Can Consumers Benefit from Crowd Sourcing?

Jun 10, 2010, 06:00 ET from Groubal

LOS ANGELES, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Data sourcing, crowd sourcing, capturing your information; no matter what you call it, everybody is doing it online. In March Facebook announced more changes to their privacy policies which involve sharing user's information with sites that users have not signed up with. (Read TechCrunch article on Facebook changes) Social networks are impacting business; how it is done and what consumers expect from companies. Consumers have the power and are using it to call out corporations online, demanding them to be more transparent and responsible. So isn't it time to demand that internet companies that are hoarding consumer data to do the same? Executives from groubal say yes it is.

Groubal is a new website that prompts visitors to turn, "Gripes into groubals." A groubal is a corporate complaint formatted in a petition-like post that can be shared with anyone via social networking. Everyone is invited to sign posts. The groubal team reviews groubals on a monthly basis so they can champion issues for reform. They will share their pursuits via the website and plan to leverage powerful strategic buying alliances on behalf of their users. "We want to make it easy for consumers to be heard," says Robert Doner, groubal founder and passionate consumer advocate, "We know there is a lot of frustration out there and we want to help." Doner also notes that as more and more people understand the power of online forums, they are also misusing them, pointing to the New York Times article this month regarding a lawsuit against a young man venting on facebook. "You can get sued for venting online if you are not careful, we are aware of this, we simply encourage groubalers to post the facts, let others weigh in, and let the numbers speak for themselves."

Groubal is getting support and attention from industries leader and experts. Social media strategist, Stephanie Michele from SocialBling says, "Finally a company that understands how to create mutually beneficial relationships online. If I am going to give my data to anyone, it will be groubal because I know as I stand up and be counted, they are actually going to do something with my information that will benefit me."

Groubal launched their website with an announcement that they will be giving away cash prizes each month to the groubal with the most signatures. Go to to learn more.

SOURCE Groubal