Crowdsourcing is a very topical and current buzzword in the translation industry. It’s been used in quite a few “Open Source” software projects for localization into other languages. It seems to be a big trend in software development – look at the whole UNIX project. I was doing a pre-university year at IBM in 1987-1988 when the Open Software Foundation was formed. IBM were part of it. The idea was to develop UNIX in an open collaborative manner. In the end, LINUX did it more successfully, but even so, Microsoft – the paid-for equivalent – still won through and became more ubiquitous. (On a little side note I LOVE UBUNTU – were it not for the need for complete MS compatibility for clients, I would dump MS at the drop of a hat.)
Actually, we should all take great cheer from that – even if we “love to hate” MS. It shows you that “paid-for” can win against “FREE”. Translators feeling threatened by crowdsourcing should find that greatly encouraging. 😀
So what about today’s news then? The UK government has released, to the public domain, details of all public spending over £25,000. Part of the idea is to enable the public to scrutinise how our money is being spent – presumably to appear more transparent and accountable. But the other reason given is that…
it was part of the government’s plan to abolish professional Whitehall scrutineers like the Audit Commission and replace them with an “army of armchair auditors”.
So the UK government is trying to use crowdsourcing to bring down costs. It’s an interesting idea and almost feels radical. The UK taxpayer in me hopes it works. The business analyst in me thinks it will encourage others to try crowdsourcing. It’s an interesting experiment. Good on the government for having a go :yes: (Although you can be sure they’ve only disclosed what they want to disclose – that almost goes without saying.) 😛