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To obtain services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large number of people.

Crowdsourcing may be volunteer-based, or it may offer money to the person whose idea or content is chosen.

Crowdsourcing is sometimes presented as a contest; in this case the opportunity to have one's contribution chosen or used is presented as a privilege (and thus no payment is offered).

When crowdsourcing offers payment to the creator(s) whose work is chosen, it may be seen as a form of speculative work.

Some people consider crowdfunding to be a type of crowdsourcing. However, it is more typical to use the words non-interchangeably (one for a request for material contributions, the other for a request for funds).

Also see: crowdfunding, speculative work.