Crowdsourcing is often thought of as a numbers game: the more brains you can get on any particular problem, the more cooks that you can get in the kitchen, the more relevant or creative the solution. However, like Steve Lohr noted in his New York Times article, “research suggests that open-innovation models succeed only when carefully designed for a particular task and … the most effective collaborators.” Sometimes, certain problems or companies require the particular cooperation of their employees or subscribers as the most effective collaborators. These folks, of course, all have a very common tag that the Ideascale team uses to sift them from the rest of the crowd: their email domain.
Ideascale provides an offering to clients in which crowdsourced information can come from a particular community without having to approve every single new user. Ideascale users can restrict those who participate in the conversation to those from a specific email domain. So, for example, if all employees have a specific @company.com email address, only users who sign on with that email address pattern will be granted automatic access to the Ideascale community.
Of course, Bastien Gallay notes that some level of openness is a part of any crowdsourced endeavor (in its very DNA). But that level of openness can, of course, be defined by the project executors. Fortunately, Ideascale has a number of different ways to sift the crowd, other features include the IP based restrictions or the single-sign on link which can be connected exclusively and directly to a company’s intranet.
What sorts of projects or questions do you limit to your employees? What conversations are best served by a closed community? And “what other innovations does Ideascale have in store?” you might ask. Just wait and see.