CrowdFlower is a crowdsourcing platform that was initiated in 2007 by Lukas Biewald. Recently, it has been ranked as one of the best crowdsourcing services and is a great solution to large projects requiring a considerable workforce. Crowdsourcing is defined as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” CrowdFlower does just this. It takes projects containing a wealth of information and breaks them down into manageable tasks that are them distributed around the globe to the various subscribers. The information these contributors provide are then analyzed and revealed.
The large-scale platform not only provides reliable information but also allows projects to be completed at a fast pace. One way in which the quality of the information is assessed is through gold stand units which are questions clients must answer and get correct in order to initially participate in the platform. Also, many contributors examine each data point in order to ensure accurate results. CrowdFlower products have the ability to categorize products into categories, quickly obtain access to relevant online information, convert handwritten information into digital data, and create quality website content. The platform is essential for eCommerce companies, online media companies, data providers, brand managers, etc.
As discussed in class, CrowdFlower was able to use text messaging services after the Haiti earthquake to help individuals with whatever they needed. It has also helped with the 2010 Pakistan flood and the refugees in Kenya. In fact, recently CrowdFlower was used to identify drug resistant TB cells. A group of highly qualified contributors were asked to mark and identify each cell from the cortex slides — a 3 month job made possible in 3 days through CrowdFlower. In this way, by using a crowdsourcing method, CrowdFlower has been able to make a major impact.