Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CrowdSourcing and Outsourcing - Beat the Recession

Much of SecondTeacher.com is graphics and videos and design in general. Now design paid for local is great, you get quick easy access to professionals and anything goes wrong he's just down the road...but it's also very expensive.
We at SecondTeacher.com have made use of a few different outsourcing techniques to get the best quality design at the best prices.
First we used CrowdSpring.com to get our logo done. CrowdSpring is a system where by you post a job of work (in this case design a logo) with a spec of the requirements and then specifiy a price. Then over the next 7-14 days you get submissions which are near complete logos. You comment on each one as they come in, the idea being that each new idea might spark a bit of competition in the "crowd" and you end up with in effect 100's of designers working on your logo.
CrowdSpring is great and the "crowd" designer works really well. But it is limited in what you can get done in CrowdSpring and the lowest price of around $300 is much higher then some other sites for a big design job it's a winner.
We have used Elance.com for much of our other design jobs mainly because they are small in value. Elance is more a traditional outsourcing site. You submit a job and a price range and then professionals from all over the world bid to do the job. You can see portfolios and references for each bidder and you really get the best price because of the auction like process. Sometimes though a winning bidder doesn't work out and you may have to re-submit to get a better professional but generally they are very good.
We have used Elance to get brochures, flyers, postcards, banners, videos even website coding done and most of the time it has been a success. The key to using Elance is to break the jobs up into small chunks as for the money you're paying you really can't expect someone to take a task and run with it you need to spell out exactly what it is you want done.
We've also used sites to get stock photography, stock video and stock audio to get the job done. There are now outsourcing and crowdsouring services for everytrhing and anything e.g. www.NameThis.com - Get the "Crowd" to come up with a name for something. Amazon's Mechanical Turk - An on-demand human workforce, where you can define a task and get real people to perform it.
My advice to anyone is that with a little effort and thought there is a web provider out there who will do any task you want done at a fraction of the price of a local provider and better quality too.

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