Be Sure to Use, Not Abuse
Any good concept is prone to misuse and/or hijacking by greed. While I understand the need for any business to profit, I am certainly wary of the exploitation of the populace and/or consumer regards to Crowdsourcing and of the potential for misuse (including blatant self-aggrandizing/promotion).
How little can we pay… I imagine minimum wage was established to make sure people didn’t get underpaid/exploited but now it is often “how little can we pay people”… You can look at almost anything and see how things were established to keep some sort of ethics within the concept and then the process got corrupted. While I don’t pretend that Crowdsourcing is altruistic at its core, the idea can be respectful and collaborative. (Side note here. Once, at an audition, I had to fill out a form and check off the wage I would accept for playing the role. Here were my options:
I will work for:
C) Bus Tokens
This wasn’t a joke.
Too Much Promotion: Promotion is good/Plastering the space with your company/product is, well, tacky. I spoke of film-submission sites in Part 2 of my Crowdsourcing piece. Ifilm (now “Spike – powered by Ifilm”) used to be a legitimate site for independent film. While the quality varied (I don’t recall there every being any sort of filtering as there was (and is) with Atom films and Trigger Street (which came along later), it was a source to find something new and un-studioed (A type of YouTube, pre-YouTube). Now that it is owned by Viacom it’s basically a showcase for its related studio/network products (plus some wild frat stunts thrown in for good measure). The indie films are there, somewhere, buried [in the fray]… [Lesson… Don’t let this happen to you] This kind of thing backfires in the long run. It corrupts/weakens the platform, and is outdated at best and insulting at worst.
Don’t manipulate: Remember that your clients are not people that you need to trick or manipulate. This is about collaboration. Your clients can be very beneficial to your business – and not merely in a purchasing capacity. So be honest. Communication can happen – but like everything Web 2.0, the expectation is that it is a conversation. So remember to both contribute and listen.