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03/03/08

Crowdsourcing… The Winner is…

Adam Humphrey, marketing manager at Random House and responsible for this campaign for Crowdsourcing, talks us through the final decision that has been reached late into the night…

So, after over 300 total entries, 12,000 visitors and over 20,000 votes, we have a Coversourcing winner.

Following a hell of a debate, including plenty of accolades, a fair dose of criticism and the odd black-eye, the panel vote has (just! – see below*) chosen Hans van Brooklyn’s ‘Ants’ as the UK’s Crowdsourcing cover.

Hearty congratulations to Hans for a fun, smart, original and intriguing design, which struck a chord with the judges for its strong aesthetic and commercial appeal.

This is not to say Hans had it all of his own way of course.

Serious competition remained in the form of Acejet, Amchu, Yonialter and Vicky Simmons who were all vying for the top spot before Hans ultimately came up trumps. (A special mention too for We Haz A Bizness Plan which I think struck a positive chord with all of us.)

With the final cover now chosen, there’s plenty of time to reflect on what’s been an eye-opening process. As a marketer for Random House, I have a vested interest in effectively communicating the various merits of a range of books, Crowdsourcing being one of tens of titles I am responsible for marketing across the year.

However, Jeff’s book was different – the Coversourcing promotion wasn’t designed with cynical marketing gimmick in mind. With apologies to the Random House employment gods, it’s not often you get the chance to work on books that genuinely appeal on a personal level – but Crowdsourcing did just that. Here was a book written by an editor at WIRED magazine about interesting stuff like Threadless, Netflix and how peer-power is driving the future of business. I loved it. And I figured other people might love it too.

So, in hooking up with apt it felt like it might be interesting to experiment and put the design for the cover as up-for-grabs out in the real world. It would be a cool way of illustrating some of the concepts of the book, we thought. Let’s see what happens, we said. Hell, it might even be fun. And so it proved to be. Sort of.

There were, after all, several downturns along the way. Being greeted with nothing but tumbleweed and the sound of a distant church-bell when I logged onto the site during the first weeks in January was the first. This was followed swiftly by a selection of less-than-pleasant comments from one or two about the quality of submissions and the merits of the process as a whole. Finally, there was the dreaded eligibility question and the, with hindsight, hilarious dispute with our own law-abiding legal department.
However, it’s safe to say that, for me, the upsides far outweighed the down. We’ve seen a fantastic level of creativity, and imaginative, well-thought-out design. We’ve instigated a fair amount of comment and debate, both positive and negative. And, most importantly, I hope we’ve got people interested in the concept of Crowdsourcing, and perhaps looking forward to reading Jeff’s book in August.

* In the spirit of disclosure, a post will follow on how the voting went down at the panel today… as will a post from Jeff as to how the whole coversourcing thing played out compared to other crowdsourcing endeavours… stay tuned!

Posted by Peter Collingridge in Apt Studio work, coversourcing.

Apt’s links for February 29th through March 2nd // Apt’s links for March 12th

  1. # Pingback by thedigitalist.net » links for 2008-03-05 @ 3:39 am, March 5, 2008:

    [...] Times Emit: Crowdsourcing… The Winner is… Coversourcing reaches a conclusion- what an experiment. (tags: crowdsourcing apt) This entry was written by delicious and posted on at 3:39 am and filed under delicious. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

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