Sourcing

We have gotten used to talking about 'sourcing', as in outsourcing or insourcing. I have just come across the expression 'crowdsourcing':

What is crowdsourcing? According to Wikipedia Crowdsourcing is a term coined by Wired magazine writer Jeff Howe and editor Mark Robinson. Crowdsourcing relies upon unpaid or low-paid amateurs who use their spare time to create content, solve problems, even do corporate R & D. [YRUHRN? - Crowdsourcing: Many Voices]
The example here is how Amazon's Mechanical Turk is being used to write a book in the YRUHN project.

I like to use the phrase 'collaborative sourcing' to refer to a range of library - or other - activities which are managed in a collective way, and to the structures that are set up to support such activities.

'Source' is used here as 'origin' or 'pattern of production'. Often used in a neutral business sense, it is not surprising - given what may be at stake - that sometimes discussion of sourcing is shot through with political preferences or emotional attachment.

Incidentally, it occured to me that although the 'source' in 'open source' may refer to source code, it sometimes evokes 'source' in this other sense, as in an open pattern of production or creation. As I suggest below, 'open source' is used to carry a range of senses.

Related entry:

Comments: 0

Sep 27, 2006
Ryan Shaw

For a less utopian take on this phenomenon, you may be interested in Tiziana Terranova’s work on cultural industries becoming dependent on volunteer labor.