From symbolic recompense to concrete remuneration

As the preceding concept map of motivations shows, crowdsourcing projects are necessarily carried out for the mutual benefit of the institution and the Internet user. In addition to the intrinsic movements, the rewards can range from symbolic rewards (ranking, grades, medals) to very real rewards, from gifts even to remuneration. As such, volunteers with the Foldit project were publicly thanked in an article in the celebrated academic journal Natural Structural & Molecular Biology (vol. 18, 2011) for having made the discovery of a very important enzyme’s structure possible. Other volunteers with other projects were mentioned in newsletters and invited to talk about their work at conferences, and they were rewarded training courses, subscriptions, books, t-shirts, MP3 players, gift certificates, tours or trips.

Communication for recruiting contributors

Cultural institutions benefit from a good public image and seem worthy of trust and to serve public interests. As a result, they have solid advantages for recruiting volunteers. Among the communication means used for crowdsourcing projects, we could mention campaigns in the associative, local, national and trade press, the publication of articles and posters, the distribution of leaflets, putting up stickers and posters particularly for conferences and symposia, the organization of public meetings or specific events, and radio and television presence, but also the production of videos, the use of social networks, forums, mailing lists, direct mail campaigns, institutional websites, and, finally, the purchase of specific words in the Google Adwords campaign.

A crowdsourcing site must always have a homepage that describes the project simply and clearly explains its end goal and progress, and immediately invites volunteer participation by showing them how their participation will be useful and how they will be guided and recognized [MCK 15].

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