Crowdsourcing is a term I’m seeing creep up more and more among bloggers. Basically, it means going to your community to solve a problem or complete a task of some sort, making your job easier. It also allows you to do a better job, in many cases, since you’re drawing from the experiences and opinions of an entire group, rather than yourself.
One of the best ways you can crowdsource is to find people to interview for your blog.
Most people love to be interviewed. It’s human nature to want to give your opinion, and by agreeing to be interviewed, you’re getting free promotion for your own blog or projects. Win-win.
But, as a busy blogger, it can be time-consuming to find people to interview. The most popular bloggers in your niche are often too busy to respond to interview requests and although new bloggers typically readily respond to interview requests, you also want to make sure that the person is actually doing something that is interesting to your readers.
This is where crowdsourcing comes into play. The inspiration for this post was something my friend Andy told me was going on at the Matador Network – a call for nominations for their new series, Breaking Free. It’s an awesome opportunity for people who have quit their 9-to-5 jobs to move overseas and do something new and interesting, and there are certainly tons of people in this world who qualify. But rather than spending hundreds or even thousands of hours looking for these people, Matador turned to there community. Not only are they going to get some awesome nominations, but they’re probably going to find people they would otherwise have never found. (Including you? Go apply!)
The point is that by crowdsourcing, you can find tons of interesting people that you would have never found otherwise – and at least one member of your community is already raising his/her hand and saying “I want to see an interview with this person. I would read it and likely promote the post via social media.” As an added bonus, you spent next to no time finding these interesting people for your blog.
Another great example of crowdsourcing? Recently, right here at the BlogWorld blog, our own Deb Ng wrote a post asking for your BlogWorld 2011 speak recommendations. As of right now, there are over 60 comments on that post, most with 5+ recommendations, and I expect we’ll see even more recommendations in the coming weeks. Of course, BlogWorld goes out there to find people who would make great speakers that may have been missed in the comments session, but just look at all those awesome people! There were people not on BlogWorld’s radar, and it also confirms what the community wants for the people who were.
The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to ask your community for recommendations. Interviews are an awesome addition not matter what your niche, and crowdsourcing is definitely one of the best ways to find new contacts.