Archive for April, 2010
If there is any one aspect of the Web 2.0 era that I find most fascinating, it is the idea that groups or “crowds” can collectively offer more intelligence about current and future events than individuals–even experts.
No one describes the power of a crowd’s decision making ability more eloquently than James Surowiecki in his book The Wisdom of Crowds. As Surowiecki’s examples illustrate, this concept is not new; rather, it is a natural consequence of human behavior.
One way that this concept is being put to use in real-world applications is through prediction markets (sometimes called decision markets). Prediction markets have tremendous potential as a forecasting tool in the enterprise or for any entity that wants to make use of its single greatest source of intelligence—the individuals sitting within its walls.
One of the biggest shifts in the movement from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 is reversal of the information-seeking process. In 1.0, people sought information. But more and more in 2.0, information finds people.
One of the best examples of a technology enabling this shift is something called RSS (really simple syndication). RSS icons can now be found all over the web. Based on interactions I’ve had with Web users at all levels, I find that RSS is still a concept only a small percentage of Web users understand. If you want to know the technical details and history of RSS, I’ll refer you to Wikipedia. I’m going to focus on how RSS can benefit you and really simplify how you experience the Web 2.0 era.