Describing that we (as systems' owners) can leverage users' capabilities to do something useful unpaid, what's the best word/expression for?

I'm looking for something rather than Crowdsourcing.

  • User-generated content? May 18, 2015 at 16:14
  • Not necessarily content, in fact anything such as labeling images, solving tests, etc.
    – Eilia
    May 18, 2015 at 16:16
  • I'd have thought user base/crowdsourced image labels and "test solutions" fall well within UGC - content means all stuff [information] of value/interest. May 18, 2015 at 16:28
  • You expect this content to be contributed by the community or a community contribution
    – Jim
    May 18, 2015 at 16:46
  • 3
    What don't you like about crowdsourcing? Understanding why you want a different word may help identify the correct word or phrase to recommend.
    – webbcode
    May 18, 2015 at 17:10

4 Answers 4


If your target is something more than just content how about a collaborative environment?

  • It seems appropriate, however how collaboration implies unpaidness? It's an important part for the context.
    – Eilia
    May 19, 2015 at 4:52
  • Do you need to specify that it is unpaid in that phrase? Can you say so later?
    – Paarth
    May 19, 2015 at 13:52
  • In fact users are not aware that they are doing something specific! For example, such as Google reCAPTCHA that takes benefit of users to digitize books.
    – Eilia
    May 19, 2015 at 14:33

The most appropriate answer that I just found is Human-based computation (also Human computation):

Human-based computation (HBC), human-assisted computation,ubiquitous human computing or distributed thinking (by analogy to distributed computing) is a computer science technique in which a machine performs its function by outsourcing certain steps to humans, usually as microwork. This approach uses differences in abilities and alternative costs between humans and computer agents to achieve symbiotic human-computer interaction. (Wikipedia)

And another evidence from Luis von Ahn, a well-known scientist from CMU:

I build systems that combine humans and computers to solve large-scale problems that neither can solve alone. I call this Human Computation, but others sometimes call it Crowdsourcing. Some of my past projects include: CAPTCHA, The ESP Game (acquired by Google), GWAP, and reCAPTCHA (acquired by Google).

Last Edit : Collective Intelligence is another synonym.


Mind meld, group think, 42 heads are better than one, human cloud (or cloud of humanity), hive mind.


It sounds to me you want to foster volunteerism on some kind of social networking platform. So, you might want to call it something like a Internet community service platform.

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