18 Tasks You Can Crowdsource


A few weeks ago I wrote about what crowdsourcing is useful for, breaking it down into three main categories: Work, Input and Organizing. Crowdsourcing is a way of getting work done that can help you save time, money and free you up to get to other work at hand.

Here are some ideas for tasks that can be crowdsourced, and links to sites that can help you with those tasks. Note that some of the sites mentioned can be used for several different types of crowdsourcing, and not just the tasks mentioned here.

Technical Tasks

  • Translation. Need something translated, without having to rely on Google Translation (s goog) to do the trick? Try MyGenGo.
  • Transcription. Have audio files that need transcribing, such as a podcast? Try CastingWords.
  • Photo tagging. Looking to get photographs tagged or classified and support a good cause? Try the nonprofit crowdsourced labor site Samasource.
  • Keyword optimization. Looking for SEO help? Try Trada.
  • Data verification. Have a long list of business information, like a contact list or URLs, and need that content verified? Try the CrowdFlower self-service site (CrowdFlower CEO Lukas Biewald will be speaking about the future of work and crowdsourcing at our Net:Work conference in San Francisco next month).
  • Website testing. Looking for usability testing for your site? Try Usertesting.com.
  • Beta testing software. Need some skilled beta testers to test your software or go through your code? Try TopCoder.
  • Article writing. Need some content for your website or blog? Try SquadHelp.

Creative Tasks

  • Logo design. Looking for a logo for your company? Try Prova.com.
  • Business card design. Need a new business card layout? Try Guerra-Creativa.
  • Print and online ads. Want a print ad or an online banner ad? Try 99designs.
  • Website design. Need a new website interface design? Try crowdSPRING.
  • Product development. Want to see if your cool product concept can become a real product? Try Quirky.com.
  • Brand names and taglines. Looking for a new name for a company, product or service or a clever tagline? Try NamingForce.
  • Video. Need a video produced? Try Tongal.
  • Packaging. Need packaging for a new product? Try BootB.
  • Creative campaign. Running a campaign and need a winning idea? Try IdeaBounty.
  • Quick ideas. Need some fast, inexpensive input? Try IdeaOffer.

Whatever your need, crowdsourcing can help you get work done and tap into crowds of talented and skilled workers willing to perform work in new ways. Keep in mind that the work can vary in terms of quality. Most sites that charge for services have some kind of refund policy if you are not 100 percent satisfied, but read the fine print.

What tasks have you crowdsourced? How did you go about it?

stock xchng image by lusi

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Bob Timmermans

Indeed a good list of resources, especially the creative tasks, maybe you can add FrozenLemons(dot)com a good company name development service.

Kare Anderson

In addition to the abundance of tasks one can crowdsource, there are the tools and systems one can buy or hire a company to use. Those companies include BrightIdea and Spigit.
Also see more colloboration tools and add your own on this shareable, listiki-based list: http://listiki.com/collaboration-tools/kareanderson …. … then see more sites and books to boost your expertise in crowdsourcing and other methods of collaboration

Madhav Shivpuri

I want a way to add hundreds of quality reviews (actual) for various cities globally, to our to be launched app. Wondering if there is a quality service that can support that the same at inexpensive rates.

Robert Laing

Hey Madhav,

Sounds like either Mechanical Turk (if you want to manage everything yourself) or CrowdFlower (if you have a lot of this kind of thing and you need someone to manage it) could be a good bet for you.


I just looked at your translation crowdsourcing site MyGenGo. They charge clients from 0.05 to 0.15 USD per word. At those rates, how much they pay the translators? Most translators translate 2000 words a day.

I thought slave labor was abolished.

Robert Laing

Thanks for your comment Catherine.

Our translators are well compensated, and they pick up jobs on a first-come, first-serve basis as they choose (after they have passed our testing program). Translators range from college students, to recent graduates, to stay-at-home moms and dads. They’re also full-time translators making extra income.

Many of these translators find myGengo a much more efficient way of generating income than dealing with traditional freelancing jobs, because we remove the inefficiencies and insecurity of dealing with an unknown client, the jobs are relatively simple, and we pay on time every two weeks. Other benefits will soon include training programs and additional resources as they progress.

Testimonials from our translators are available here, as well as more information for new applicants (of which we have several thousand every month): http://mygengo.com/translator

Robert Laing
CEO, myGengo

Jeff Leddbetter

Great list of resources. I will definitely check them out. I can vouch for 99designs and squadhelp. I used Squadhelp for coming up a name for my business (received 345 suggestions!!). I then used 99designs for designing the logo and received great, high quality logos. I used Squadhelp again for usability testing of the final product – which gave me a number of actionable insights from the crowd. I am looking forward to saving some more money by crowdsourcing other activities to providers mentioned in your article. Thank you!!

Aliza Sherman

I ended up trying Prova.com for my logo although I did check out Crowdspring and 99Designs for my upcoming book on crowdsourcing. Found one that I’m going to start using later this week.

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