Ten years ago, the term “crowdsourcing” had no meaning. Jump to present day, and it is influencing nearly every aspect of business, Internet and everyday life. Growing drastically in the last year alone, crowdsourcing businesses are making a difference, and a few are already changing the world.
Since 2004, PatientsLikeMe has helped nearly 200,000 people with over 1,000 medical conditions globally connect with other patients, doctors and health organizations. The specific crowd on PatientsLikeMe is able to learn about symptoms, explore treatment options and search for health conditions.
Searching for time every day to run errands is always a challenge as we are heavily consumed with more important tasks in life. Now, TaskRabbit, a consumer-to-consumer crowdsourcing business, allows “senders” to assign tasks of any size to “runners” to complete. Tasks, such as walking the dog, washing laundry and shopping for groceries are all completed, giving you extra, needed time in the office or with your family.
Nine a.m. and running late to work? The last thing you need is a traffic jam. With the help of Waze, users can receive real-time traffic information and maps based off its trusted community. With over 20 million users, Waze helps to avoid traffic nightmares, directs users to safe driving conditions and even shows users the nearest and most affordable gas stations. Waze’s crowdsourced data was most recently used by FEMA and the U.S. government after Hurricane Sandy to help victims find open gas stations.
Never get lost in translation again with Gengo, a crowdsourcing website that utilizes over 5,000 human translators. Since 2008, Gengo has allowed users to upload translations through an online forum that is released to freelance translators around the Web. Unlike other translation sites, Gengo’s utilizes a trusted community that ensures the meaning of your message stays intact.
Imagine being able to communicate with others in real time across the world about personal experiences during a natural disaster. Now you can – with Ushahidi. Created in 2008 as a result of the post-election violence in Kenya, Ushahidi aids those who need information the most via collected eye-witness pictures and reports.
With crowdsourcing making drastic changes and placing unique spins on all aspects of life, it comes to show that we can never underestimate the power of the crowd. What crowdsourcing businesses do you think will change the world?
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