The Rise Of Us: Dynamics of Smartmobs (Fall 2008)


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Presented at the University at Buffalo, for "The Wisdom (and Vicissitudes) of Crowds: Web 2.0, Social Networking, and Higher Education" at

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The Rise Of Us: Dynamics of Smartmobs (Fall 2008)

  1. 1. The Rise of Us The Dynamics of Smartmobs kevin lim Cyberculturalist university at buffalo Fall 2008
  2. 2. Wisdom of Crowds? “Under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them” - Surowiecki
  3. 3. Wisdom of Crowds? Conditions for wisdom: 1.Diversity of Opinion 2.Independence 3.Decentralization 4.Aggregation
  4. 4. The Social Contract Direct democracy Individual mistakes in either direction would cancel each other out Accurate “general will” Rousseau (1968)
  5. 5. Collective Intelligence A CI pioneer, George Pór, defined the collective intelligence phenomenon as “the capacity of a human community to evolve toward higher order complexity thought, problem-solving and integration through collaboration and innovation.”
  6. 6. Popular Examples of collective intelligence
  7. 7. Wikipedia vs. Britannica Among 42 entries tested in both encyclopedias, the difference in accuracy was not great (Nature, 15th Dec 2005) On science: Wikipedia had 4 inaccuracies; Britannica had 3.
  8. 8. Citizen Journalism as collective intelligence
  9. 9. Commercialization of collective intelligence
  10. 10. “And, in just 30 seconds, Amazon sold out of all 1,000 units of the Xbox at $100.” - Patti Freeman Evans (Jupiter Research)
  11. 11. CyberWarfare and collective intelligence
  12. 12. Before After New satellite imagery of Iran's nuclear sites - now on Google Earth, 16th April 2006
  13. 13. Guardian: Gazan rocket launches planned with Google Earth Thursday, October 25, 200
  14. 14. Types of Users and collective intelligence
  15. 15. Types of Digg Users 1. Readers: Alex guesstimates that quot;ten to twenty percent of those ever click ‘digg’quot;. 2. Diggers: 10-20% says Alex. He also says these are the least important members of the system 3. Hardcore Diggers: quot;people who sit in the queue of . submitted stories and watch for breaking news that should make its way up to the front page, or report stories as being spam or irrelevant.quot; 4. Submitters: people who submit stories. It’s highly competitive and difficult to be the first to post a successful story (one that makes the front page). 5. Publishers: quot;often bloggers who want to get readership for their content.” - Alex Bosworth, Dec 2005
  16. 16. User Motivations Reciprocity Perhaps the most anticipated factor that motivates people to give. Reputation The willingness to help others can all work to increase one's prestige in a community. Sense of Efficacy The feeling an individual has that makes them feel that they have some effect on the environment around them. Need One may produce and contribute a public good for the simple reason that a person or the groups as a whole has a need for it. Attachment The commitment one has to the group, one’s utility. Side-effect Private behavior makes cost of sharing near zero.
  17. 17. AGAINST Wisdom of Crowds The central thesis of this book is that the amateurism introduced by blogs (Blogger, Wordpress and Movable Type), videos (YouTube) and wikis (Wikipedia) has eroded our culture towards a dangerous world where the distinction between expert and amateur is being obscured and only the loudest and the extreme dominate in the digital world.
  18. 18. FOR Wisdom of Crowds
  19. 19.
  20. 20. Questions and hopefully answers