Today I would like to share with NewEvolution readers why the growing trend of crowdsourcing is pure evil and should be stopped, for now. It's also interesting to notice the similarities between both crowdsourcing and the 99% phenomenon.
A Quick Overview of Crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing, or spec work, is the practice whereby an organization allows a large group of "hyper-specialized workers" to work on a particular project for free. Then, the project submitter chooses a single design that they like and pay the designer. Providing no compensation to the other members of the crowd that contribute to the project is where the ethical validity comes in to place.
A Quick Overview of The 99%
In simple terms, the United States has fallen on hard times and in the process 1% of Americans were exposed on how they obtain ridiculous wealth while the other 99% suffer. The clever terminology of 99% actually comes from Thomas Edison.
"Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration." — Thomas Edison
Crowdsourcing Screws 99% of Designers
Crowdsourcing relates to the 99ers in that 99% of the graphic designers that put in an honest, hard day's work for a crowdsourcing project are merely sent home with empty pockets. Think of it this way. You have a huge group of plumbers show up to your residence to fix a leaky pipe. At the end of the day you pay the one plumber that you feel has done the best work, while saying "screw you" to the rest. Not so nice, right?
Crowdsourcing Produces Low Quality Work
The person who pays for the final design is also getting screwed. How? With low quality work. You won’t find a self-respecting, experienced designer at a crowdsourcing site. Professionals don't work for free, it's that simple. However, what you will find is that any Tom, Dick or Harry from off the street can submit his or her work to a crowdsourcing project. With that said, I'm sadly predicting that crowdsourcing quality, or popularity may rise due to starving designers trying to survive in a down economy.
Help Join The Fight!
Keep in mind that the goal for the individuals running spec sites is to simply MAKE MONEY. Design is second, if it's even cared about at all. Crowdsourcing is usually disguised as a contest or competition. Yeah, that's how they get yah. It's important for designers to band together and take a stance against crowdsourcing. Below I have featured a few websites to help get involved.
AntiSpec - Makes the antispec message clear and easy to absorb while uniting thousands of designers to help drive the message home.
The 99 Percent - Behance’s research arm and think tank that includes a daily web magazine, an annual conference, and the best-selling book “Making Ideas Happen.”
What Do You Think of Crowdsourcing?
Hopefully this article will contribute more awareness to the general public about crowdsourcing while inspiring other designers to do the same. I'm not a fan of money, but designers need to make a living. If currency was eliminated from our society, then I would strongly support crowdsourcing, but that's not the case. What are your thoughts or ideas on crowdsourcing? Am I right? Am I wrong? Am I missing something?