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Monday, July 12, 2010


Musicpitch is the next spin on crowdsourced creative. Submit your project that needs a jingle, song or other music cue along with how much you have to spend, then lean back in your chair while you wait for awesome to roll in. Like submission No. 2 here. (You’re welcome.) If you had problems cleansing the vuvuzela palette, not no more. Is that gem worth $150? Maybe to make it stop it is. Regardless, I’m sure a few people will get the mediocrity they need at a price they can afford, but it points out just one of the fails with crowdsourcing.

Apologies for the old school geek lingo here, but nothing else seems to fit: GIGO. (Garbage in, garbage out.) Okay, I’m sorta bastardizing the intent behind the acronym, but crowdsourcing is about specific parameters to follow from a client that pretty much ensure an expected outcome. (Read the background for this TV commercial and tell me it’s going to be that hard to compose the solution they want given the tight parameters.)

The problem with it lies in the revision stage. When the musician doesn’t quite nail it and has to go back several times to revise it, they’re now making far less per hour than if they got it right the first time. Yeah, I know, just get it right the first time. That suggests it’s the musician/designer’s fault, when it’s usually the client’s indecision.

Newsflash: Time is money, and that indecision isn’t free.

The majority of clients have this Six Flags pay one price, ride all you want mentality when it comes to creative work, thinking that you’ll just keep revising the layout et al. until they’re happy. It’s worse with crowdsourcing because clients set the price, terms of projects and content requirements, all without input from a designer who would normally build extra time into the estimate. (Or do things like trying to talk you out of making the line “Talk to Steve G.” work.)

Once you say yes to whatever *contest* is being run however, (and unless you nail it the first time around), you’re at the mercy of whatever revisions the client wants, just like you would be at a real agency—for a lot less money.

(Via Hacker News.)

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