Wisdom of the Crowds Isn’t the Answer for Everything

Via Mashable

September 15, 2008 – 8:55 pm PDT – by Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins 7 Comments

Last week, I wrote an editorial entitled “When it Comes to Politics, Don’t Listen to Me.”  It was fairly well recieved, at least by the contingent of Mashable readers who don’t tend to agree with me politically.  It struck on a number of themes and memes common to social media circles, though and my sentiments were echoed by none other than the inventor of the Web, Timothy Berners-Lee.

Stan wrote earlier this morning on what Berners-Lee told the BBC in an interview over the veracity of information on the Web:

Talking to BBC News Sir Tim Berners-Lee said he was increasingly worried about the way the web has been used to spread disinformation…Sir Tim told BBC News that there needed to be new systems that would give websites a label for trustworthiness once they had been proved reliable sources.

Stan seemed to think that we as humans are capable of judging for ourselves whether or not information should be trusted or not simply based on the brands associated with the information we’re looking at. There are some serious problems with that assumption, but perhaps even more problematic was the dismissal provided by Andy Beal over at Marketing Pilgrim today (emphasis added):

Do I have to keep repeating myself on this stuff? Why does the web need labeling? And, who’s to say which site is authoritative and which is not? Why can’t the web simply exist, grow, and morph into what masses decide? What happened to the “wisdom of crowds” deciding what’s credible?

read more…


One response to “Wisdom of the Crowds Isn’t the Answer for Everything

  1. Interesting article.

    I think the crowd provides in interesting and important metric that when used in conjunction with other relevant data can be important.

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