2011: the year the future became history?

December 24th, 2011 by

Looking back, this year seems set to enter the history books as a year of upheaval: from natural disasters such as the Japanese tsunami, to the economic turmoil in the EU and US, to the more positive chaos in the Middle East.

Amidst the booming tech industry, we at Microtask have often felt insulated from this turbulence. But mostly, we have felt like we were right there, in the thick of it: 2011 was the year that the power of the online crowd shook the world (almost a year after we had discussed how crowdsourcing and information sharing platforms were being used to promote democratic change in Tunisia and Egypt).

Just as crowdsourcing was going global, so were we. This year we established our HQ of sales and marketing operations in Atlanta, with regional sales offices on both coasts. To help us conquer America, we have recruited a range of the best and brightest talent the US has to offer (see our newsletter for more info on this).

A DISH of Red Herring and a Grammy?
Just as exciting, in just the last few days Red Herring announced that Microtask has won its Global Top 100 award. We have big shoes to fill: other winners include Google, Skype, Baidu, Salesforce, YouTube and eBay.

We are equally proud of the success of Digitalkoot, our joint project with the National Library of Finland. To date almost 100,000 volunteers have donated over 280,000 minutes of time and completed nearly 6 million tasks. With their help (yes, and some assistance from a lot of moles) we were a finalist in the DISH (Digital Strategies for Heritage) and Mindtrek Launchpad awards.

Last, and certainly least, 2011 was the year that the (until recently) rather geeky management team at Microtask finally won serious gangsta street cred, by releasing our very own (crowdsourced) animated rap song. We are still waiting to hear about our Grammy nomination.

Back, to the future
From this vantage point, riding the wave of history, it is hard not to be positive about 2012 (assuming the world doesn’t end). We are, of course, expecting more exciting developments in the crowdsourcing industry, and here at Microtask.

But for now, we are happy to reflect on what has been a hectic, but immensely rewarding year. To the 100,000 people who gave their time for our groundbreaking Digitalkoot project, and helped preserve significant amounts of Finnish history: we salute you. 2011 we dedicate to you.