Creative Crowdsourcing and Tongal

This article on the agency Tongal talks about creative crowdsourcing (basically, the agency crowdsources ideas and then crowdsources production).

The economics are disturbing:

Here’s how it works: A business (say, Lego) posts a project to Tongal with a total prize amount (say, $60,500) to be divvied up over several phases. Members of the Tongal community generate ideas, describing them in 140 characters or less.

“We want [ideas] to come from anybody, regardless of skill,” De Julio said. “If you like a product, know a product, you’re a fan of the product or just have a good idea, we want your idea. We want to unbox your creativity for you.”

At the end of this round, the company has 600 to 1,000 ideas to choose from and selects a few they want to see move forward. Each awarded idea wins a few hundred bucks, in this case $500.

And

Does the platform assume that winners of the production phase have their own equipment?

For the most part, they either have the equipment or they take that money and they use it to rent the equipment or pay cast or whatever else they need to do for their production. A lot of people kind of do this and then they take that money and reinvest it in themselves: “I bought this RED Epic camera package with the money I made on Tongal.”

I have a grant to study ethics of crowdsourcing this summer, and I’ll be talking to Tongal.

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