From: Craig Phillips [] on behalf of Craig Phillips []

Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2011 10:10 PM


Subject: Cocktail Talk - Crowdsourcing


Cocktail Talk

Bits and bytes of computer chat-chat
to help you through those dreary Cocktail Parties.

February 2011

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Cocktail Talk

Dear Craig,

Cocktail Talk
Welcome to
CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".

Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world.  Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.

Cocktail Talk is archived on


CherryThe pencil gave way to the pen. The pen, an "ink based manual graphic display device". You can doodle with it. If you doodle your ideas you might be noodling. Noodle on a paper napkin in a bar after work with your co-workers and you may just invent the 5.25" Floppy Disk. Noodle on a cocktail napkin and you've got a 3.5" Diskette. Those days are long gone.


 Now we "collaborate", in "the Cloud". We don't know what anyone looks like, sounds like, smells like, or feels like. There's more human interaction in shopping than in a week's work. At least there used to be. Say hello to Crowdsourcing.



The act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of people or community (a crowd), through an open call. (Wikipedia)


Econsultancy has a list of Crowdsourcing sites it calls "kickass". So I looked and liked one in particular.  99designs


Say you need a logo, website, or brochure. Just go to 99designs and put out the call. It works like eBay in reverse. Instead of listing a waffle iron and taking bids, you offer money for a waffle iron and pick one from what you get. Instead of an Auction you have a Contest.


Maybe a snappy logo for CNCI. I go to 99designs and "Launch a Contest" offering $295 (the minimum) Prize Money for a logo I describe as best I can. A deadline is set, just like eBay, and logo designs pour in from the pool of 80,000 registered designers. We collaborate, in the cloud, and I don't even care if they smell. They could be sitting at a card table in a folding chair wearing "Pink" sweat bottoms and a spaghetti stained wife-beater drinking 16 ounce cans of Olde English 800 while smoking Parliment's for all you know. Anyway. I pick a winner, the winner gets the prize money, I get the logo.


That's how it works, and you can use it from either end. Maybe you want to design websites and don't know where to get paying clients. Join the crowd of designers and you'll have a bajillion willing-to-pay clients to pick and choose from. Maybe you want a website but don't have a designer, join the crowd and you'll have a bajillion designers to pick and choose from.


Don't know what a website is worth? Easy. Go look at what people are offering for Prize Money and how many designers are competing. Crowdsourcing is alot like eBay in that respect and both are very good tools to find what something is worth. eBay deals with products, 99designs deals with creative services. crowdSPRING is another one, similar to 99designs, but with it's own flair and, at least for the moment, bigger prizes.


Ever had that brilliant original idea for something? The one that would make you a bajillionaire if you just had a prototype. There's Crowdsourcing for that too. Ponoko will make your gizmo. We're talking more than felt and white glue here people. Laser cutting, robotics, widgets, cool stuff you can't do in your own garage.


No mentors, friends or co-workers to talk, commiserate or collaborate with? No problem. Join Kluster and pick your very own kluster, from a bajillion people. Where Facebook is social-personal-networking, and LinkedIn is social-business-networking, Kluster is social-personal-business-working. Talk marketing, pricing, trends, products, business in general with peers from around the world.


The people managing the crowd get paid. Maybe you pay to launch a contest, maybe you pay to be member so you can enter contests, maybe you pay a monthly fee to network in klusters



Join the Crowd, or not, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk. 




Thank you for reading,


Craig Phillips
CN Consulting, Inc.

CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!


CN Consulting Inc. (CNCI) is an independent consulting company formed in 1990 and located within easy reach of both Chicago and Milwaukee.

CNCI maintains a select client base providing consulting services concerning the  use  of information technology.  We persistently look for advantage to our clients in added value and reduced cost made available by advancing technology.

CNCI does not have financial interest in any given product or product line. We evaluate current and emerging technologies solely based on their benefit to our clients. CNCI implements the solutions it recommends and readily partners with companies that offer products and services to the advantage of our clients. CNCI offers complete client support with singular accountability.

We maximize the benefit of our clients' existing technology, systems, and platforms while integrating the benefits provided by new technology.

Business Continuity and Business Development are our goals with Continuity being  the foundation of  Development.


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