Breaking Down Crowdsourcing
At CrowdConf (2010), Patrick McKenna, founder of crowdsourcing firm LiveOps and president of Kineks, generally described the three levels of labor as follows:
(1) Transactional: tasks that can be delegated or assigned to an individual or entity with specific instructions and expectations for the completed work
(2) Relational: projects and tasks that are interpersonal in nature, and frequently require interaction and collaboration among more than one team member to complete the work
(3) Creative: requires intellectual and/or creative content from an individual, often based on ambiguous instructions or loose guidelines
McKenna emphasized the potential and scalability of the transactional work, offering a “formula” for profitability in crowdsourcing: find a pile of cash with transactional tasks; understand how you add value to the transaction, by lowering costs, increasing quality, increasing the speed of answers; and build a process that leverages the crowd and an interface that enables the crowd to optimize the transaction (CrowdConf, 2010).