Chris Anderson is expanding its Long Tail blog into the complexity science (self organization) realm by posting this item. Wikipedia, Google and the blogosphere are compared and emergence (order out of chaotic systems) seems a pattern here. The interesting comments in this item are recommended reading. How do I feel about all this?
- For one, I miss the key importance of reputational systems within Google, Wikipedia and the whole blogosphere in this item
- Second, I wonder when Wikipedia will have impact on the careers of their main contributors on a specific topic or field. The current relative anonimity of the key contributors (with the best 'reputational value') will probably sometime evolve into some big media status
"Why are people so uncomfortable with Wikipedia? And Google? And, well, that whole blog thing? Because these systems operate on the alien logic of probabilistic statistics, which sacrifices perfection at the microscale for optimization at the macroscale. I always think the best example of "Wisdom of Crowds" is the "Ask the audience" part of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The crowd is almost never wrong. The people who don't know the answer make a random guess, but all the random guesses cancel each other out and you're left with the people who really DO know the answer. Wikipedia is probabilistically successful even if you hit and run. The question is "Given a query, what is the chance that you will get an answer, and that it will be correct?" With Britannica, the latter half of that question is a bit higher, but the first half is much lower. Getting no answer at all is a failure, too. Overall, your odds of getting useful information are higher on wikipedia."