Why the wisdom of crowds is bunk and what Web 3.0 really is. Also, some of Fark's favorite Headlines of the Week for 6/27 - 7/3
Posted by Drew at 2010-07-06 2:12:19 PM (49 comments) | Permalink
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The "wisdom of crowds" is the most ridiculous statement I've heard in my life.
Yeah I said it.
Crowds are not wise. There is wisdom in crowds but you have to search to find it. If you ask an obscure question to a million people, odds are at least one person knows the answer to it. This however does not make the crowd wise.
Crowds don't make decisions very well. Try asking 10 friends where they want to go to dinner, see how long it takes to reach a decision. Eventually someone just decides and everyone goes. That's how social media works too.
The decisions crowds make aren't necessarily right. Just because everyone wants something doesn't mean it's a good idea. Such as the crusades, slavery, the holocaust, and Everybody Loves Raymond.
Digg has a porn filter. Why? Because they needed it. Consider the ramifications that one fact has for crowdsourced news. My local newspaper website tells me what the most popular stories of the day are but they might as well just replace that with every article they write about Kentucky Basketball because it's the same list of stories. One day UK Coach John Calipari cut down a tree in his front yard, it became the most popular article on their website. Does that mean it's also the most important? Absolutely not.
Crowds don't generally participate. Maybe 5% percent of everyone posts content online, the other 95% of us read it.
For some damn reason or other there's this lingering idea out there that the Internet is somehow fostering a global utopian democracy where everyone participates, no one is left out, and the right decision is always reached through reasoned debate and consensus.
The real question should be why no one else is calling bullshiat on this.
Fark isn't legacy media and we don't have shareholders. So I can say it. I don't have venture capitalists who can tell me to stop.
I've said it before too, and whenever I say it to a room full of journalists I get smiles and nodding heads. They all know it. It's probably the worst kept secret on the Internet.
The real power in social media happens when that one person in a million comes up with an awesome idea, and those who can do so kick it to the front of the line. Speeding up this process is the next great advance in social media. Some will probably call this Web 3.0.
I call it editing.
To read the article based on the Poynter discussion, click here
To read the thoughtful and measured Fark response, click here
Headlines Of The Week for Sun 2010-06-27 to Sat 2010-07-03:
O N E D E A D A F T E R B A N N E R P L Α N E C R A S H E S I N S A L T L A K E C I T Y
Huge wildfire spreads in northern Manitoba, grows by 20,000 acres overnight. Resident worried
Not news: Hottie gets to pick her own 19th birthday present from parents. Fark: She chooses botox treatments. TotalFark: Parents get them for her. Now 27, she still looks surprised at their answer
Jenna Bush's "Today Show" segment about her visit to Yellowstone proves that the apple doesn't fall far from the whatever it is that apples come from
Pregnant drinking "affects sperm." Well then, spit it out
Buddhist monk films naked woman bathing in holy water. Temple tantrum ensues
Toronto police say they attacked a G20 crowd singing the national anthem because of the Maple Leafs; once you hear "O Canada", you know the locals are about to get beaten
US officials say they were tipped off to the Russian "sleeper" agents after learning that hot women had been spotted at parties appearing actually interested in talking to scientists and engineers about their jobs
A computer program has deciphered a dead language that has mystified even the most cunning linguists for years. "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine." Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a biatch
Fox News asks: Is libraries necessary, or are them a waste of money our?
Woman killed after portable toilet crashes through her windshield. Bet she never saw that shiat coming
Golfer finishes 612 holes in 16 hours. No, it's not Tiger
Today's Fark-ready headline brought to you by MLB: "Fister set to make return to mound"
FIFA to consider instant replay, other technologies to improve game. By "other technologies" we can only assume they mean some device that puts helmets on players, allows tackling and converts ball into a sort of lozenge-shaped object
Shopping could make men impotent, claim scientists who've obviously been forced to sit outside fitting rooms holding a purse
"Virginity test" helps free three in rape cases. In other news, TotalFark subscriptions are now admissible in court
I like small feet and I cannot lie, you other human behavior researchers can't deny
The divorce of Jesse James by the coward Sandra Bullock is finalized
Madame Tussauds to unveil Kim Kardashian wax figure. They had to melt down two Marx Brothers and Jonathan Winters to make her ass, but they figure it's worth it
Back to the Future is 25 years old today. Michael J Fox, Lea Thompson steal a Delorean, Parkinson's garage
Robert Byrd will be respected in death the same way he lived his life, lying in the Senate
In the last week, the GOP has screwed the unemployed, protected bankers, trashed Thurgood Marshall, suggested rape is part of God's plan, defended BP, screwed unemployed veterans, and threatened to stiff 20 million Americans. The Aristocrats
Schwarzenegger not too keen on the idea of digital license plates being driven before him
41 years later, Jake Holmes takes Led Zeppelin to court for ripping off his version of "Dazed And Confused." Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Spirit, Bobby Parker and Howlin' Wolf want to know where the line forms
Beta Band's Steve Mason angry at Damon Albarn for "dominating" Glastonbury's main stage two years in a row, with Blur and Gorillaz. Mason would've said more, but shift manager was upset at the length of the drive-thru line
XTC to re-release 1986's "Skylarking" on double vinyl because Andy Partridge says they reversed the sound polarity on the first record. Dear God
When capitalism meets cannabis, or: how I learned to stop worrying and love the bong
Swatch creator dies. Family will spread his remains in a series of cheap plastic urns which they can switch around depending on their mood
Company denies liability for defective railroad ties on grounds of "unreasonable misuse." Apparently they were left outside in bad weather and heavy trains rolled over them
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