Co-Operative Crowds Versus Narcissistic Networks.
The coining of the term crowdsourcing to define one of the best aspects of online communitarianism has made me think of crowds, not only in terms of wisdom, but as the antidote to social networking (which readers will know I view as over-hyped eye-ball collections). All this in spite of the slightly perjorative connotation that is often attached to crowds. Some thoughts on how they differ and how crowds are more likely to provide the benefits that so many people are ascribing to social networks.
Crowds are focussed self-moderating groupings.
Social Networks are self-selecting disparate webs.
Crowds are filled with real conversations and debate.
Social Networks are filled with shouting and self-promotion.
Crowds are altrusitically selfish (they want to give valued service).
Social Networks are inherently selfish (they want a voice).
Crowds can be monetised via permissive participation such as crowdsourcing and what I'd call crowdseeding.
Social Networks need interruptive marketing to be monetised.
Crowds generate energy and excitement.
Social Networks generate paranoia and neuroses.
Crowds embody the original concept of portal as marketplace.
Social Networks embody social climbing and status acquisition.
Crowds are something you want to be a part of.
Social Networks are something you feel you're expected to be a part of.
Don't be afraid of crowds.