Monday, January 31, 2011

Head in the Cloud? How can we harness the wisdom of the crowd?

Is there any value to the idea of 'the cloud'? Problem-solving by posting a question 'out there' and seeing if a response comes? It could be the scariest experience to anyone who feels they need to gain advise from 'real' experts, or doubt there is any sense in what is sometimes known as the wisdom of the crowd. But don't we often do this anyway? If you rely on ratings on review sites when buying books, CDs, DVDs, choosing hotels, restaurants, bars (even wedding venues), then you are relying on collective intelligence. Reviews of cars, computers, B2B services, are said to be frequently used when seeking advise; how do we know any review is any more credible than another; furthermore can we really trust the 'expert' (paid reviewer) any more than the unpaid reviewer or is the latter inherently either more trustworthy or less of an expert? More interesting, how can the idea cloud be used. Are there bright ideas out there being untapped? Can they help organisations do things better? Or are we just inviting chaos into every aspect of life? Governments talk of organising groups that they can consult on issues, somewhere in the Big Society is an idea of collective action and wisdom - are there better ideas out there or would this just invite partisan commentary and negativity? Are focus groups ways of harnessing random ideas or only for testing existing ideas - having run them you often find that you cannot just ask what they think of 'X' but they insist on saying 'Y' would work better. Should more be done or less? Really interested in any thoughts on this!

1 comment:

erica | poster printing said...

Well I'm quite guilty with this one when it comes to deciding if I would buy some electronic device. I try to read some feedback and reviews about the product.