pp. Transferring company functions from paid employees to unpaid volunteers, particularly customers on social networks.
Unsourcing reveals that the digital-sharecropping model of low-cost online production has applications beyond media creation and curation. Businesses of all stripes have opportunities to replace paid labor with play labor. Call it functional sharecropping.
—Nicholas Carr, “Workers of the world, level up!,” Rough Type, May 28, 2012
"Unsourcing", as the new trend has been dubbed, involves companies setting up online communities to enable peer-to-peer support among users. Instead of speaking with a faceless person thousands of miles away, customers' problems are answered by individuals in the same country who have bought and used the same products. This happens either on the company's own website or on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and the helpers are generally not paid anything for their efforts.
—“Outsourcing is so last year,” Babbage (The Economist), May 11, 2012
2001 (earliest)
Today, to reduce my operating costs, the only sort of sourcing I am pursuing is unsourcing . If you're not familiar with the term, unsourcing is all about migrating service activity from the IT department to customers, or suppliers, through the use of self-service functionality.
—Colin Beveridge, “Behind closed doors: The magic of unsourcing,” Computer Weekly, September 10, 2001