Brainstorming: How to fix the ethical problem with crowdsourcing websites.


Jri

Member
Hi all,

This is just something I've been mulling over while occasionally waiting for the kettle to boil - I thought I'd throw it to the forum to get some like-minded input:

A big problem in the creative industries at the minute is the way that we're being forced to compete with groups of people in the same field who are racing each other to be the lowest price via the numerous crowdsourcing sites out there. The heart of the issue seems to be that the crowdsourcing 'bid' formula allows customers to dangle work over artists' heads, forcing them to compete purely on the basis of price. Subsequently, prices nosedive and the industry is undervalued.

My question is this;

Can we brainstorm a better model/formula for crowdsourcing which deters (or simply doesn't allow) prices to be driven down in this way?

I'm not sure how you'd do this, but ultimately if I had the choice between:

A) A site where everyone's cutting their own throat to be the cheapest on offer
or
B) A site where fair compensation for a creative's efforts are guaranteed

...I'd choose option B every time. So would most sensible creatives. If the workforce goes to website B, then presumably the employers would start to look to site B when they needed a creative.

Any ideas on how this could be implemented - how would you determine fair compensation?

One possible way would be to ask clients to somehow list their budget based on an itemised breakdown of their job, perhaps they input their requirements and the site itself calculates the budget? Instead of a financial figure, the budget could be listed as time required?

Is there any way of having a rating system to keep the scruples of clients in check?

This is just me spit-balling a half baked notion, but I thought it would be interesting to spark a bit of discussion on this, since we're mostly experienced in the creative industries and many of us freelance on occasion.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Get linked in with the software companies and make sure that everyone bidding has a legal copy of the software they're using.....that would soon bump up prices in most places I would suspect, it would also remove a LOT of the I do work for pennies type people.

Realistically the only way to stop crowdsourcing is to actually get rid of the sites and/or try and educate people about the true costs involved in design.
 

sprout

Member
Legislation and certification of the industry. In the same way, that to be a lawyer, a chiropractor, electrician, etc, etc, you have to be qualified, otherwise it’s illegal to practice. That is the only way to remove the army of have-a-go-heroes out there.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
Only way I could see anything working is to regulate the entire global industry and these crowdsourcing sites which isn't going to happen.

It's an open market and you get what you pay for.
It's like shopping on the internet.
You can buy a quality product or some cheap tat from China.
It's up to you.

It's like Levi says.
People need to be educated about these sites.

I was reading a discussion on a sign painting group where a very talented painter was using crowdsourcing for his logo.
He was $500 into it and only had a pile of crap to show or it.

No shit Sherlock! :unsure:
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
You can buy a quality product or some cheap tat from China.
But aren't most quality products made in China, the cheap stuff comes from Bengali and likes now....

Also sometimes find it funny that the cheap stuff is exactly the same as the quality stuff, made in the same factory and the only difference is literally the branding on the package....
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
But aren't most quality products made in China, the cheap stuff comes from Bengali and likes now....

Also sometimes find it funny that the cheap stuff is exactly the same as the quality stuff, made in the same factory and the only difference is literally the branding on the package....
It was a metaphor Levi. ;)
 
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