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    NO!SPEC Debate Heats Up as crowdSPRING Adds Fuel to the Fire at the 2009 SXSW Interactive Festival

    crowdSPRING, the online marketplace for creative services, is gearing up for a brawl that’s brewing in the design community, which will be coming to a head at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) event.

    CHICAGO - 25-Feb-09 GMT-

    crowdSPRING, the online marketplace for creative services, is gearing up for a brawl that’s brewing in the design community, which will be coming to a head at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) event. Like an old western, the two sides will square off on the dusty streets of Austin Texas on Sunday, March 15. At one end, established designers supporting the “no-spec” movement, led by world renowned designer David Carson, will take aim at crowdSPRING, (http://www.crowdspring.com) which is making waves in the design community.

    The argument centers around so-called “spec work,” or completing a design project on the speculation that your work will be chosen and paid for. The NO!SPEC movement has long held sway in the design community but the web has created a new model for community creativity and user generated content that challenges this view. Reminiscent of the plight of professional photographers resisting the winds of iStockPhoto years ago, the design community has now found themselves at the center of a similar debate. This debate will be unleashed at SXSW, where a panel of industry heavyweights will duke it out to determine once and for all whether spec work is evil or inevitable (or both):

    Mike Samson, founder of crowdSPRING
    David Carson, super famous designer
    Jeff Howe, WIRED Magazine editor and crowdsourcing guru
    Jeffrey Kalmikoff, CCO of skinnyCorp/Threadless
    Jeremiah Owyang, Forrester analyst
    

    And, like any debate worth having, both sides make impressive arguments:

    “The AIGA [the professional association for design] believes that doing speculative work seriously compromises the quality of work that clients are entitled to and also violates a tacit, long-standing ethical standard in the communication design profession worldwide.”

    “The crowdSPRING approach to creative services, which leverages the crowdsourcing model, makes geography and title irrelevant and, thereby, throws open the doors of opportunity to a sea of underdogs across the globe.”

    To say that crowdSPRING hasn’t exactly been welcomed with open arms is a healthy understatement. Case in point: the resulting uproar over a recent favorable Forbes article (http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0216/062.html) that took the design community by surprise, to say the least:

    http://www.designers-who-blog.com/index.php/archive/hey-forbes-im-a-snooty-designer/
    
    http://www.davidairey.com/forbes-calls-designers-snooty/
    
    http://www.swiss-miss.com/2009/02/forbes-calls-designers-snooty.html
    

    For more information about the panel, visit http://sxsw.com/interactive/talks/panels?action=show&id=IAP0900690.

    About crowdSPRING

    crowdSPRING is an online marketplace for creative services. For buyers, crowdSPRING is a place to post a creative project, watch the world contribute ideas and choose the one they like. For creatives, crowdSPRING is a global stage for creativity where title and experience don't matter.

    crowdSPRING is a privately held company based in Chicago. For more information, visit www.crowdspring.com.

    Media contact

    • Bethany Sirt
    • crowdSPRING
    • 312.962.7722
    • bethany@crowdspring.com