A few days ago, I successfully defending my MA thesis on crowd motivation. As I polish up a final copy for print, here is my draft. Details forthcoming.

Why Bother? Examining the Motivations of Users in Large-Scale Crowd-Powered Online Initiatives

As this is not the final copy, please do not distribute it. Rather, link back to this page, so that I can provide the final when available.


The following post is a bit longer, but it really helps how you think about crowdsourced systems. It’s also very much unpolished, and I welcome feedback as to ideas or examples that I may not have considered.

What sort of motivation does one have to participate in a crowdsourced system? To do so means virtual anonymity, becoming a single name within a sea of many. It means a compromise of control, a sharing a managerial responsibility and credit that some may find disconcerting. Numerous crowdsourced projects have failed, because they did not present a compelling reason to participate. Yet, there have been a great number that I succeeded; what did they offer that the others did not? Crowdsourcing needs crowds, so I considered how you can get them.