Successful websites that started in the web 1.0 era and have moved on to lead the web 2.0 era have clearly embraced the power of the web to harness collective data intelligence. This means that they’ve used what is known as viral marketing to their advantage to get the word out and advertise their website. So consumers indirectly work for the websites, like a form of free labor. There are different ways which websites can harness collective data, however hyperlinking is the basic foundation
because when users add new websites or new content to a website it is connected by the structure of the web by consumers using the content and linking it. The associations become greater due to intensity and duplication which means the more people visit a website the more popular it becomes and the more value it obtains. Google is a perfect example of the success of web 2.0 and the use of harnessing collective intelligence self promotion. Google’s use of PageRank enables the site to use the link structure of the web rather than just the characteristics of documents to improve search results for users
eBay uses the harnessing method by automatically collecting the data of all its users. The site grows organically in response to user activity. For example it utilises what people do on the website to benefit other users, like when buyers rate and criticize other sellers it calculates which sellers are better to buy from which makes the service more valuable to consumers and the experience of the site better for new users. It also gives eBay a competitive advantage in comparison to other sites with a similar service
Amazon uses similar techniques to eBay to harness collective intelligence, however the website also makes use of user activity to provide better search results for consumers, unlike competitors such as ‘Barnes and noble.com’ who offer similar services but are not as popular as they haven't mastered the art of user engagement whereas Amazon’s product includes user reviews and invitations to participate and engage with the site in different ways. For example there are links to join them on Facebook and Twitter which also reaches out to a wider audience.
Due to the success of these websites making their mark on the web 2.0 era, new companies are catching on to the idea. Websites such as Wikipedia allow any web user to add an entry and any other user to edit it. This supports the idea that web 2.0 is a form of free labour as consumers are building up and creating the website for the company.Flickr and Delicious and two other examples of consumers organising the data searched on the site. Which again is a form of free labour as the site doesn’t have to do the work, instead the users distribute it between themselves and contribute towards the success of the site. On these sites users upload images and give them what is referred to as tags. Tagging enables multiple, overlapping associations rather than rigid categories which helps for a wider search, for example a flickr image of a horse might be tagged as both “fat” and “horse”.
Harnessing Collective Intelligence
“The giants born in the Web 1.0 era who have survived to lead the web 2.0 era appears to be this, that they have embraced the power of the web to harness collective intelligence…”