Last week I blogged it’s no surprise there are 44 social care comparison sites, because:
- Social care is a significant “industry”
- Social care is a confusing “industry”
- There’s something to be made (be it money, referrals or reputation) from helping people navigate their way through all the complexities of social care
The main question I posed myself was whether social care comparison sites should be led by the visible hand of government or by the invisible hand of the market.
Here’s a fascinating development from Nesta in another growth area: crowdsourcing. They have created CrowdingIn, which supports people to help find the crowdsourcing platform most suited to their financial need.
In the sense of comparison sites, Nesta’s offering is of course only one (compared to the 44 in social care). My point here, though, is this: crowdsourcing has grown exceptionally quickly, with 34 different platforms people can access to crowdsource their funding, such that Nesta’s idea of a comparison site for crowdsourcing sites seems a very reasonable thing to offer.
To me it’s remarkable that so many businesses can exist so quickly on the back of a relatively recent phenomenon to the extent that a site of the second order (first order: crowdsourcing sites; second order: comparison of crowdsourcing sites) needs to exist.
Whether Nesta counts as a visible hand or an invisible hand is a different question altogether. What’s fascinating in the context of crowdsourcing is that the need for the hand exists.
(On crowdsourcing itself, here’s a nice blogpost from Carrie at FutureGov.)