Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Solve Challenges and Earn money

    So, till now the options explored were Fun oriented. Here, in this post, we will get into a more serious mode. We will explore the option that should will excite the people who like to put their brains to work, people who like challenges, people having loads and loads of creative juices.

    I am going to touch upon the Crowdsourcing element from the list of avenues that could become your second source of income. Read the original post Unconventional ways of making money online for the entire list.

    What is Crowdsourcing?creativity-network-crowdsourcing

    Firstly lets understand what is Crowdsourcing...

    Wikipedia defines Crowdsourcing as,

    Crowdsourcing is the act of sourcing tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals to a group of people or community (crowd) through an open call.

    Typically the call is made by the organizations looking to tap the talent outside of their organization, looking to get different views for a challenges. The reason for such initiative could be anything.

    For example, P&G invites its customer to give their inputs regarding their products and services. P&G makes the customer a part of the product development and hence increase the traction with the customer resulting in customer loyalty and of course sales. The initiative is called Connect + Develop.

    From the definition of Crowdsourcing, its clear that participating in Crowdsourcing for people like you and me means taking the call, accepting the challenge and completing the task. The tasks are challenges and the call to solve the challenge is linked to Incentives.

    So why should you take the challenge?

    The trigger to participate in the challenge could be the sheer thrill of solving the challenge, it could be the incentives associated with it, it could be the fame of being a winner, it could be to get in touch with like minded people, it could be to explore job opportunities. As I said, the reason to take the challenge is very personal.

    Without anymore delay, I would introduce to you all, the well known Crowdsourcing platform called Innocentive.

    What is Innocentive?Innocentive Logo

    InnoCentive is the open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer that enables organizations to solve their key problems by connecting them to diverse sources of innovation including employees, customers, partners, and the world’s largest problem solving marketplace.

    Basically, Innocentive is a platform that connect the organizations with the creative people like you. It acts as the medium between the Organization and the Creative brains. Innocentive enables the marriage of the challenge with the right skills.

    I have been using Innocentive for more than an year now. I participated in one of the challenges from "The Economist" to invent a new index to gauge the human potential. My entry could be downloaded from here.

    Leading commercial, government, and nonprofit organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Eli Lilly, Life Technologies, NASA, nature.com, Popular Science, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to solve problems and innovate faster and more cost effectively than ever before. (Source : Innocentive inc) 

    Facts and Figures

    Since 2001, InnoCentive has been making a profound impact on the world, one organization and one Challenge at a time. Take a look at some of our numbers. (Current as of January 2012)

  • Total Registered Solvers: More than 250,000 from nearly 200 countries
  • Total Solver Reach: 12+ million through our strategic partners (e.g., EDF, nature.com, Popular Science, The Economist)
  • Total Challenges Posted: 1,370+ public Challenges to InnoCentive.com & thousands of internal employee-focused Challenges
  • Project Rooms Opened to Date: 392,000+
  • Total Solution Submissions: 28,500+
  • Total Awards Given: 1,050+
  • Total Award Dollars Posted: $34+ million
  • Range of awards: $5,000 to $1 million based on the complexity of the problem

Average Success Rate: 50%+

(Source : Innocentive inc)

How Innocentive Operates

Innocentive employs a

Challenge Driven Innovation methodology to connect the organizations with the people interested in solving the challenges.

What it means is basically that all the tasks are put up by the participating Organizations in the form of a challenge Using the Innocentive platform. The registered users of Innocentive can then look for challenges that interests them and get on with solving it.

There is a fixed deadline for each challenge. The incentives associated with the challenge are clearly stated. Terms and conditions for Intellectual property(IP) transfer for each challenge are there for the Solver to understand and decide if he wants to opt for.

Details of the format that has to be used to present the solution, any special consideration, exclusions are clearly stated with the challenge.

In summary, you being a solver get all the inputs needed to make the decision of solving the challenge and to solve the challenge.


  • Form a team

The challenges can be quite tricky and so you might want to form a team to solve it. Innocentive allows you to do so.

There is a dedicated section to help Solvers. It included interview of the Challenges winner, the dos and don'ts when presenting the solution.

  • Refer Case studies

Browse through the case studies to trigger yourself to get on with the Challenges. The case studies quite inspiring as it reveals how the challenges have impacted the organizations.

SO what you are waiting for…Gift Innocentive a place in your weekend calendar and gift yourself the adventure of solving real life challenges. The icing on the cake is the Incentives you received on coming up with the Winning Solution.

Want more…check out this post that talks more about Crowdsourcing and the other platforms available to you…



siddharth joshi A thinking soul

Writing to clear my mind...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Earn revenue for consolidating your expertise

The Internet age which we all are living very aptly epitomizes the old and known saying "Knowledge is power". We all need to have some kind of expertise. The expertise to be excellent at the job, the Expertise to carry out the business activities, Expertise to make a great leader, Expertise to be a better home maker, expertise to be a better dad, a better husband!!

The expertise could be in any avenue, it could be add an edge to your professional life, it could useful in Personal life. The expertise could be anything and everything.

But nobody is born with an expertise and so it has to be learnt, it has to be developed, it has to be practiced to be an expert. The Social network plays a key role in making us an expert as the knowledge, the expertise, the information, the know-how is shared, is available for everybody who wants to use it, gain it, practice it and most importantly take it forward and help it grow.

This post is meant to introduce you all once such social media platform. This post is in continuation to the series that is aimed at exploring avenues to that lets you have an alternate source of income.Coming back to the Social platform I was referring to, Its called Squidoo. It’s a platform that lets you share your expertise by creating something called as Lens.


What is Squidoo?

It’s a platform for user-generated content. It enables the users to build a page that features the best of what you know about a topic. The page you create is knows as a Lens. Its your lens, your take on the topic. You can have multiple pages to address multiple topics. The best part is its free.


What does a Squidoo page contain?

  1. You could add the RSS feed if the articles you are reading on the topic, the RSS feed of the articles you liked about a topic
  2. Add pictures
  3. Add products for review
  4. You can have polls
  5. Ask the audience of your lens to comment
  6. Add your own content.

A lens on London, for example, could include links to five restaurants, with a quick paragraph on each one. The lens could include a description of a favorite hotel, with a link to the hotel’s page about a specific suite. The lens might feature three or four guidebooks for sale on Amazon, some tourist memorabilia on auction at eBay, and pointers to Flickr postings of great sites to visit.

Squidoo attracts traffic from across the Web—people find a lens they are interested in, and it leads them to another lens, or to a product or a service they didn’t know about. The person coming to a lens is exploring—looking for new ideas and solutions—which is exactly where you want to be.

Squidoo pages form a social database—a human index of the best stuff on a given topic.


How Revenue is generated?

Every lens earns a royalty for a charity or its creator. The royalties come from a share of the ads that run on the site, as well as from directly earned affiliate revenue. An example? If a movie lover builds a site that refers to Netflix, and Netflix records a new member as a result, the person who built the site—the lensmaster—earns as much as $10. Build enough lenses and drive enough traffic, and it can add up.


How is it different from other Social Media?

The biggest difference between Squidoo and the other social services is that Squidoo adds value by juxtaposing ideas so they coalesce into useful meaning. A Flickr picture becomes popular because it’s clever or funny. A blog posting gains an audience when other bloggers decide it’s useful enough to refer to on their blogs. But a Squidoo lens works when it presents important information as part of a whole—when it’s a piece of the big picture of meaning.


A few ideas on Lenses…

A more sophisticated example: a lens presenting links to six technical articles on data security and cryptology, written by senior IBM researchers. Those articles have been on IBM’s Web site all along, but only by presenting them together, along with a narrative that makes it all clear, can the lensmaster offer a page that’s worth looking at.

Here are a few example of using Squidoo to give your fans a megaphone:

  1. A software developer builds a lens on the Project he is working on. Shares an RSS feed of the links that he refers for the project. A poll on the architecture of the project design. A discussion on the technology he is using. The developer gets to showcase his skills, meet fellow developers working on similar project or technology. The lens becomes his CV.
  2. A company asks every employee to build a lens about the business or about a favorite product the company offers. The lens would include new ways to look at the item, or dream about it, or use it. The lens could point to blogs or news clips or photos.

The best way to know the power of Squidoo, realize what it has to offer and yes earn extra bucks is to of course, use it. Get on with you exploration project on Squidoo by clicking on the logo. 


You are welcome to share your thoughts on this series and share any other platform that could add some muscle to the alternate source of income.

siddharth joshi A thinking soul

Writing to clear my mind...

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