I’ve had a post on crowd-sourcing in mind for a few weeks, but I couldn’t quite work out what I wanted to say (other than it being all the rage). I’ve been talking to a number of clients recently who have expressed interest in getting closer to their customers.
Then I came across this article on a startup called secretlondon - http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/02/07/startup-to-launch-after-secret-london-facebook-group-amasses-180000/ .
Once I’d recovered from the irritation of seeing someone succeed before they’ve got their first job, I decided to take a look, and as an example of the power of crowd-sourcing it’s quite interesting.
The idea came out of a Facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=259068995911), and the founders are now looking to build out a dedicated website (http://secretlondonblog.onefinestay.com/)
They have used 99designs to outsource the design of the logo (http://99designs.com/contests/36703).
They are starting the site development by publicising how they are intending to build it (http://secretlondonblog.onefinestay.com/2010/02/03/first-steps-for-the-tech/), and appealing for help from the community (and being quite successful to judge from the comments).
And finally, the source code for the site is on GitHub (http://github.com/timjdavey/secretapp), and therefore public.
There’s basically nothing private or proprietary about it – it’s even more Wikipedia than Wikipedia – even the idea has been open-sourced.