It seems like new crowdsourcing platforms pop up daily nowadays, so it's not surprising that many of them fall to the wayside when compared to previously-established systems.
Alegion should not be ignored in such a way. Built to integrate with Amazon Mechanical Turk, the up-and-coming platform is exclusively geared towards business and enterprise use. Given the relatively new nature of crowdsourcing as a source of labor, I would not feel safe recommending this platform unless it had a number of features that would set it apart from the hit-or-miss systems to which we unfortunately have become accustomed. Luckily, Alegion has several aspects that make my prognosis for its future in the business world very bright.
A Solid Cloud + Systematic Approach Makes All The Difference
For starters, Alegion builds off the already-popular Amazon Mechanical Turk for its labor force instead of attempting to acquire its own. We've seen other systems take advantage of this concept in recent months, most notably AutoMan and Ziptask. This is a move that I encourage any new platform to consider; one of the base ideas of crowdsourcing is that you should attempt not to build your own crowd, but to instead find where your ideal crowd is already gathered. Turk is a great place to find labor, and Alegion's addition to its already-established foundation shows great potential to improve the platform's workflow.
One of the best ways that Alegion improves on Turk is by integrating features that seem like they should be a part of the system by default. Built-in "gold standard" questions are an especially welcome change, and help to ensure quality by comparing a worker's answers to those that are already known to be correct. If they match up, the worker is deemed more reliable; if not, their answers are given less weight. Also useful are the detailed analytics that Alegion provides as part of its service; with these, clients can easily see which workers are going above and beyond, and which aren't pulling their weight.
Speaking of which, Alegion also strives to treat the workers as, well, workers, instead of human-shaped computing machines. It allows the companies who enlist Alegion's services to communicate with the workers on a one-on-one basis, offering them praise or tips for improvement, extra tasks to achieve for bonuses, or even the opportunity to be personally hired by the company rather than work through the Alegion middleman.
Alegion promises additional standard features that should come as no surprise to previous users of cloud labor systems. While it doesn't provide too much detail about the specifics of its features, I can personally tell you what to expect based on previous experience. Platforms like this are at their best when they require a minimum of substantial interactions from the clients, instead letting the strength of the system carry out the majority of the work. The nature of such a system will also allow for massive scalability; ideally, it should be as easy to complete five hours' worth of work as it is to complete five minutes'.
Great For Overworked & Understaffed
In my experience with platforms such as this, their potential to succeed or fail depends entirely on whether they are able to wrangle a sustainably large client base and reach the ever-so-important "tipping point" where the number of available workers and the number of available jobs are approximately equal. It's a chicken & egg scenario. To this end, I encourage any companies who find themselves overworked and understaffed to give this platform a shot. Inexpensive labor and a robust system, combined with your new status as a trendsetter and supporter of new technology? It's hard to dislike that.