Three's a crowd

Many new products and services which rely on harnessing the power of the crowd are being developed and launched.  Here's a summary of three particularly interesting developments, as reported by is a tool that relies on ‘the crowd' to help businesses with their intellectual property research. Entrepreneurs can input information about their projects and users of the site can provide information or academic research about any similar products.  Those assisting may be rewarded with points or cash if their input is considered to be the most valuable.  Future planned developments for the service include the option to keep project ideas confidential by engaging only the most skilled research group on the site.Meanwhile, in Spain, Spotfav has combined webcam technology with crowdsourcing to provide a ‘realtime' weather reporting service.  Users can create a ‘spot' for a destination and once a profile has been created, ‘fans' can post weather reports - provided they are actually at the physical location.  The crowd can also nominate a site where they believe a webcam should be located.Finally, in Portugal, is providing ‘online farmers' with an opportunity to control farming activity on a plot of land via the web.  The site uses gaming interfaces to help remote users plan their planting activities and provides technical advice for those with no farming experience.  Users also receive samples of their own produce.