I was writing some web copy for a client the other day when I accidentally typed “oursourcing” instead of “outsourcing.” Now, being that I don’t exactly type with the fluid grace of a classical pianist, I make typos all the time. But this one caught my eye. It seemed like it should be a word.
I envision it meaning something beyond doing it yourself, but less formal than outsourcing and less chaotic than crowd-sourcing. Along the lines of:
oursourcing (n): collaboration between a small group of individuals inside and outside of an organization to perform a specific task for mutual benefit.
The keys are that the individuals involved come from more than one organization, and that there is mutual benefit in the project. The recent collaboration between me and Cheryl Burgess on the Nifty 50 Top Women on Twitter and Top Men on Twitter posts would be a small example of oursourcing. The Social Media Examiner blog (a collaboration between Mike Stelzner, Mari Smith, Chris Garrett, Denise Wakeman, Cindy King, Casey Hibbard and Jason Falls) is a larger example. The steering committee behind the B2B Twitterer of the Year Awards would be a larger example still.
It could be the way a harried marketing manager with no time to produce a corporate blog could get this done, spreading the work between individuals from other departments and outside the organization. It could, alternatively, be used to create an un-corporate blog; an industry blog co-written by individuals from different but non-competitive firms in the same industry speaking to the same audience.
Or it may be just a typo. What do you think—is there any need for this “word?” Is it a concept that has legs, or only a result of fat fingers?