Public collaboration, network effects, crowdsourcing - call it what you will, the read/write web is based largely on projects where the value of the whole is greater than the sum of countless parts. Those parts are contributed by individual people all over the world, often for free. It's world-changing stuff, but can businesses make effective use of this paradigm?
Anjali Ramachandran, a strategist at London-based digital agency Made by Many, has compiled a very useful list of 135 real-world examples of businesses leveraging crowd contributions online. From small projects like the collaborative advertising creation project FatMuffin to big company efforts like SAP's Ecosystem, this list is great for inspiration and context.
The Crowdsourcing List is itself a crowdsourced effort. It's a wiki, so other people can sign up to contribute more examples; it's been spread around Twitter through retweets and hit the most popular page of social bookmarking site Delicious without having had any media or blog coverage yet as far as we can see.
Lists like this are a great way to add value to conversations on the web and they help technology changes feel all the more tangible. It brings to mind the new Creative Commons database of case studies. Crowdsourcing in particular is something that we've written about extensively here on ReadWriteWeb.
Thanks, Anjali, for putting together this list!
Photo above CC from Flickr user Chris Hambly.