The Wisdom of Community

by Derek Powazek

18 Reader Comments

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  1. Phrases like “Studies show that” should not be used without a citation.  If you’re aware of these studies, why not cite them?  If you don’t, you might just have misremembered, or (for all I know) you could have made it up.

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  2. This really has some great points for community development. For a web 2.0 site to survive, it relies heavily on it’s community.  Granted, I don’t have a social website of my own as I primarily film and post “real estate video”:http://www.realeflix.com, but it was something I was always interested in learning about.  Thanks for the info.

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  3. Has anyone investigated the flip side of WOC? That is, all the stuff we miss because it ends up beyond page 1 of Google results, or below the fold of a list ordered by popularity?
    I’d call this the ‘Blandness of Crowds’: what floats to the top is often what appeals to most people: YouTube videos of cats, Flickr images of sunsets, and so on.
    As a means to get to the most important information, WOC rules. As a means to get the most interesting information, “BOC” obstructs.

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  4. I argue with the idea of it having to be simple. Think of wikipedia.org —  the feedback from the crowd is very complex and yet the system brings about a great collection of high quality content. I don’t think the idea of Wisdom of the Crowd has to be limited to algorithms and voting machines, although that’s a great use!

    Like most things, if it’s well designed and thought out — I’m not just talking about the user interface, but also the ideas and logic behind it — then you’re likely to get great results. Same applies in reverse. Poor design and you’ll get poor results.

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  5. argue with the idea of it having to be simple. Think of wikipedia.org —  the feedback from the crowd is very complex and yet the system brings about a great collection of high quality content. I don’t think the idea of Wisdom of the Crowd has to be limited to algorithms and voting machines, although that’s a great use!

    Like most things, if it’s well designed and thought out — I’m not just talking about the user interface, but also the ideas and logic behind it — then you’re likely to get great results. Same applies in reverse. Poor design and you’ll get poor results.

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  6. Derek, are shopping choices a type of ‘Wisdom of Community’ behaviour?
    I’m interested in Sustainability and the environment so I’m referring in particular to choices which can determine the items a supermarket will stock in the future, for example people shopping selectively for Fair Trade, Organic, local-sourced, or products with less packaging (esp. plastics).

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  7. Thank you very much for the info. As I knew the point is “Community Make Everything Strong” Sorry if I wrong,but that is the fact :-)

    “Rully Nugraha”:http://www.rullynugraha.com

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  8. A good article, but I agree it could do with better citation. I write Elephant Books and would very angry if people used it for source data but didn’t reflect this correctly

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  9. Web 2.0 is all about social networking and strengthening your brand presence over the Internet. And it is very important to appeal to the niche audiences and build a favorable online reputatation.

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  10. social networking sites helps to know about everything with the short period of time. From networking sites we can know the current date new technology.

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  11. Remember the movie defiance? They were able to conquer odds with their ability to stay as community.

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  12. I think WOC does reflect upon our society to some extent. I don’t think that it’s necessarily mirroring the best qualities of society either. I’m inclined to agree with zeptimius @ comment #3 about the ‘Blandness of Crowds’. The parallel for that in real life would be the phenomenon of undiscovered talent, people who are valuable (everyone is valuable) yet their value or talent, despite their effort, remains unrealized & under utilized in society; call it the Susan Boyle effect (prior to her stardom).

    Businesses make advertisements and promotions for things like “restaurant coupons”:http://www.restaurantcouponsrelief.com/ based on the fact that the ‘Crowd’ will never take advantage of these incentives in a meaningful way. I guess for somethings with the right circumstances the crowd can be wise but there might be hidden gems in areas ignored by the WOC consensus.

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  13. I’ve been running my community website, “Eye on Spain”:http://www.eyeonspain.com for 5 years and the wisdom of the crowds never ceases to amaze me.  Great article, thanks.

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  14. I agree with Maneet Puri, web 2.0 is to me all about social networking and been favourable to build an online reputation.

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  15. I like this community article,interesting. I love strong community.

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  16. I think tools which exploit WOC are yet to be found, there is real room to move in this space.

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  17. It is the one thing that makes or breaks a social community. If you know what your crowd is looking for you can dominate any niche in the internet today. But how??

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  18. I agree that for a group to work as best it can, the individuals who make up the group must ‘vote’ in a manner that reflects their own interests.  It’s not a perfect system (I’m thinking about the US and democracy right now) because some people choose not to have their opinion heard (which I guess is a vote in a way); however, I think it’s probably the best way to find wisdom in a community.

    Nice article!  Thanks!

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