2011: a crowded year

May 4th, 2011 by

microtask_2011_crowded_yearOver the past couple of years the growth of the crowdsourcing industry has been fast and furious. The term “crowdsourcing” itself now covers an ever-increasing number of sub-categories. From microwork to gamesourcing, from open innovation to crowd funding. New ideas, new research and new companies are constantly bursting onto the scene.

At this critical “coming of age” stage in crowdsourcing’s development, it’s vital that industry players get together and engage in real, ongoing debate. What’s the best way of achieving this? Either throw a huge party or organize a convention (or best of all, organize a convention which includes a huge party). Here are a few good reasons to venture offline in 2011:

Crowdsortium Symposium
Crowdsortium Symposium is the debut event from crowdsourcing advocates and industry practitioners group Crowdsortium.org. The convention is scheduled for May 19-20 in Mountain “Google” View, California. Given Crowdsortium’s impressive list of members, the event should be a great opportunity for crowdsourcing professionals to meet up and gossip engage in productive discussion. Tickets are on sale to members for $125, so get in touch with Media Director Brittany Lincoln if you wish to attend.

Next up is Europe’s first ever crowdsourcing conference: Crowdconvention. Taking place on June 15th in Berlin, the convention (co-sponsored by Microtask) will offer “space for discussion, exchange of information and possibilities for new partnerships” (hopefully served up with some decent beer). The packed schedule includes crowdsourcing A-listers such as Richard Lewis from Clickworker, Lukas Biewald from CrowdFlower, Pia Erkinheimo from Nokia, Jeff Howe from Wired, Carl Esposti from crowdsourcing.org and last but not least, Microtask’s own Dear Leader (“just call me CEO”) Ville Miettinen. Check out Crowdconvention.com for more details.

HCOMP 2011
The Human Computation Workshop is this year’s third go-to industry event. HCOMP 2011 kicks off around August 8th in San Francisco. Primarily a research conference, organizers include crowdsourcing pioneer (and certified genius) Luis von Ahn and (in)famous Mechanical Turk blogger Panagiotis Ipeirotis. HCOMP 2011 (which is part of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence Conference) is a unique chance to debate the fascinating and potentially revolutionary area of A.I. and human computation in crowdsourcing (plus, there will be REAL robots). Microtask’s CTO Otto Chrons will be our man on the ground, and may possibly present some of the data collected from Digitalkoot. Date and time are still unconfirmed so make sure to check the official blog for updates.

One to watch
For my money, CrowdConf was definitely the defining crowdsourcing event of 2010. So far, organizers remain tight-lipped about this year’s program but it’s safe to assume it will be worth the wait. 1-2 November in San Francisco, the great and the good of the crowdsourcing industry will again gather… Make sure you don’t miss out.

With so many opportunities to meet and discuss, we wonder what topics will define crowdsourcing in 2011. Will it be gamification? Microwork? Quality concerns? Wages and legislation? If any of you feel like sharing any suggestions – conventional or unconventional – we are all ears.