“The Wisdom of Crowds (WOC) theory does not mean that people are smart in groupsâ€”theyâ€™re not. Anyone whoâ€™s seen an angry mob knows it. But crowds, presented with the right challenge and the right interface, can be wise. When it works, the crowd is wiser, in fact, than any single participant. […]
The web, with its low barrier to entry and permeable social boundaries, is the ultimate medium through which to explore the finer points of the wisdom of crowds. Youâ€™re surrounded by online examples: Googleâ€™s search results. BitTorrent. The â€œMost E-mailedâ€ stories on your favorite news site. Each is powered by wisdom gleaned from crowds online.
You need a few things to enable online crowds to be wise.”
In an article on A List Apart, Derek Powazek explores what it means to connect the ideas of James Surowiecki, expressed in his book The Wisdom of Crowds, to the social web where, he says, they can reach their full potential.