Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call. For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task, refine an algorithm or help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data (see also citizen science).
The term has become popular with business authors and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. However, both the term and its underlying business models have attracted controversy and criticism.
There are loads of examples of crowdsourcing happening around the world, taking full advantage of the benefits of social networks to get the word out, and involve lots of individuals all over the world.
I came across this example of a crowdsourced cafe today, called Elements.
Members share ideas of what to call the project, choose its logo, what to serve, why, how to communicate its values - even what those values are. All the while, this group is creating a loyal community that will hopefully turn into loyal customers in future.
So, who is doing this in wine?
You could argue that the clever chaps over at Crushpad have started this sort of thing, allowing groups of virtual winemakers to create their own wines, from choice of grapes and how to 'make' the wines, all the way through to packaging design.
These wines are, therefore, available only in limited quantities and are expensive. I should admit I'm involved in one Crushpad group being run by Tim Elliott but, in an example of the limitations of taking these virtual projects into the 'real world' it may be legally impossible, and financially impractical, for me to ever actually drink this wine!
But, are any of the big brands in the wine world working on something like this? It would seem ideal territory. Who knows, maybe we'll hear something exciting in the not too distant future.
With thanks to Springwise for the tip about Elements