Social Web Apps Design
Online Community Development

Unleashing Crowd Power, Part 3

by Michal Hudecek on February 15, 2012

Part three of a five part guest posts series, “Unleashing Crowd Power”, by Michal Hudecek.

The Motivation Wheel

In the series, we have already covered general web directing principles and specifics for crowdsourcing projects. In this part, you will find out more about motivation forces that drive people in crowdsourcing projects.

The Motivation Wheel concept is based on web directing philosophy that puts the feelings and thoughts of visitors above everything else. The question is therefore, what should users think and feel in order to contribute to a crowdsourcing project? Why do people spend their free time working on something?

Image of an ideal job

Motivation Wheel concept works on an assumption that people share a common ideal of a perfect job that would fulfill all five following factors. It treats a crowdsourcing project as any other job position.

1) Pride

People want to be proud of themselves. They want to know they are doing a great job, that they are experts in their fields whatever that might be. Although the external appreciation is an important part of it, inner satisfaction must not be neglected.

2) Fun

Being good at something might not be enough. I might be really good at creating PowerPoint presentations but if it is not fun for me I do not want to be a professional PowerPoint designer.

3) Impact

Even the most boring tasks can become exciting if you are a part of a project with a strong positive impact. Even if creating presentations is boring for you, what if you were designing one that could save a lot of lives or change the way people communicate?

4) Relationships

Two types of relationships can be distinguished in a crowdsourcing project as well as in a work place.
The first one is with the authority that assigns tasks, boss or more generally organization itself. The manager employees admire may be why they do the most boring job without any complaints. Similarly, if users already have a good relationship with your organization they might be willing to participate in a crowdsourcing project just to help you out of the “friendship”.

The second bond can be established with the co-workers. The colleagues can be the reason why employees stay at a job they do not like. Analogically, lack of like-minded people in their daily job might encourage them to join online communities in their free time.

5) Money

Financial incentive is an obvious motivational factor. Used wisely, it can be a very strong tool. Who would not want to earn some extra cash? However, it can easily withdraw attention from other ones and alter users behavior in favor of the quickest possible way to earn money.

Visualizing the motivation factors

Because some of these factors are usually not fulfilled at a day to day occupation of many people, they tend to look for a substitute. And crowdsourcing is one of the alternatives.
Motivation Wheel visualizes these factors and shows their representation in a particular crowdsourcing project using a polar area diagram. Each sector represents one motivation factor. The more colored it is, the higher the motivation. The figure below depicts an ideal job/crowdsourcing project where all the motivation factors are fully met.

The next article in the series will show Motivation wheels for various famous crowdsourcing project.

About Michal Hudecek

Managing director of Maintop Businesses, a Czech company focused on discovering and developing new innovative online businesses. Author of Web Directing Framework and Motivation Wheel Concept. He occasionally comments on user experience and crowdsourcing both in local and international TV and press. You can follow him on Twitter @michalhudecek

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