this early phase of the work 😉 but I thought it would be insightful to share with readers interested in crowdsourcing. Basically, in my quest to find out who creative crowdsourcing participants really are, I analyzed 100+ interviews and was able to have fairly good data about their identity, origin and skills. In this post, let me share some findings about the countries of residence of creatives featured by different crowdsourcing platforms. I’d love to get your comments!

Word cloud of creative crowdsourcing platform interviewees

Interviewees were members of these platforms: Tongal, OpenIDEO, Poptent, jovoto, Zooppa, and eYeka

The map introducing this post represents the interview locations of creatives (interviews were all found on the web, published between January 2009 and December 2012). This may not represent the overall communities of the selected platforms, but my guess is that it represents it fairly well. It shows that creative crowdsourcing participants come from all continents, even though most of them come from Europe (41% of my sample) and North America (40% of my sample). Some creative crowdsourcing platforms seem to have geographicaly more diverse communities than others: eYeka and jovoto have interviewed creatives from respectively 14 and 26 different countries, while Tongal, for example, features 20 Americans among its 23 interviewees, the other countries being the Canada, Sweden and the UK.

eYeka featured mostly creatives from Europe and Asia, jovoto shows a big emphasis on European creatives, while the other platforms interviewed a majority of North American creatives

It definitely seems that creative crowdsourcing platforms have geographic specificities, and focus on particular creative markets. A previous blog post I wrote about a Zooppa contest showed that most submissions to a global call-for-entries came from the United States and Italy, and Daren Brabham addressed geographic diversity in crowdsourcing in a research paper. It probably also depends on the language availability of the website (eYeka is available in 12 languages), even though this can’t explain it all (jovoto is available in English only).

The interview locations don’t necessarily represent the overall communities of the platforms; they just represent selected members that were featured in interviews on their blogs or websites. The below maps, taken from Tongal.com/about/globe, indeed show that Tongal also has participants and winners from beyond the United States. But its is still striking that Europe and the United States are well-represented regions in Tongal’s community, and some Asian pins even refer to “Western” names.

Maps of Participants and winners of contests on Tongal

Participants and winners of contests on Tongal (via tongal.com/about/globe)

Anyway. To my knowledge, Tongal is the only creative crowdsourcing platform to provide such an interactive visualization of its community, which I think is great. I remember that eYeka issued an infographic with a map to celebrate its 150,000th creator, and the Atizo did the same to celebrate the 15,000 mark (even though the infographic seems to have disappeared). But these are all static representations, they might not reflect the pure reality don’t allow any browsing nor show evolution over time.

I’d welcome more transparent websites that show how crowdsourcing has become a global phonomenon; something like the oDesk Research Country Dashboard proposed by the brilliant Panos Ipeirotis and his team.

What do you think about these results? Do they surprise you? Would you like to add something?

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