Crowdsourcing through social media seems to be an economic, viable and most sought out for option among brands and Bollywood. Whether you need a logo, a new product design or for that matter even script writers, all you need to do is give a shout at any of the numerous online platforms that provide for creative crowdsourcing.
Micromax Mobile launched its logo re-design contest on Talenthouse India, a crowdsourcing initiative that allows designers to participate and thus showcase their talent. Talenthouse had also hosted the Pepsi 2012 calendar design contest some time back. We have seen the Airtel ‘Har ek friend zaroori hain’ campaign that found its roots from crowdsourcing. Along with brands Bollywood has not been behind in crowdsourcing ideas via social media. The filmmaker Onir is a regular user of social media to crowdfund as well as crowdsource for his movies. He had raised funds for his film ‘I AM’ through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. He is sourcing actors and music composers for his next film ‘Chauranga’, a Rs. 3 crore movie. He plans to crowdfund it as well.
This trend seems to have been taken further by noted Bollywood filmmakers Vinod Chopra and Vipul Shah who are running scriptwriting contests on Talenthouse where the winner will get a chance to intern with the respective production company. The Talenhouse Facebook page has a dedicated tab for Vinod Chopra which redirects participants to their website. So if you want to show your creative juices then pour them on a paper and submit. Do check the guidelines though before you submit.
Undoubtedly, along with other benefits social media is a wonderful tool to tap into your own networks as well as extended ones. The beauty of crowdsourcing can be seen in the power of social networks as it provides a win-win situation for both parties, as:
1. A project that is crowdsourced yields so many more ideas and as the saying goes ‘Two brains are better than one’; more people means more ideas and more choices to begin with. Talenthouse runs all contests simultaneously on Facebook to create more buzz among it’s strong community which is a great move. You need to drive your social media channels to give that extra push.
2. You get more ideas for the price of one! And this savings in cost reduction can help you in other crucial areas of your project.
3. The brand that crowdsources not only saves money on it but also gets more people to talk about it. Hence, most crowdsourcing campaigns are run around a voting system.
4. It creates equal opportunities for everyone. Onir received publicity designs for his next film ‘Chauranga’ from Spain and Bangladesh to UK and small towns of India.
5. Designers get a chance to showcase their talent, find work or collaborate with other designers.
But all is not rosy since along with benefits, the Facebook page of Talenthouse itself has seen lot of opposition from fans. Crowdsourcing does have its own pitfalls:
1. Designers have often shunned it citing various reasons right from work getting copied and reproduced elsewhere to voting systems being rigged, etc.
2. Brands have been accused of using crowdsourcing as a promotional tool rather than to scout for talent. Talenthouse recently modified the scriptwriting contests to ‘no voting’ ones.
3. Also, there is a lack of clarity when it comes to the copyrights of your work. Brands can often misuse this.
Crowdsourcing is ideally more efficacious when larger brands do it as it gives fresh talent the much needed global platform even if they are from small towns. But brands and individuals hosting such contests as well as the crowdsourcing platforms need to steer clear from biased voting systems and get copyright laws in place, for this movement to really be accepted. Platforms such as Talenthouse that is doing a great job of hosting cool crowdsourced contests also need to walk the extra mile to build a healthy ecosystem. Nevertheless, I believe that further ahead, we will see more examples of crowdsourcing ideas and crowdfunding for small scale projects to begin with.