In my last post, I expressed my surprise for the sudden explosion of the research-oriented workshops in computer science conferences that are explicitly focused on the concept of crowdsourcing.
I should also note though, that there is a parallel explosion of similar micro-crowdsourcing services. Here is a list of services that I have ran into:
- Amazon Mechanical Turk
- Agent Anything
- Clickworker (aka HumanGrid)
- Samasource (NonProfit)
Some of the companies above are serious, some are new and upcoming, some are copycats, and some are there just to facilitate spamming.
I thought of doing a more detailed comparison (similar to the report that Brent Frei prepared last year for the more general area of paid crowdsourcing) but then I realized that I do not trust enough half of these companies to even give them my email.
This growing list makes it clear that we enter the bubble period. Bubbles are not necessarily negative. During bubble periods you see many innovations coming into the industry from many different parties. While most of the entrants in the market will die sooner rather than later, I except to see interesting things coming out of this.
Do not forget that the dotcom bubble generated the Pets.com failures but also gave birth to Google, who replaced the early dominant players, such as Lycos and Altavista.