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Google Answers

A crowdsourcing venture from Google that began in 2002 and ended in 2006. Users would post questions and a fee they would be willing to pay for the answer, and Google retained 25% of the amount. Any of several hundred Google Answers Researchers (GARs) could answer the question. To qualify as a GAR, people had to fill out an application. Registered users could also comment on questions. See crowdsourcing.



crowdsourcing

Using the Internet to ask the general public to provide information or support a cause. For example, if a natural disaster strikes, locals can capture and upload images before a professional news crew arrives. Rather than hire a professional poll taker, obtaining public opinion via a website or blog may be the fastest way to generate comments and suggestions. Raising funds online is also a form of crowdsourcing (see crowdfunding). See user-generated content and social navigation.

Let the Public Do the Work
Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk (www.mturk.com) enables people to enter a task description and an amount they will pay for its completion. A body of workers (the Turks; the crowd) peruse the job list and fulfill the tasks. InnoCentive (www.innocentive.com) enlists scientists worldwide to do research for pharmaceutical, biotech, agribusiness and other companies. Awards are issued for solutions that best meet requirements. See Mechanical Turk and Google Answers.




Crowdsourced Traffic Reporting
These dialogs were excerpted from the Escort radar detector iPhone app, which makes it easy for people to report accidents, traffic jams and other road conditions in real time.






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