Saturday, October 28, 2006


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.


Chris A said...

Voting is a bit of a swarm system. I have written before about the brilliance of the Republican party in corralling the bottom of the pyramid to support the top of the pyramid. As different memes, if you will, are introduced to the target voting public for them to rally around (ban on gay marriage, for example), the individuals "swarm" around them, head to the polls and elect more Republicans. In essence, they commit, as a group, an intrinsically intelligent act (voting in a leader) out of the flurry of fear-induced (and unintelligent—to refer to Word Spy's definition) response to an essentially unrelated issue.

P.S. No tone here.

lednik said...

I like NewCloud a lot because it feels like a legitimized news source solely on its layout. Nothing like tabs to give yourself an air of legitimacy.