Product & Startup Builder

Creating passionate crowds

Added on by Chris Saad.
I've posted before about Digg and its deep underlying philosophical difference to Google. To recap, while Digg uses explicit 'Wisdom of crowds' approaches to generating a front page, Google uses an algorithm (which takes into account implicit votes based on links) to generate its Google News front page.

These are fundamental and philosophical differences and when the issue of Digg gaming came up (and will come up again I'm sure) it was an important discussion to have.

In fact, I recently came across a wonderful article from Kathy Sierra called 'Dumbness of Crowds' where she rightly states that the term 'Wisdom of Crowds' was actually meant in sarcasm. It was supposed to highlight that crowds (read: mobs) are actually quite stupid. Real intelligence comes when measuring individual actions in aggregate (and even then in some applications and not others - e.g. designing by committee produces bland or Frankenstein results) - rather than giving individuals collective and visible control over a process.

As I've stated before, the problem with both Digg and Google is that in an era of hyperchoice and information overload these engines only show 'What's popular' instead of 'What's Personally Relevant',

Today, however, DayLife launched, to a little criticism from one of its investors (who just happens to be Michael Arrington). It has been a long time coming and, as a result, seems to have felt a little 'over anticipation' from some in the community.

Worse still (shock/horror/sarcasm) it does not use the "Wisdom of Crowds" OR a Popularity Algorithm to generate its front page. It in fact proudly and loudly declares that it uses a 3rd, age old technique - human editors.

I'm sure the DayLife founders are very passionate about their company and I wish them best of luck with their plans. Maybe in a noisy media landscape, A site that shows simple, visual and effective headlines on the front page will be a refreshing change?

Personally though I look forward to the 4th 'front page' philosophy/technique. Using a Personal Relevancy engine to generate a front page.