Tech Trend: Collaboration

f the rise of social media is any indicator, the web has brought us closer together. With social networks reconnecting us with former schoolmates and old friends while enabling us to form new relationships, the web is meant for collaboration. The web is a collaboration-based platform (think Wikipedia and Answers.com) where everyone works together to discover and create in the quest to move our collective thinking forward. Elements Partnerships – It’s a competitive world out there. However, in the digital environment it can be advantageous to be kind to your neighbor. Who knows, one day you might need them to help you make the next innovation. Crowdsourcing — Social media platforms such as MySpace and Facebook are only skeletons without their users. Same goes for Wikipedia. It is the user-generated content from hundreds of millions of users that make the sites robust and functional. This crowdsourcing model has migrated into startup business models. Examples Google Wave — The new mail client allows for real-time collaboration. Each wave can be edited directly. It would be as if you could back into a sent e-mail and change it. By enabling users to build a document together, Google is eliminating the bulk and confusion of long e-mail threads and moving collaboration towards a Wikipedia-like model — where everyone can contribute a unique perspective. Kiva — In four short years, Kiva has grown into a top digital influencer while making real impact. The crowdsourcing microfinancing organization recently reach $100 million in entrepreneurial loans. Through the innovative nonprofit crowdsourcing model, Kiva has been able to take a large bundle of small loans to help entrepreneurs in developing nations grow their small business. Think of it as financial collaboration, where lenders can give entrepreneurs startup funding to improve their family’s livelihood and further the economic development of their communities. 99Designs – Beyond financing and information, crowdsourcing is being implemented in a variety of industries. 99Designs uses crowdsourcing in, you guessed it… design. Clients design a creative brief, set a budget then decide which designers to work with. Prediction There will be many businesses that leverage the crowdsourcing business...

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