Posted December 23, 2011 by

Crowdsourcing Workers Mostly Female, College Educated

Crowdsourcing, as defined by Wikipedia, is “the act of sourcing tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals to a group of people or community (crowd) through an open call.” Examples of crowdsourcing projects are members of the public being invited to:

  • Develop a new technology;
  • Carry out a design task, which is also known as community-based design;
  • Define or carry out the steps of an algorithm; or
  • Help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data.

The term has become popular with businesses, authors, and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. CollegeRecruiter.com has occasionally used crowdsourcing vendors such as Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk to generate short articles on topics related to internships and entry-level jobs.

CrowdControl, a leader in crowdsourcing project manageability and quality control, today released survey findings on Amazon Mechanical Turk workers, profiling for the first time a growing workforce comprising the Labor 3.0 movement. Amazon Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for scalable, on-demand staffing and helps businesses like CollegeRecruiter.com finish projects quicker and cheaper by deploying multiple workers at once, to complete tasks over the Internet. The survey exposed burgeoning trends including the adoption of crowdsourcing as a “second job,” with nearly 25 percent of workers polled indicating that Amazon Mechanical Turk projects accounted for over 10 percent of their annual income.

Platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk are changing the labor market similar to the ways outsourcing disrupted traditional business and employment models, giving companies access to dramatically lower-cost labor but also making them a one-stop shop for high-quality project task returns in near real-time. Unlike outsourcing, crowdsourcing brings together people of all walks of life, spurring innovation and is redirecting employment opportunities to the United States.

Most compelling about the Labor 3.0 crowd is that workers can tackle big data projects very quickly when supported by artificial intelligence applications like CrowdControl, giving enterprises a method for managing and controlling the quality of colossal data ventures. This crowd, according to the survey, is dominated by females, accounting for just over 56 percent of workers. Nearly half of all workers polled are between the ages of 26 and 35.

The crowd is also overwhelmingly employed, with slightly fewer than 75 percent of respondents having a job outside of their Amazon Mechanical Turk work. Over 21 percent actually perform tasks while they are on the job – though the majority of workers, nearly 77 percent, do tasks at home, some in between video games, during off peak hours. Of these workers with day jobs, over 36 percent earn a salary of over $50,000 annually and nearly 61 percent of workers polled have college degrees.

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