Of wise and foolish crowds

Kathy Sierra of Creating Passionate Users has written a clear and pithy piece that captures something of the circumstances when crowds are wise and when they’re not. I’ve extracted a couple of her comparisons and put them in table form:

Collective intelligence Dumbness of Crowds
A pile of people writing Amazon book reviews A pile of people collaborating on a wiki to collectively author a book
Getting input and ideas from many different people and perspectives Blindly averaging the input of many different people, and expecting a breakthrough. 
(It’s not always the averaging that’s the problem it’s the blindly part)

I couldn’t have put it better myself (I know that to be true because, in a less clear and pithy way, I tried to). Several of the comments are worth reading too. [Discovered via Jay Cross’s Informal Learning blog.]

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