World Transformation - Category: Internet
 The Wisdom of Crowds
picture From Smart Mobs:

Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion points to James Surowiecki's new book, The Wisdom of Crowds:
The book's premise is that "large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future."

Though not mentioned on the book's Web site, weblogs, wikis and RSS - perhaps more than any other tool - play a big role in enabling crowds to form and share opinions. This is why they will become a critical part of every PR campaign.

For more on the book, check out Surowiecki's essay in this month's Wired, a published excerpt and this author Q&A.

Also note a clever jellybean contest designed to prove that collective intelligence is greater than the individual intelligence.

[ | 15 Jun 2004 @ 15:39 | PermaLink ]

 Peter Senge on awareness and environmental stewardship
From Smart Mobs: Sutainable development, collective awareness and ostensibly collaboration on a global scale was the topic of Peter Senge's presentation on ASTD 2004, held in Washington DC this week.

For Senge collaboration is a necessity in order to confront problems which have grown too large and too complex for any one actor (nation, corporation, etc.) to handle alone. The problem that Senge focused on here was global climate change.

This and more conference impressions are blogged on e-Clippings.

Senge is co-author of a new book - Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future.

ASTD 2004 conference site
[ | 14 Jun 2004 @ 17:07 | PermaLink ]

 How the digital revolution is reshaping the news
From Smart Mobs: An insightful article from South Africa's Mail&Guardian, on how cheap digital technology is revolutionizing the way news is gathered, disseminated and perceived — and in doing so, how it's stoking a controversy.

Over the past weeks, the world has reeled to the pictures of US troops abusing Iraqi prisoners and the beheading of US contract worker Nicholas Berg.

These events were recorded by participants or bystanders. The images were posted on the internet, making them directly, freely and immediately accessible around the world.

In other words, journalists played no part in recording or interpreting the images. No editors intervened, government censors and spin doctors were impotent.

According to Steve Vines, publisher of a Hong Kong weekly news and political satire magazine, Spike " the main barriers to publishing - cost and geography - have vanished and the result is explosive.

What is clear, Vines said, is that unfiltered, uncensored images are now starting to drive the menu of the mainstream news oulets.

After Web-logging became a news source for conventional media after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the next step, "Vblogging," will enable those with a desire and a little technology the chance to write, shoot, edit and distribute video journalism on their own, even from the field,", the website of Forbes magazine, says.

So the challenge to traditional journalism as the determinant of what is news and how news should be filtered will only intensify.

And the debate about whether undigested news is objective, useful and moral is bound to sharpen".

Related articles and analyses:

-- Visualizing War & Disaster - Poynter Institute

-- The Military as Citizen Reporters

-- Citizens as Camera Phone Reporters
[ | 10 Jun 2004 @ 23:59 | PermaLink ]

 Lies And Technology
From Smart Mobs: Douglas Rushkoff Features culture in 'Sex, Lies and Videophones' wondering about all the technological effort of some new services put into helping us lie better and questions if it really shows how technology advancements make us more truthful.

via Techdirt

"people now need to make much more of an effort to be dishonest, which makes it even clearer (perhaps to themselves as well) how much they are lying. In fact, Rushkoff believes that such enforced honesty should be seen as an opportunity for people, rather than as a reason to avoid the technology altogether"
[ | 9 Jun 2004 @ 03:11 | PermaLink ]

 How Memes Spread Online
picture From WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: As Laurie Anderson once said, language is a virus. So are ideas. Researchers at HP have been trying to understand how ideas spread through the online blog community, and for those of us who're interested in getting ideas out into the world, it may be instructive. From a Wired article on them:

"What we're finding is that the important people on the Web are not necessarily the people with the most explicit links (back to their sites), but the people who cause epidemics in blog networks," said researcher Eytan Adar. These infectious people can be hard to find because they do not always receive attribution for being the first to point to an interesting idea or news item...

The researchers have incorporated their techniques into a search algorithm they call iRank. Unlike Google's PageRank algorithm, which ranks websites based on overall popularity, the iRank algorithm ranks sites based on how good they are at injecting ideas into the mainstream...

In the meantime, the team has made some of its research available online in the form of the Blog Epidemic Analyzer, a Java program that reveals the implicit and inferred links between blogs in an interactive, visual form. [note, however, it's not live: it only contains data for a 20-day period a year ago.]
[ | 1 Jun 2004 @ 11:41 | PermaLink ]

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