Now reading: (Lexington’s own) Drew Curtis, founder of Fark.com, on Why the Wisdom of Crowds is Bunk, and what Web 3.0 really is
“The ‘wisdom of crowds’ is the most ridiculous statement I’ve heard in my life.
Yeah I said it…
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….
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.”
Read Ace’s story on Fark’s 10th anniversary, here.
His 2007 book is “It’s Not News, It’s Fark: How Mass Media tries to pass off crap as news.”