Collaborative Innovation
Table of contents
Many crowdsourcing efforts fail because of low engagement.  There are 5 drivers of participation:  
  1. Perceived exclusivity:  People are more likely to participate if it affirms their status or increases their prestige.  For example, the site could offer membership to a select, high status group, with invites from respected group members.
  2. Publicity--sponsor an activity or event to showcase the project:  For example, Twitter went "viral" after it presented at the South by Southwest (SXSW) event where attendees were obliged to use it.
  3. Low transaction costs: Simply stated, people are more likely to contribute if the burden of participation ("cost of transaction") is low.  For example, Wikipedia has low costs for participation.  While one is able to make large contributions, one can participate by fixing something as simple as a comma. Contributions are anonymous, so the user isn't putting their reputation on the line.  Another example is Pinterest, which has attracted laggard adopters by making it effortless to bookmark images with their "Pin It" bookmarklet.
  4. Simple interface & well defined activities: An intuitive, simple UI design is crucial.  For example, Wikipedia's "low tech" user interface makes it clear how to contribute.
  5. Incentives--glory, learning, love, money:  Studies of Wikipedia and open source software (OSS) have shown that a mix of these incentives drive participation.  For example, a participant may be driven by the pursuit of glory and love ("love" can involve chances to socialize with a valued community or to contribute to a cherished cause).
  If you plan to appeal to these motivations, it is useful to...
Maintain transparency and openness
Establish trust with your brand
Engage with a group who strongly identifies with your brand's core values and what it represents
Sources: Gandjei, A. (2013). Essatory data analysis.  Malone, T. W., Laubacher, R., and Dellarocas, C. N. (2010) The collective intelligence genome, MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(3), 21-31.
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