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Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.[1] This process is often used to subdivide tedious work or to fund-raise startup companies and charities, and can also occur offline.[2] It combines the efforts of numerous self-identified volunteers or part-time workers, where each contributor of their own initiative adds a small portion to the greater result. The term "crowdsourcing" is a portmanteau of "crowd" and "outsourcing"; it is distinguished from outsourcing in that the work comes from an undefined public rather than being commissioned from a specific, named group.

Coined in 2005, the word "crowdsourcing" can apply to a wide range of activities.[3] Crowdsourcing can involve division of labor for tedious tasks split to use crowd-based outsourcing, but it can also apply to specific requests, such as crowdfunding, a broad-based competition, and a general search for answers, solutions, or a missing person.