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Crowdsourcing at AOL

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Melissa Jane

on 20 October 2014

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Transcript of Crowdsourcing at AOL

Spotlight on: Daniel Maloney
by Samir Skrijelj
Samir Skrijelj talks to Daniel Maloney about the AOL video inventory project and how he made it a success
Use the Stage-Gate model
About AOL
Opinion: Is crowdsourcing a form of outsourcing?
What is outsourcing?
What is crowdsourcing?
Similarities & Differences
by Melissa Cupples
by Blerta Deliallisi and Fadi Makhoul
What can crowdsourcing do for

Toll Free: 800 793 487


"I've been hearing a lot about crowdsourcing lately. What factors should my organisation consider when deciding whether or not crowdsource a particular part of our business?"
by Jesus Pereira
Terms and conditions:
Company ABC is not liable in the case of 1) quality issues or 2) legal, reputational or security issues that may arise in the use of crowdsourcing. Organisations enter into crowdsourcing arrangements at their own risk and Company ABC is not responsible for ensuring the right mechanisms are in place to ensure a successful outcome.
Make or Buy?
Outsource or crowdsource?
( Thuan et al.'s Framework to Support the Decision to Crowdsource )
Does it involve a core competency?
Does it involve sensitive information?
Is there enough time available to complete the task in-house?
Do the current IS workers have the adequate skills to complete the task in-house?
Are there reliable outsourcing providers?
Does the outsourcing provider share a common culture with the client?
Are there economies of scale to complete the task cheaper?
Purchasing of goods and services which were previously provided or could be provided internally by outside vendors (Pearlson & Saunders, 2013)
Cost savings
Time savings
Delegation of all/some tasks, decision rights and activities to external provider who manage them in accordance with agreed upon deliverables as specified in SLA (Dhar and Balakrishnan, 2006)
Outsourcing is fueled by service providers with strong technological capabilities and access to a global talent pool (Nevo, 2014)
“The Rise of Crowdsourcing” in Wired Magazine by Jeff Howe (2006), who defined crowdsourcing as a process, in which a company “outsources” a task in an open call to a group of people

Saxton et al (2013) extends this definition of crowdsourcing to draw attention to dependence on technological advancements such as high internet availability and ubiquity of social media to access the wider public

Gao (2013) further explains that depending on the types of tasks, crowdsourcing takes different forms, which can be broadly divided into two categories: crowdsourcing innovation and microtask crowdsourcing.

"AOL is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale… helping marketers to connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions”
The Crowdsourcing Project
In 2011, AOL were interested in
ow effectively they were leveraging their video assets

As they “publish thousands of web pages every day with a mix of video, photo, and plain text content”, t
his was not an easy task

AOL turned to Amazon’s crowdsourcing tool
Mechanical Turk (mTurk).

MTurk is a “
networked virtual production space
through which
people and firms send requests
other people (“the crowd”) return responses

broke the inventory project into micro tasks
, each one with the specific individual objective to identify if a web page contained a video and to determine if the source of that video was AOL or a third-party.

Completed the task in a couple of months
for the cost of hiring two temp workers for the same period of time

crowdsourcing is a form of outsourcing
crowdsourcing involves procuring goods or services from external providers
Summarizes differences between the two models (Albert, 2013)
Full transcript