Crowdsourcing and the Tech Hype Cycle

I found this article about the Gartner Tech Hype Cycleto be quite informative. Particularly since Crowdsourcing is included.

Gartner Tech Hype Cylce 2012 - cc licenced image from Press Release

Gartner Tech Hype Cylce 2012 – cc licenced image from Press Release

The visualization indicates that crowd sourcing is at a time of inflated expectations. That the narrative of possible change coming from the technology is now part of the conversation, triggering various questions around areas of impact, scale, replicability and market growth. I find this chart quite encouraging actually, because when you are knee deep in the mechanics of how crowd sourcing works, pushing to encourage use cases beyond crisis, you can’t help but think hard about the sustainability and how to navigate an organization through the various stages indicated here. More interestingly, how to make the plateau of productivity happen faster. A key insight when I look at this visualization was that achieving productivity in the shortest amount of time is of great importance. The broad range of impact that a certain technology can have is not lost on me either. There is clearly a lot of untapped potential in crowdsourcing, Internet of Things and other technologies shown.

I do feel a tad impatient as these technologies can be even more commonplace than is the case today, and part of every day life. The key questions around monetization, adoption, user experience and scale continue to be a part of business strategy, with the fundamental view of community as the bedrock of it all. As we at Ushahidi run various experiments and revamp products like Crowdmap, I am still deeply curious as to how everything pans out in the next 3-5 years for the industry.

Would love your take on the tech hype cycle, particularly when you consider crowd sourcing, the internet of things and big data. What stood out for you? How is it informing your outlook and plans?

Want to compare 2012 to 2011? Here is the breakdown of the tech hype cycle report from 2011

Jargon Watch: Idle Sourcing ala’ Streebump and Waze. Both companies that i find quite interesting, hinting at how much more utility we can get from our networked devices. More here from Trendwatching.

Africa Related: Ella Mbewe of The Asikana network in Lusaka Zambia is crowdsourcing all technology initiatives by Africa’s women. Join her and the BongoHive here.

2 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing and the Tech Hype Cycle

  1. Looking at it from a macro level, its easy to plug where the current states lie. But each piece of technology listed eventually breaks down to resultant sub-pieces of tech or evolve into something else. To dig down deeper into something like crowdsourcing will result into a hype cycle representation of its own, with different cycles represenated in different stages (i.e. a series of S-Curves could be used to map out crowdsourcing 1.0, 2.0…n;

    So crowdsourcing today is at inflated expectations but variants of crowdsourcing and distributed data processing with some sort of human agent interface will slowly creep into mainstream operational models. (e.g. increasing collaboration and task distribution workflows in ERPs), thereby increasing perceived utility.

    Plug in remote sensing and big data, again a whole Pandora’s box opens up. It almost impossible to say what the outlook will be in in 3-5 years, however forward thinking organisations ideally be tinkering around the emergent and hyped technology and tweaking them across their industry verticals in controlled iterative silos before opening them up to their operational environments and only then can it be clear what has or does not have perceived value.

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