Posted on February 1, 2011 - by Jon Holloway
Over the past few years I have read numerous book, blogs and been to many
events around the subject of ‘the wisdom of the crowd’. I have also developed
and delivered many campaigns based on the thought that all crowds are wise.
This is in fact a lie, in most cases the crowd are not as clever or well advised as
you think they are, in truth, we may be relying on the folly of the crowd.
First of all came Linkedin answers, which as most of us know is probably the
worst way to get any questions answered and/or to get any sense out of anyone.
Now we add quora in to the mix and it is open access playtime for anyone with
an opinion. There is the key, right there, that single word, OPINION. Opinion
in most cases is quite valid but not unless based on the three elements of
KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE & CREDIBILITY.
Try this little experiment, ask everyone you know and everyone you can find a
question. See if you can get a sensible answer, a coherent view on what it is you
need help with. I am sure that you would get a lot of ‘don’t knows’ or ‘I read an
article about that’, not enough ‘I tried that’ or ‘That’s what I do everyday’.
In late 2010 and now in to 2011 we are focusing very much on the ‘wisdom
of the credible’. Crowdsourcing is great, it really works, on any subject, topic
or question, but, and here is the big but, it works in smaller focused, vetted
groups of people that have met a criteria to give credible feedback. This can
be customers, your audience, friends & randoms, that part doesn’t matter, it is
focusing on who to ask and then who to listen to.
Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Have set criteria of the types of people who can influence your goal.
2. Vet each person before you invite him or her.
3. If it is open access, the cream normally rises to the top, get them in to a ‘next
4. User the power of the crowd to weed out the high flyers.
5. Keep track of crowd participants, good ones are hard to find and loyalty works.
Thanks to bethehurricane.com for a thought-provoking post!