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The rise of crowdsourcing in Malaysia

Ross was recently in Kuala Lumpur to do twin keynotes at the National Crowdsourcing Conference organized by Digital Malaysia, and meet with government officials to discuss how Malaysia can best tap the potential of crowdsourcing.

The Star of Malaysia, the largest English-language newspaper in the country, interviewed him while he was there for a feature section on crowdsourcing. Here are excerpts from some of the articles:

The main article Captivate the crowd looks at the big picture of crowdsourcing and its potential:

Collaborating with others through crowdsourcing can put previously unachievable goals within reach.

In fact, as an individual, you too can stand to benefit from the use of crowdsourcing ­platforms. No matter what your ambitions may be, they could very likely become a ­reality if you can successfully capture the interest of the crowd.

“You can start to look for further work opportunities where you can get paid for things you’re good at,” says Ross Dawson, chairman of ­network ­economy experts, Advanced Human Technologies.

“You could also see if there are ways to contribute to something out there. Try it and see what works.”

Alternatively, you could even look for ­others to help you accomplish a dream project such as creating a short film or ­performing a charitable deed.

Although unpaid contributions tend to get better crowd responses, a paid crowdsourced project can still do as well if the ­crowdsourcing platform used has been well designed.

“It’s about how you design it to get people to want to contribute. People should enjoy the process, then it’d be easier to get them involved,” says Dawson.

“There should be a sense of community, and people’s schedules should be respected. You should give as much flexibility as ­possible because that’s valuable to people.”

Crowdsourcing: Opening up to possibilities gives an overview of crowdsourcing in Malaysia.

Crowdsourcing brings about a whole new range of opportunities that Malaysian organisations can benefit from, but few have actually taken advantage of this potential.

Ross Dawson, chairman of Advanced Human Technologies says it will take around four to five years before Malaysia will be able to fully leverage on the power of crowdsourcing.

“Realistically, it will take that long to develop a world class (crowdsourcing) platform here,” he says. “Companies (here) need to be aware that there may be many different ways to use crowdsourcing. This is very important for Malaysian organisations if they want to be competitive and growing in a globalised economy. We’ll increasingly see a gap between those organisations who take advantage of such opportunities and those that don’t.”

However, Dawson feels that the nation is off to a good start so far and believes that great possibilities lie ahead for Malaysia due to its knowledge based economy and the abilities of its workforce.

“I would say that Malaysia is on par with other countries in this region. One of the advantages that Malaysia has is that the English language is pretty widely spoken here,” he adds.

A third article summarizes How to best carry out crowdsourcing, drawing on interviews with both Ross and Carl Esposti, CEO of Massolution, who also spoke at the event, as well as from Chapter 4 of Ross’ book Getting Results From Crowds on how to use crowds. (Available as a free download from the book website).

Ross has some more engagements coming up soon working with the directors of major Malaysian organizations. Malaysia is one of the most dynamic countries in South-East Asia, and the initiatives in crowdsourcing undertaken by the government provide ample evidence of their forward-looking mentality.

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