Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Technical innovation over the past few decades has been staggering. How people communicate is being transformed every few years by changes in computing, mobile devices and digital media.Most of these innovations seem to have been sparked by individuals or small groups. HP, Apple and Facebook are often cited, but even within large organizations and the military, it’s often the process of one person or a small team focusing on solving a particular problem that results in something revolutionary.But a new strategy for innovation is taking shape. Companies ranging from digital media firms to consumer-packaged-goods concerns are using crowdsourcing to rapidly drive innovation, improve products and increase customer satisfaction. Using the crowdsourcing model, companies might break big-data projects into micro tasks that are then farmed out to the “crowd.” Related: Need a New Design? 5 Reasons to Crowdsource It.While this may seem like a relatively new phenomenon, the idea of harnessing the power of the collective and the wisdom of crowds is extremely old. Science and academia have long relied on individuals making incremental additions to research, enabling the greater community to have access to an ever-growing knowledge base that can drive innovation. More recently, the development of open source software has proliferated, with many individuals making small contributions to a large project from which innovations arise that benefit the community.Companies have used crowdsourcing in these ways: To create Black Crown, a new beer, Anheuser-Busch surveyed 25,000 consumers for feedback on 12 possible flavors developed at regional breweries and produced the top three varieties for limited distribution.Through its open innovation project, Unilever invites consumers to contribute ideas for improving products or fashioning new ones. The company also publishes a list of challenges it wants help in solving.Poptent, a digital media company, uses crowdsourcing to provide clients with access to a community of more than 50,000 video creators. Related: Artfully Managing the Work of Your Creative Team — But From a DistanceAt my company, Dell Boomi, crowdsourcing is integral to the development strategy for the cloud-based application integration platform offered. By collecting data related to a subscriber’s integration activity (without accessing or viewing any data from the customer’s business processes), my team can gain deep insight into issues that cause problems and then use the aggregated and analyzed information to make improvements. (Customers can opt out from participating.)The idea is that my company looks at a large number of user experiences and strategically decides which issues should be resolved first to benefit the greatest number of community members. This process of automatically and dynamically collecting information requires no effort from users but provides them with value. With this form of crowdsourcing, the greater the number of users and the longer they use the system, the greater the insight that can be gained.Related: Market Research Has Lost Its Mojo. But Here’s How It Can Get It Back.Some companies may not understand how to take advantage of crowdsourcing. But the ability to collect and analyze huge amounts of data from customers and employees — whether directly or via statistics and software — creates a vast strategic opportunity to experiment with ways to mine small, individual ideas to drive major innovation, problem solving, efficiency and cost savings. While careless use of information can increase the risks associated with data protection and the company’s reputation, a well-designed crowdsourcing program need not compromise an organization or violate regulations.Do the same as for any IT or marketing initiative: Get a detailed plan in writing and get a buy-in from all information and data stakeholders, including the legal department. A mature IT solution will provide flexibility and proper controls for customers and other organizations for any data used for crowdsourcing scenarios.Every business invests in the “crowd” in some way. Crowdsourcing is an opportunity to accelerate the return on that investment. The particular beauty of crowdsourcing is that the longer a company does it, the more data collected. And the more data gathered, the greater the potential benefit to the organization.Here are some tips about how companies can use crowdsourcing for innovation: Related: Inventing Made Easy: Go Straight to the (Crowd)Source1. Be prepared for the deluge of data. Depending on the company’s use case, the organization may suddenly be collecting huge volumes of data. Is the IT department prepared?2. Have an analytics solution in place. Benefiting from all the collected information will likely require some form of analytics. Ensure that the analytics solution is up to the task.3. Consider integrating multiple data sources. Determine whether it’s necessary to integrate data from multiple sources (such as from the crowd and a customer-relationship management system), and select an integration solution with swift processing. A data integration project that takes months to complete may doom a crowdsourcing strategy before it starts.4. Address security and compliance issues. Short-circuit any objections to the strategy by anticipating the needs of the data security, legal and compliance teams.5. Make it about the customers. When asking customers or partners to participate in a crowdsourcing project, be clear about how they will benefit. Allow consumers to opt out, but be clear in explaining the benefits they will miss out on by not contributing. Related: Disrupting the Disruption Myth Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 5 min read August 12, 2014
By Monaim EL AzzouziRabat – More than 6000 Moroccan teachers are staging a hunger strike to protest against their exclusion from their legitimate right of promotion and to demand integration in the suitable grades based on their M.A and B.A degrees. The teachers’ feeling of oppression and exclusion stems from the fact that the Moroccan government promoted all teachers who hold M.A and B.A degrees and excluded, without any convincing excuse, the groups of 2012 and 2013 who hold the same degrees. The hunger strike represents an escalation of strike after teachers left schools and took to the streets in daily on-going protests and sits-in, leaving hundreds of thousands of students out of school for more than 40 days. In their statements on Facebook, some teacher stated that they would hang themselves to death if the government continues to deprive them of their legitimate rights and turn a deaf ear to their demands.The Moroccan government continues to use aggressive and unconstitutional police tactics to intimidate teachers from demanding their rights. The Moroccan public forces have sent tens of teachers to hospital and arrested nearly 40 of them in their different violent and brutal attacks starting from the beginning of the strike on November 19th. Instead of engaging in a serious dialogue, the ministry of education declared that it started replacing the teachers on strike and would lay them off if they did not go back to their classrooms.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
HALIFAX — A third well exploration effort off Nova Scotia has failed to find commercially viable levels of oil in the deep waters of the Scotian Shelf.Hess Corp., the drilling partners on the BP-operated Scotian Basin Exploration Drilling Project, issued a news release Tuesday saying it will write off its share of the well cost, and BP will abandon the Aspy well.It is BP’s only well currently being drilled in the deep waters of the Scotian Shelf, an area about 330 kilometres from Halifax where the company holds multiple licences in waters over two kilometres deep.Environmental, fishing and Aboriginal groups have repeatedly criticized the various drilling programs as lacking sufficient response systems for potential blowouts, and their criticisms of the BP project heightened in June after a spill of 136 cubic metres of synthetic drilling mud from BP Canada’s West Aquarius drilling unit.Last year, Shell announced it would seal the second of two exploration wells off Nova Scotia after they also didn’t find commercial quantities of oil.Promoters had hoped deep water plays like the efforts by BP and Shell would help rekindle the industry off Nova Scotia, as the Sable Offshore Energy Project winds down in the shallower basins. The Canadian Press
While Buehrle retired following the 2015 season after three years with the Blue Jays and one with the Marlins, his No. 56 was retired in June 2017, going down in White Sox history as one of the best pitchers the franchise has seen.Oh, and by the way, Buehrle pitched a perfect game in 2009, following up his 2007 no-hitter.It must be nice to be remembered for something, right? With Opening Day 2020 delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Sporting News staffers look back at their most memorable Opening Days from the past.Anything can happen on Opening Day. That’s the beauty of baseball — Game 1 can matter as much as Game 162. The divisional series you play the first week in April can come back to haunt you in division races. March 26 means as much as Sept. 27.MORE: Rob Manfred hopes baseball can resume before JuneTruth be told, I hadn’t attended an Opening Day until 2019, when I was covering for SN. Believe it: There is some kind of aura and mystique about Opening Day that just isn’t there in other sports. There’s an optimism, a hope, that every fanbase has, even if the overall outlook is bleak.Well, aside from waxing poetic about being at Opening Day, there are still plenty of opportunities to catch something special on TV. Case in point: White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle on April 5, 2010.It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since the lefty made this play (almost as hard as it is to remember how to spell his last name on a consistent basis), but it’s something that’s burned into my brain. The play held up for the entire 2010 season, ending up as the play of the year in many people’s eyes.Sometimes baseball is just dumb luck, right? Even on their best swing, batters can’t control exactly where the ball lands. Pitchers aren’t always going to make that perfect pitch, even if they have the most precise release point.Maybe that’s why this play is so iconic: It had a little bit of everything. The blind flick between the legs by Buehrle and the sneaky-good bare-handed snag by Paul Konerko. A dash of that dumb luck with legitimately good fielding.Let’s remember, Buehrle was no slouch at fielding his position. At the time he made this play, he was coming off his first Gold Glove season on the mound, and he would win three more consecutively after that.MORE: 15 things we miss most about baseballBut aside from being great at fielding his position, Buehrle was a better pitcher than many remember. He was the definition of dependable and consistent, especially during a time when the AL Central was typically a three-team race among the White Sox, Tigers and Twins, with the Indians having a few decent teams in there as well. Buehrle was also a member of the 2005 world champion White Sox, one of the most forgotten, great teams over the past two decades. He was worth 52.3 fWAR/60 bWAR in his career, so he was a very productive, good pitcher and definitely better than many probably realize.Buehrle was a workhorse, too: He pitched more than 200 innings in every season except his rookie year (51 1/3 innings) and his last (198 2/3 innings). While some of his career advanced numbers are decent (4.11 FIP and a 117 ERA+), Buehrle was never the type of pitcher who would be a favorite for the Cy Young, but he was always the guy you’d trust as a No. 2. He finished top 5 in Cy Young voting one time.