The coolest thing since ___ (insert your phrase here).
My neighbor thinks I'm crazy. I just had a significant website issue solved by someone who lives in Asia that I'd never heard of before last week and who barely speaks English. And did I mention I never even talked to him on the phone?
But not to worry, it's not quite as reckless as it seems. Just call it "crowdsourcing."
Welcome to the world of "crowdsourcing"!
For those of you who don't know what it is - here's a real world example. There is a website called Fiverr.com where you can find people willing to do various jobs for $5. I found someone who posted a job for technical work that I needed. I checked out his profile and his references - all of which looked good. I posted my job requirements. And for the grand sum of $5 - he fixed my problem.
What is crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing is a relatively new trend which refers to the process of looking to a group (or crowd) of people who are willing to work on something you need done. Some of the first examples of crowdsourcing websites were sites like 99designs.com where you could open a bid to have graphic designers submit a logo in an open contest form.
But this idea (fueled by technology) has grown steadily since then and now you can find sites like fiverr.com everywhere.
Where else can you get a computer problem solved, or have a woman write your name on her breasts - all for the same amount we paid on "drinkin' with Lincoln" night in college?
No it's not a joke
The amazing thing is that people on these crowdsourcing sites take their work seriously. They guard their profiles closely and do all they can to ensure positive reviews. And when thigns don't work out - the website owners step in and either refund your money or find someone else to get the job done. Sometimes I wish I could get this sort of service from local businesses!
So as silly as it sounds, finding someone across the world to do a job for $5 is now actually a legitimately sound business idea. That is, if you're open minded enough to try it.