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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, May. 16, 2007 at 2:00 pm

The Buzzword of Crowds

By Bryan Eisenberg
May 16th, 2007

Phillip Winn authors an interesting article called Digg, Reddit, Netscape: The Wisdom of Crowds or Mob Rule? He asks:

There are problems with the current wave of user-driven sites, like Reddit, Digg, and Netscape, but are the problems inherent to the model, or can software tweaks fix them? Are there even really problems?

Is there a way to harness the wisdom of crowds without falling into the trap of mob rule? A way to avoid the Peter Principle? A way to keep social news sites from turning into loosely-coupled committees? If so, the approach must lie away from the direction these sites are going. Can a site truly harness the wisdom of crowds and still be popular?

Can we find ways to reduce the effects of the mob? If we had a nickel for every time someone told us how they’re going to “leverage the wisdom of crowds” in their model, we wouldn’t need to work anymore. As long as there’s anonymity involved, we won’t have true transparency. Maybe the last Digg Revolt is exposing some cracks.

Do you think is Phillip on the mark or way of base?

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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