Crowdsourcing definition?

Wired 14.06: The Rise of Crowdsourcing.

I’ve been looking for literature about crowdsourcing, collective intelligence, and socially distributed cognition. This above one seems the earliest source (2006) about the term “crowdsourcing”, where the author tries to distinguish crowdsourcing with outsourcing.

I was wondering what is the definition of crowdsourcing? Are actually all web-based studies and businesses crowdsourcing? The confusing point is whether the tasks distributed online should be pieces of a larger achievement. Amazon Mechanical Turk is this way, and this website ( also claims this way (because it uses Amazon Turk):  crowdsourcing is first to devided the task into small tasks.

However, website like is also claimed to be crowdsourcing site, where they basically looking for experts to compete on planning or finishing the whole task, at a price cheaper than regular but still way more expensive than Amazon Mechanical Turk. Here, the tasks wouldn’t be divided into small pieces. Is this one more qualified as “expert sourcing” rather than crowdsourcing? Then what is the difference between expert sourcing and crowdsourcing, are they totally exclusive or have some overlap? Here is a blog about expert sourcing and crowdsourcing: In terms of choosing expert sourcing or crowd sourcing, the suggestion here is: “Bottom line is if the idea is evolutionary, then crowd sourcing is just fine. If the idea is revolutionary then expert sourcing is a must.  In my opinion, the term “expert sourcing” shouldn’t be used here, they should rather use terms such as “expert hiring” or something, because mostly this article talks about one specific expert and the crowd.

In sum, my opinion is that Amazon Mechanical Turk is crowdsourcing, InnoCentive is expert sourcing (sourcing experts from the crowd), and the regular cases of using a specific expert is expert hiring that is not using any of the web-based recruiting methods. This is unfinished, I am still a bit confused myself.  I definitely would like to position my project for TECH621 related to this, but not sure yet.