Crowdsourcing is a socially distributed problem-solving and production tool that leverages collective intelligence for specific purposes. Crowdsourcing is “socially distributed” in that it requires participation from large numbers of people and because it can be used to understand the way crowds from different parts of society are similar or dissimilar, including the way crowds of adolescents might come to agree on certain ideas or phenomena (e.g., Top 40 radio stations) differently than do crowds of their elders (e.g., classic rock and “oldies” radio stations).

Crowdsourcing “leverages collective intelligence” in that crowds can sometimes be “smarter” than individuals. Returning to the radio example, the size of the crowd that tunes in and the amount spent on music ultimately determines the balance of radio bandwidth allocated to different ...

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