Tag Archives: Surowiecki

Extra Post #4

1 Apr

Wisdom of Crowds Not so Wise? Response to class Delicious Link

What an interesting article on James Surowiecki’s book Wisdom of Crowds. I thought at first that the author, Kevin Maney was a little crazy, but the farther I got into the article the more valid his points became. It’s interesting to read about other people’s opinions regarding all the books that are “must reads” each year. Maney reviews the WOC book by applying it to recent situations – as recently as last week even.

Take his example of Digg.com – while it started out working by the “wisdom of crowds” (WOC) it has ultimately failed to be a true WOC enterprise because too many of the same people had too much influence. Interesting. You would think that there would be enough people to counteract Nazi-like behavior on social websites but apparently not. Wikipedia anyone?!

 In fact, Digg has strayed so far from the WOC model that founder Kevin Rosehas replaced the traditional “Digg it” format with some computer algorithms to devalue bloc voting. It should be interesting to watch the progression of the site with the new system. Will it work? Or will Rose return to his original formula because his best “Diggers” don’t like the new way of doing things.

Many also raises an interesting point that I wish he had expanded upon.

“So if a company can use the Net to tap the collected intelligence of its employees, the employees will make better decisions than the CEO. IBM, Google and others have tried this.”

If others have tried this where are the results? Why did he not expand upon it? I would be very interested to know his thoughts on how IBM, Google and others fared in their WOC experiments. Working in a small office, I often think that a few of us know more than the bosses, and I know kids think they are always smarter than their parents, teachers and coaches! But how did the bosses feel about it? Hopefully, they took the advice for what it was worth and didn’t read too much or too little into it. More heads are definitely better than one, but there are times when I will take my own brain over everyone’s put together. That being said, there is something to be said for the Wisdom of Crowds. After all, if everyone else is thinking it, why shouldn’t you?

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