Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Harnessing Collective Intelligence

 "I've long made the assertion that one of the central differences between the PC era and the Web 2.0 era is that once the internet becomes platform, rather than just an add-on to the PC, you can build applications that harness network effects, so that they become better the more people use them. I've used the phrase "harnessing collective intelligence" to frame this phenomenon." (Tim O'Reilly 2006) 

When setting up a website with the aim of harnessing collective intelligence a few simple rules should be followed.
  • Do not force anyone to sign up just to have a look around, a visitor of your site should be able to look around it or at the very least access information pages about the purpose of your website.
  • Ensuring that collecting information doesn’t get in the way of what the user came to your site to do in the first place.
  • Make the sign up process as simple as possible, and making the navigation as user-friendly as possible.
  • Trust your users that they will do the right thing and contribute in a positive manner.
Example like the Amazon users who can rate products, upload images and write reviews.  This has become a fantastic resource for amazon, as people who want to research a product end up on their site reading reviews, and half the battle for an e-commerce store is actually getting people to your store in the first place. Same like Apple's iTunes users, they wish to know what are the reviews for the app and they can judge by the pros & cons, then decide purchasing it or not. Below will be screenshots to show how Amazon and iTunes share information to their customers. (Please click to enlarge for a better view)
In Conclusion, if there ever was a challenge that calls for the application of collective intelligence, climate change is it. Believing that building it upon the foundation of the Internet, it is now becoming possible to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people around the world to address this and other critical systemic problems. We hope the work proposed here will help achieve just that.

1 comment:

  1. Having people from all around the would work on a single problem to resolve it using the internet to combine there collective intelligence would be amazing. Think about how fast and cure for cancer could be found if all the doctors round the world all got together.

    But the problem you would have is how and who would manage the direction of all these people. Writing reviews is one thing but getting people to work together on a single goal on global bases would almost be impossible.

    Steve whats your view on this do you think it could work and how would you do it.