So we're looking at (more or less) collective efforts to pool and screen information that certain users would find ... what? ... useful? vital? entertaining? Here is BoingBoing, a perennial #1 site by the Technorati rating system. Why? And BB led me to Newscloud which has a different feel and, I guess, a different mission.
Wikipedia wants to be everything to everybody, right? What do these want to be. And do they represent some kind of effort to create a kind of swarm intelligence? I guess another question I have is, do they create sub-communities of knowing. I mean, if you paddled around in a cerain pool of these, would you wind up coated in a different set of memes than users of other pools? Of course you would. What are the implications of that?
I mean, we could begin to think of society as divided into people who want to know certain things and people who want to spread certain things. The job of the spreaders is obviously changing. And the experience of the knowers is changing too. But how? Really DO think of it as a swarm or a hive. I think some of the bees have jobs that never exited before.