By Lukas Biewald, September 15, 2009

Introducing CrowdFlower

Today we took CrowdFlower out of private beta and launched it at TechCrunch 50.

We started Dolores Labs to help enterprise companies manage large pools of casual workers. Now we’re making our technology available in a self-service app: CrowdFlower.

Why use a casual workforce?

CrowdFlower makes it easy to have thousands of people working on your jobs, instantly! Early customers have used it for things as varied as calling local businesses to verify their hours to checking images for copyright violations to finding the best still images for videos. I used it to have hundreds of people call my partner Chris and wish him happy birthday (he quickly turned off the task).

You can build a task and outsource 1 hour of work – there’s no minimum charge and setup takes minutes. You can also outsource an unknown number of hours of work: maybe you want CrowdFlower to check your user comments for spam, and one day you suddenly have thousands more comments than expected. CrowdFlower will automatically go out and find a big enough work force to take care of your job.

Why use CrowdFlower?

Quality control. When you have 1000 people working on your job all at once, you don’t want to spot check everyone and make sure they’re doing a good job — at that point you might as well do the work yourself! CrowdFlower efficiently uses redundancy and analytics so that you can get the optimal cost/accuracy tradeoff.

What casual workforces can I access through CrowdFlower?

Amazon Mechanical/LiveWork – these are two services that offer tens of thousands of workers on demand. We will route your tasks through their API.
Gambit – a facebook offerwall. Gambit puts your tasks inside casual games so that millions of people can earn virtual currency by doing you tasks.
SamaSource – sends your tasks to refugees in Kenya.