Is there a crowd of wisdoms? Better ask experts.

In his article about “The Wisdom of Community” Derek Powazek discusses many topics related to a very important concept of the web as of today. He covers simplicity, interface, aggregation, participation, just to name a few, and is definetly worth reading.

Especially this quote is interesting to me:

The Wisdom of Crowds (WOC) theory does not mean that people are smart in groups—they’re not.

As he explains, WOC works best if the participation is very few and there is no discussion going on.

Conversational inputs are too complex for Wisdom of Crowds systems. Online discussion systems do not lead to wisdom on their own.

In other words, a crowd of widsoms doesn’t work. They don’t work because everyone part of the discussion is usually interessted in getting his own idea out, may not have complete knowledge of the problem, or it’s just hard to have a complete view of a discussion where opinions are often shared. Or, participants discuss opinions with each other and miss the importance to get back to the problem.

Instead of a crowd of wisdoms I’d prefer to have just a few experts that will understand my problem and provide me with a set of solutions and a recommendation. In addition I’d like to have someone to discuss with me and not with some other folks.

So, if you can’t use the wisdom of the crowds as descibed in Derek Powazeks article, better stick to experts instead of a crowd of wisdoms.

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