This is a guest post from Dmitry Davydov.

Have you ever heard of crowdsourcing? Well, it’s not just a buzz word any more. It’s a working concept that allows online businesses save time and money, while tens of thousands crowdsourcers make a living working from home. If you think of masses, mobs and crowds as something dumb, scary and unruly, think again. Here is a list of seven companies that chose crowdsourcing as their business model and thrive. Join the crowd!

PickyDomains.com

It all starts with a name and finding a great domain name nowadays can be really tough. This is where PickyDomains comes in handy – you deposit $50 and specify what you want (desired length, extension, keywords). A virtual army of 44,000+ name spinners starts working on your order right away. When you find that name, a person who made the winning suggestion gets 40 to 60% of the fee. And if you don’t like anything … – you get your money BACK. No risk involved. PickyDomains also does names and slogans.

99Designs.Com

Pretty comes next and 99Designs does pretty best or at least very inexpensively. 99Designs does everything from logos to buttons to actual web design. The required minimum for most project is $150 and 40,000 designers from all over the world are ready to fight over your project. Sorry “we charge by the hour” digital artists – you lose.

iStockPhoto.com

iStockPhoto deals in stock photographs, video footage and audio clips. It’s probably not what regular website owner is going to deal with, but if you work with media a lot, this crowdsourcing resource sure comes in handy. My only complaint is their strange “credit” system rather than dealing in dollars directly.

Microworkers.com

This is a unique crowdsourcing resource that deals primarily with microjobs. What’s a microjob? Say, you posted a YouTube video. You can pay 10 cents to each person who upvotes it and Microworkers will be happy to provide you with such individuals. Yes, this is where moral dilemmas come in, but for things like voting, leaving comments, adding your site to social bookmarks, becoming a Facebook friend or Twitter follower on a budget this service is great. Hey, it’s not as bad as hiring fake paparazzi to follow you around, pretending you are a celebrity.

RedesignMe.com

Unhappy with your existing project? Hire RedesignMe wonks to tear it all apart and put it back together. This site also offers other services, like market research, knowledge management, creative consulting and so on. Essentially, you are asking people to become co-creators of your product or service. And oftentimes best ideas come from outsiders.

Poptent.Net

This service is of interest to anyone who wants professional ads without ad agency rates. Poptent pitches itself as the best social network for commercial videographers, directors, actors and animators, what really matters that for $5,000-$10,000 you can get an ad spot that would be as good as anything done on Madison Avenue.

LiveOps.com

LiveOps is a call center, except it’s not. Instead of 500 people stuck in cubicles in a single building somewhere, LiveOps lets you hire individual workers to essentially do the same work – either to call or receive calls. Combined with a screening process, and a flexibility to work when they want, folks who signup to field calls from businesses can earn competitive rates. This flexibility can be passed onto customers, who in turn see fluctuations in calls being handled more efficiently.

This is a guest post by Dmitry Davydov, the founder of PickyDomains.com. He has helped to name over 1500 online businesses since 2007. Visit their Facebook page. Dmitry can be reached at support@pickydomains.com.

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