A Guide To Fansourcing Part 2: Why Fansource?

A quick note – since last week's "Definition" column I found the term Fansourcing is also being used when media producers outsource things to their fans.  So I'm going to slightly tweak the way I'm using it, and refer to Fansourcing as "outsourcing things to fans" and the subset I discuss is when fans outsource to fans.

Hey, it's internet terminology, it's evolving almost as fast as the technology.

So last time I discussed what Fansourcing was, and I just clarified it for the upcoming discussion.

So now, why outsource fan to fan?

For the "outsourcer:"

  • You're able to get talent that you can rely on – because you got it from people and groups you know.
  • You're able to get specific talent because you know exactly what you're looking for and where it came from.
  • You're able to further build your fan/geeky/social relations.
  • You're able to help out the members of your community.
  • You'll get a better idea of people's economic situations – this is useful because beleive me, when you start working with people to use their talents, you will learn a lot.

As a person who's "fansourced" a lot these benefits are exceptional.  I got great work done, was able to help people out, and had my work done by people who really "got" what I was doing.

And for the "outsourced-too":

  • They may get paid in some format (quick hint: always offer compensation of some kind, it's both disrespectful and unethical not to do so).
  • They get to gain, practice, or even improve existing skills.
  • They get to use you as a reference – anyone fansourcing things should offer to be a reference off the bad.  This should be both the usual job reference or a LinkedIn reference.
  • They get to use works you do in a portfolio or in a job search.

When I've fansourced, it's definitely paid off for the person who did the work.  They got compensation, a reference, and in at least one or two cases I know of, the reference led to contracts.  I also helped promote them by naming them in my works.

Fansourcing is a way to do good and get good work, so I'm obviously quite fond of it, and want to keep promoting the idea – at least in my limited sphere, of course.

So next up, when do it?  Yep, it's not always something you resort to . . .

Steven Savage