Crowdsourcing: noun the practice whereby an organization enlists a variety of freelancers, paid or unpaid, to work on a specific task or problem: Kodak used social media crowdsourcing to engage its customers in their naming contest.
While this looks like a legitimate dictionary entry, it’s not. At least yet. The word crowdsourcing was among those nominated by the New Oxford American Dictionary for their Word of the Year. Unfortunately, it was beat out by “refudiate,” a word invented by Sarah Palin in a misguided twitter post.
Fortunately, the selection of a Word of the Year does not mean the word will be added to Oxford dictionaries – at least any time soon. Rather the choice is based on buzz – the amount of attention the word has received over the previous year and whether its usage has grown. This is quite an accomplishment for “refudiate,” a term that didn’t even exist until July of this year and probably won’t even be remembered this time next year. Case in point, does anyone still use “bovvered,” the 2006 Word of the Year? On the other hand, the word twitter and its many variations, none of which have made WOTY, have all become completely ingrained in our lexicon.
So while we’re disappointed that crowdsourcing didn’t get the attention we think it deserves this year, we look forward to the day when it is acknowledged with an actual dictionary entry. After all, the term has already been around since 2006 and describes a business practice that will be with us indefinitely.
IdeaConnection, and companies like us look forward to helping the word merit a dictionary entry, by bringing legitimacy to a very real and powerful business concept. We’re proving that crowdsourcing is more then just a trend, it’s a practice that businesses will adopt in order to sustain future competitiveness. Here’s how we’re doing it.