A business model or function that relies on a large group of users as third parties for outsourcing certain tasks. The popular use of the internet makes communication and coordination progressively cheap: tasks that would have been impossible to communicate and coordinate before have become extremely easy to set up and coordinate.
Crowdsourcing can add significant value to a product or service, and can also generate valuable connections between the users and the company.
Google builds its index through a crowdsourcing process with users determining the position of the pages in the rank through actions such as linking or clicking.
Twitter achieves most of its value crowdsourcing its users, assuming that there will always be a Twitter user present wherever news stories take place.
Foursquare, a social networking mobile phone site that encourages people to explore their local area, relies on crowdsourcing its users to fill its huge catalog of places.