Crowdsourcing is something that people fundamentally understand when it comes to things like getting something designed…but few people really get how procurement organizations can use it with some of their business processes. I decided I needed a little more firsthand knowledge, so I “applied for a job” as a “crowdsourcer.” And wouldn’t you know, as soon as my application for the job was accepted, I was almost immediately laid off. They had filled the position before I could even start the work! Imagine my surprise a week later when I got an email that the position had opened up again. I quickly accepted and then received some very very lengthy emails, essentially requiring me to sign my life away in order to register as an official “crowdsourcer.” I was very impressed to be sent a video that walked me through all the documents I would have to complete for the registration process. I also received a short FAQ sheet, which I was told I had to review before sending any questions to the support desk. What with a few college degrees behind me I figured it was a straightforward process and I would complete it and get on to the testing quickly. Little did I know that the actual registration process was dramatically different than what the video explained. So after three hours on Saturday of Labor Day weekend, and referencing the FAQ many times, I finally broke down and emailed the support team. They made it very clear that any question submitted had to be concise and with screenshots. I carefully constructed my request asking where to find information so I could complete the registration process and begin my testing. My husband was surprised when he returned home from some Saturday afternoon fun, to find that I was still sitting at my computer some two hours later, still trying to simply register. It is now Tuesday and while I have not received a response to my request I did get an email that said there would be a $150 bonus if I completed my testing by end of day Tuesday, today. So while I wish I could’ve told you about the wonderful work I am doing through crowdsourcing, I have yet to make it through the process and start any actual crowdsourcing activity. I think I might go to a new crowdsourcing vendor so I can compare the registration process. Hopefully by next week I can tell you a little bit about the work and the experience at being part of a crowd in the cloud!