Book: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crowdsourcing


Available Today!

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crowdsourcing is a basic primer for anyone interested in understanding:

the concepts,

the processes, and

the techniques of crowdsourcing.

Learn how to “tap the crowd” online to get work done, get input and get people to take action!

Get The Book.


Thank You for the #CrowdsourcingBook Tour Memories

I have so many people to thank for making my #CrowdsourcingBook Tour memorable – and possible. I don’t know where to begin.

illustration by my 5-year-old daughter

I thought I’d try to list everyone who I wanted to thank here on this blog, give public kudos to those people who did big things, small things and in between things to really make my two weeks on the road spectacular. So here goes…

Wine Sisterhood including Mary Ann Vangrin, Natalie Wassum and Terry Wheatley for support ranging from monetary to purchasing copies of my books to be handed out as gifts at events to providing wine for some of the book parties and hospitality in Napa.

uTest for monetary support and swag – great pens and cute little blue squeeze balls.

Aparna Vashsisht for dinner and letting me crash at her pad even as she was getting ready for a big trip.

The Daily Crowdsource and David Bratvold for helping co-host my San Diego book party and get the word out about my book.

Anita Cohen-Williams at MySearchGuru for co-hosting my San Diego book party, securing a cool venue, and receiving a ton of boxes of materials for my book tour. Thank you!

Eddie at VisionPulse for not just a cool venue in San Diego but for loading up the karaoke.

Lindsay Maines for letting me be a part of her first Women Create Media event and give away copies of my book at the last minute.

Danielle Smith, co-author of my next book – Mom, Incorporated – for being such an amazing person to work with and for helping me figure out how to fix a video snafu.

Scott Monty for the Ford Flex to drive from San Diego to LA.

Marla Schulman for her hospitality and help during my LA stay and helping with the LA event. And for the road trip!

Natalie Petouhoff and Social Media Club LA for hosting my LA party event. And thanks to the Microsoft Store Century City for a nifty location.

Lukas Biewald, Mollie Allick, Annie Leroux and the crew at CrowdFlower for the incredible space for a party and all the support leading up to the San Francisco event.

My good friends Elizabeth and Jon for letting me stay at their zen apartment while in the Bay Area.

The guys at VinTank including Paul Mabray, Clay Wallin and Evan Cover for hosting the swanky Napa book party.

My team including Sophie Shafter, Jenna Farelyn, Chelsea Duran, Angeles, Leslie, et. al. who worked behind the scenes to help this whole thing happen.

I know I’m forgetting a ton of people so please call me out on it, but also know, I do thank you from the bottom of my heart. I could not have done any of this without you.

This will be a living and breathing list as I continue to remember people and add to it…

Who do you have to thank today? Have you done it yet? 

Napa: #Crowdsourcing Book Event #4

My last #CrowdsourcingBook Tour event took place August 11 in Napa, co-hosted by VinTank and Wine Sisterhood. It was a great way to end my trip up the coast, connecting with colleagues, meeting new people, and getting another chance to talk about crowdsourcing principles and processes.

Here are a few photos from the event. (Note: the blurriness of photos has nothing to do with the wine!)

Thanks again to Wine Sisterhood for the wines and uTest for tour support and swag!

The Daily Crowdsource Interview with Aliza Sherman on Crowdsourcing

David Bratvold, founder of The Daily Crowdsource, interviewed Aliza Sherman about crowdsourcing during her #CrowdsourcingBook Tour.

Read more about crowdsourcing at The Daily Crowdsource.

Book Tour sponsored by The Daily Crowdsource, uTestWine Sisterhood, CrowdFlower, VinTank, MySearchGuru, and Social Media Club LA.

Scenes from LA: #Crowdsourcing Book Event #2

I was graciously hosted by Social Media Club LA at the Microsoft Store in Century City. SMCLA President Natalie Petouhoff interviewed me and went into the audience Oprah-style for additional Q&A on crowdsourcing. Here are a few photos from the event.

photo by Karen Woodward

Photo by Karen Woodward

Photo by SMCLA

Photo by SMCLA

Photo by Karen Woodward

Next stop…San Francisco with CrowdFlower!

The #Kindness Tour and the Power of Smile

You probably know I’m very vocal, and I not only speak my mind but often I blog it, Tweet it, Facebook it, and now Google+ it. The other day, I was struck by the kindness of others, and I thought “Wow, I had a good day.” But frankly, the kindness hasn’t stopped.

I departed on my #Crowdsourcingbook Tour in complete OPEN mode. I have been soul searching for my purpose, my direction, how I should be spending my time and energy. I’m not a religious person, but a woman I admire recently asked if she could pray for me (I think so God would help me find my way). I wasn’t put off by that at all but comforted by her gesture and her willingness to spend her precious moments of prayer on my behalf.

In the last few days, there have snafus and mixups and all the usual bumps of life and work, but there have been equal amounts of #kindness and people going above and beyond the call of duty, seizing opportunities to be kind.

The latest series of events that I want to note have to do with Customer Service. As a consumer, I don’t think I’ve ever correlated Customer Service with Kindness. Respect, yes, but kindness? Yet since I’ve been at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina at the Convention Center, I’ve been struck by the kindness of their staff. Now I’ve stayed at many Mariott hotels and my stays have been fine, but I find my experiences here to be extraordinary.

It’s all about the little things – and sometimes the big ones. I wrote about this here: How Brands Can be Heroes…Or Not about a series of opportunities a hotel in Florida didn’t take to make my stay memorable. I summarized simple ways brands can excel with customers this way:

5 Tenets of Good Customer Service

1. Listen. Keep your real ears open and your figurative ears open, too, by monitoring the social mediasphere for mentions of your brand (at a minimum).

2. Respond. If you hear something warranting a comment or answer, be there with a thoughtful comment or answer.

3. Engage. Don’t broadcast – stimulate and encourage multi-directional conversations.

4. Acknowledge. Give kudos, honor and celebrate others doing good things including customers saying nice things.

5. Serve. Provide heartfelt, deeply respectful customer service and put the customer first.

Here are just a few things Marriott staff did since I’ve been here:

  • I ordered room service the first morning and coffee with cream. When I went to pour cream into my coffee, I realized the little pitcher of cream was empty. I called room service and was going to ask for cream but then decided it was too late, and I had to be on my way. “Are you leaving now? We’ll meet you at the elevator,” the person on the other end of the phone said.And sure enough, when I got downstairs, there was a vente Starbucks with cream waiting for me. They didn’t have to do that. But they did.
  • The day before I was scheduled to leave, I received an express checkout notice and realized that somehow, my reservation was booked with me departing a day before the conference I was attending ended. Panicked, I went downstairs to the front desk to explain my situation.”Let’s take care of that,” the woman behind the front desk said with a smile. No admonishments, no questioning me on how it happened. She heard “problem,” and simply said “solution.”

The rest of my encounters with the Marriott staff in San Diego fell into the category of complete and utter willingness to be at service. And I know that is no small feat, especially with droves of guests with a myriad of demands and expectations.

More than anything, each time I approached a staff member, I was greeted with a smile. That simple gesture is like kindness in a bottle. Even when I was feeling a little stressed or panicked, I was disarmed by smiles. Never underestimate the power of a smile.

What have been your recent encounters with kindness in customer service?

Images from San Diego #Crowdsourcing Book Party

Had a blast at my first book party in San Diego hosted by The Daily Crowdsource and MySearchGuru. While I didn’t do a reading (who wants to hear a reading of a “How To” book?), the evening turned into a Karaoke party (all my fault). But what could be better?


and at the end of the night, the Karaoke singers and fans took a last photo…

Thank you Wine Sisterhood for the delicious wine enjoyed by all and the complimentary books which we gave away as gifts to attendees. And thank you to uTest for the swag (great pens!) and the support.