Expert Sourcing

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= Crowdsourcing can get you the idea, but it can only go so far. Companies need to think about rallying experts to actually execute on various concepts. [1]


Paul Glazowski:

"There’s a small but pronounced discussion occurring in the blogosphere in response to an article published earlier this past Thursday in Newsweek, authored by Tony Dokoupil. The original article concerns the alleged decline in demand for massively constructed and managed sites and services and the so-called “revenge” or resurgence of tightly organized professional- and expert-driven resources. Some agree with the assessment. Some do not.

I’ll go ahead and join the latter group. Not because Dokoupil’s contention is baseless. He has a number of interesting positions. For one, I myself can attest to feeling part of a larger collective tired of the growth in nonsense information. (Things that have no meaning, no productive purpose, no justifiable reason for being.)

But the article’s author misappropriates the logic of a Web explained in further detail as moving from chaotic to increasingly more intelligible. The rise of smart, and the decline of stupid, in other words. I take issue with the fact that Dokoupil distinguishes specialized projects – BigThink and Mahalo, to name just a couple – from much larger, more voluminous entities, like Wikipedia and YouTube. He purports to find that professionalism and expertise are all but exclusive to websites that place an emphasis on limited editorial discretion (meaning less freedom for users to manipulate data), and he essentially harks on about the inevitable demise of people-power.

Dokoupil’s primary problem with aiming his grievances at inventions rather than a number of people using those inventions is that, well…there is really no problem to be found with those inventions. They are, in their most basic form, very useful and very important tools. What’s more, those platforms deliver a wide range of data. A much wider range than the data offered by the specialists. Granted, they harbor a mix of good, not-so-good, and even some dreadful, but there’s no denying that good material exists. Valuable material. And if you think quantitatively as well as qualitatively, one might even determine that the good on open platforms outnumbers the good on more closed inventions." (


Forrester names companies like NineSigma, CG squared, NanoCoatings and Techshot as players in expert sourcing. [2]

Companies in the space:

  • Innocentive (Problems issued to recruited scientists)
  • NineSigma (Sends out RFPs to network of universities, inventors, businesses)
  • YourEncore (Posts projects to retired technical people)
  • yet2 (Matching and providing services/resources to IP buyers/sellers)

Related Definitions

Via [3]:

  • Innovation Networks = “Firms seamlessly weave internally and externally available invention and innovation services to optimize the profitability of their products, services, and business models.” [4]
  • Crowdsourcing = sourcing small and large jobs from anyone and everyone.
  • Expert sourcing = sourcing from specialized, professional-grade, vetted experts.
  • Wisdom of Crowds = the wisdom of the crowd’s collective intelligence outweighs any individuals.)