Have a Problem? Let GuruStorms Find the Answer

March 12, 2010

3:44 pm

These days it seems that an important part of the web landscape is crowdsourcing.  Most of us crowdsource simply using your own social networks on Twitter and Facebook to pose a question or issue to “your crowd” and seeing how your network of contacts can help you out.  On the flip side, there are also professional sites like Genius Rocket that can help you use crowdsourcing to find a creative design for a personal or professional project.

GuruStorms exands the crowdsourcing concept by helping you answer complex, difficult questions that require specific knowledge and expertise.  We all have those times where we have a problem but just cannot seem to turn the corner on the solution.  Why not turn to an expert ?

Here is the premise of GuruStorms:  The site maintains a stable of subject matter experts in a variety of fields who answer your questions and help you solve your problems.  All you have to do is submit your issue/problem. Among the gurus listed on the website are experts in technology, the environment, geology, literature, marketing, social media, startups, e-commerce, and other topics.

The GuruStorms website explains how it works:

“Any registered user can set up a brainstorm with a question, a description, an optional URL for more information, and a reward ranging from $500 to $5,000 dollars. This reward is what drives GuruStorms: it’s the financial incentive that motivates our Gurus to offer their best ideas.”

Once the “brainstorm” is live, an e-mail alert goes out to the select Gurus. They will then come to the site to suggest great ideas and to try and earn a share of that reward. The system encourages early responders by setting aside 30% of the reward to the first 10 Gurus who post answers. (They each get 3% of the total reward). After 30 days, the questioner must close the “brainstorm” and select the top three ideas.

The guru who submitted the best idea receives 40% of the remaining reward money. The guru with the second-place idea gets 20%, and the guru with the third top idea gets 10%.

Depending on the subject matter, using GuruStorms may end up being less costly than hiring a consultant (though there is also an additional $295 listing fee and processing surcharge of 10% of the final award).

GuruStorms has been selected to participate in the TECH cocktail SXSW: Blackout Sunday event, presented by Microsoft BizSpark and Volusion.

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Jimmy Gardner is a Senior Unix/Windows Engineer, a lover of technology and photography. Follow him online at @jjgardner3 and enjoy his portfolio at jjg3photo.com/.

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