Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding

Alexandra Reynolds

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


This entry examines the etymology of ‘crowdsourcing’, a term coined in 2005 by Wired editor Jeff Howe, and defines the term as set out by Estellés-Arolas and González Ladrón-de-Guevara (2012). Drawing on Brabham’s work (2013), it delivers an overview of crowdsourcing, -funding in entrepreneurship, science, technology and government, referring to projects such as Kickstarter, Topcoder and Citizenlab. The focus then turns to the different ways in which cultural, creative and activist communities have interpreted crowdsourced practice. For the purposes of illustration, various recent cultural crowdsourcing initiatives – including UCL’s Transcribe Bentham, the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War, Brooklyn Museum’s Freeze Tag, Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk’s This Exquisite Forest, Shift’s Historypin and Jonathan Harris’ Cowbird, as well as activist initiatives including Sukey and Actipedia – are introduced. Examples of crowdfunding initiatives will include projects at the British Library and the British Museum/UCL’s Micropasts. The entry will contextualise projects within New Capitalism as a Neoliberal form of Late Biopower. Attention will be drawn to leadership, sovereignty and regulation within crowdsourcing and links between information circulation and hegemonic power. Crowdsourcing will be distinguished from co-creation and the commons as defined by Scholz (2016) and Bollier (2016), and related to Baker and Blaagaard’s definition of citizen media (2016).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media
EditorsLuis Perez Gonzalez, Mona Baker, Bolette B. Blaagaard, Henry Jones
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781315619811
ISBN (Print)9781138665569
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2020


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