The internet is getting self-organized. While conventional online media ventures like CNN.com are choking in the e-business downturn, a new crop of web sites is tapping into the collective wisdom of their users to serve up the freshest material online. Rather than depend on a top-down editorial team, sites like Slashdot, Epinions, The Vines, and Plastic.com rely on a growing community of engaged visitors who post their own thoughts, reviews, opinions, links to articles, and all kinds of current content.
Other visitors rate these items on how helpful or entertaining they are, and the cream of the crop rises to the top. The result is a self-organized website that builds on the best thoughts of its users. Can collective intelligence fulfill the internet’s promise of interactive democracy, or is it just the next stage in the balkanization of our media culture? Reinventing dot communities is here.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Jon Katz, Slashdot columnist and author of “Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho” and Steven Johnson, Co-editor-in-chief of Feed.com and author of “Emergence: the Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software.