Today i will be looking at the Web 2.0 pattern Harnessing collective intelligence.
“The real heart of Web 2.0 is collective intelligence, which I have defined as harnessing the network effect to build applications that get better the more people use them.” – Tim O’Reilly at the 2008 Web Expo
Harnessing collective intelligence is by creating an architecture of participation that involves revolves around user participation and network effects. This means users collaborate/interact with the website to provide data for themselves and for other users of the site. The more users who participate the better quality of information is gathered by the site and the vast amount of different sources are collected. A number of Web 2.0 sites such as Wikipedia, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr all utilize collective intelligence to create and generate their content. By harnessing the power of collective intelligence these Web 2.0 can then provide a better experience for its users, which in turn increases the sites retention rate.
Right so have you ever heard of the website Stumble Upon?
Stumble upon is basically a website that is based on the concept of stumbling around the internet (as you can probably tell by the name). Stumble Upon finds and recommends web content to its users. It’s features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social-networking principles.
So how does it work? Setting up an account is super easy, once you have signed up and selected your initial interests such as sports, cooking, shopping, design or technology you click on the stumble button on the top of the page.
StumbleUpon will then generate the best websites/photos/videos out there based on your interests. You can then like/dislike the page and make comments on the content.
The act of like/dislike contributes to the quality of recommendations for you. Like most Web 2.0 sites there is the option to share via other social media websites such as like Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn are provided, extending functionality and giving StumbleUpon a community feel. The power of behind this website is user collaboration/interaction through collective intelligence of the users interests.
By clicking the like button, users can discover many great websites and even greater information that would never have been found by traditional searching methods.
By disliking pages users will be will be shown less of stuff base on that category.
Users pursue their own interests by liking/disliking certain pages. This process will then allow Stumble upon to categorize sites and improve how it selects websites for all users.
1 great feature is the Stumble tool bar, it allows you to like or dislike web pages from just click “I like it” icon or if you don’t like it click on the “thumbs down” button.
A secondary level of interaction is following other users, and channels. Being able to view others users profiles allows you to see what they are browsing, and follow their comments on other pages. This also is another aspect of harnessing collective intelligence.
In conclusion, StumbleUpon successfully harnesses collective intelligence via users liking/disliking sites associated with a particular interest. This assists in the categorization of sites, not just for themselves but for all users. By collecting these user data it will not only improve recommendations but possibly promote websites for specific business organizations. Network effects is also achieved, as discussed the more users who participate and actively like/dislike, the more relevant the results are to users. This could also be an efficient way of looking up websites that interests you without using google! 😛