The Joys (and Dangers) of Crowdsourced Marketing

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It almost sounds magical–a system with an on-demand supply of incredibly cheap labor (pennies for many tasks) that is available by simply posting a request on a Web site. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and other crowdsourcingsites have revolutionized the way companies do intensive manual labor on computing tasks. So, you might want to consider using crowdsourcing for your Internet marketing jobs. But when you do, you also need to be careful about how you do it, lest you give away too much information to your competitors.First, some basics. For those unaware, crowdsourcing is a fantastic resource that allows businesses to tap into the cheap labor pool of students, the home-bound, the unemployed, and anyone who wants a flexible part-time job. All you must do is break down your job into a very simple repetitive task that can be done in a few seconds or a minute, post that task on Mechanical Turk or one of its competitors, and sit back and watch as the tasks come back completed.

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