“ A recent ‘Babbage’ column in The Economist writes about the phenomenon of ‘unsourcing’.
"Some of the biggest brands in software, consumer electronics and telecoms have now found a workforce offering expert advice at a fraction of the price of even the cheapest developing nation…it is their customers themselves…."Unsourcing" as the new trend has been dubbed, involves companies setting up online communities to enable peer-to-peer support among users. Instead of speaking with a faceless person thousands of miles away, customers’ problems are answered by individuals in the same country who have bought and used the same products. This happens either on the company’s own website or on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and the helpers are generally not paid anything for their efforts. As might be imagined, the savings can be considerable. Gartner, the research company, estimates that using communities to solve support issues can reduce costs by up to 50%.”…."
Link to full openDemocracy article by Aaron Peters writing on "unsourcing" article in The Economist