By Joseph Childress, February 7, 2013

Skilled Crowds: Identifying talent in the world’s largest crowd

Here at CrowdFlower, we take pride in operating a crowdsourcing platform that makes tasks available to anyone with access to the Internet. This practice, combined with our state of the art quality control methods, has allowed us to expand to the world’s largest pool of crowdsourcing contributors. As we begin to tackle projects with higher complexity, we must evolve to better understand and utilize the existing skills and specialized abilities of the crowd.

In order to fulfill our vision of becoming a platform for all kinds of tasks, we needed to create a process that was extremely malleable. A huge variety of types of tasks are available to contributors on the CrowdFlower platform, each with unique requirements. We wanted to find a solution that could work for not just the tasks hosted on our platform today but applications that we haven’t even thought of yet.

After looking at a number of options, we designed a system that evaluates existing trust scores and allows eligible contributors to voluntarily measure their skills and receive a skill rating. This approach allows us to offer targeted tasks to contributors by any skill that we can measure for, and quality has already improved and new applications are possible. We’ve built custom skills ranging from basic English writing to knowledge of contemporary fashion.

What’s next? You tell us! We would love to hear from you about the skill types you need. Perhaps you need a group of sports experts? No problem. How about experienced data miners? We can do that too.

Some of the badges currently being awarded to skilled contributors:
image moderation, sentiment analysis, and beta testing