Crowdsourcing: useful tool or mob rule

One of the greatest benefits of the internet is arguably the ability for many to comment and get involved in the development of a project.  Finding out the will of the people via crowdsourcing offers a whole new aspect to marketing.

Yet who can forget the film Snakes on a Plane the plot and screenplay for which was developed with the input of fans online.  Ridiculous, absurd and juvenile as it undoubtedly was, it nevertheless found a following because so many people fel that they owned a small bit of it.

The downside of the internet is that it has offered unlimited anonimity to many, and while you may think you are talking to your target audience, what’s to say that it isn’t your closest competitor mobilising its workforce, friends and family to give a completely false impression so that you head off in the wrong direction.

Finance directors may rub their hands with glee at the thought of getting a logo designed by crowdsourcing for a fraction of the cost of using a creative agency, but would this approach have delivered anything as iconic as the Virgin or Nike brands?  By bending to the will of the many will it extinguish the edgy, risky brilliance of the few?  And who does not know that anguish of trying to deliver an event where the process is ruled by the command of a committee?

hellen @ missioncontrol


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