The Wisdom of Crowds

I know I've posted on this previously, but as I said before, the topic fascinates me. And I enjoyed the irony of seeing an article on the mob mentality at social news sites pop-up on my RSS feed for Digg.

I still frequent Digg because it's such a big, fascinating place. And I really do find the occasional interesting story there (if nothing else due to sheer volume.) But at the same time, I continue to be leery of what the 'social' behavior on it portends for the future of the web and our culture as a whole.

As far as other 'social' and 'Web 2.0' style services of the Digg-ilk that I more thoroughly enjoy: = A social bookmarking site. The fact that it's less about news (although there's still plenty of that as well) and more about actual bookmarking and categorizing pages in some semi-meaningful manner makes it overall goals somewhat more lofty and useful than news-oriented sites like Digg.

StumbleUpon = At the other end of the spectrum, for sheer random browsing I'm loving this service. Granted, it requires a small toolbar. But it's so small I tucked it up in the corner next to the address bar and it's fine. Basically you choose your interests and whenever you feel like seeing a random site related to something in those areas you click on your 'Stumble' button and a site that other people in that interest area liked is loaded into your active window. You can give these sites (or any site you come across during your own browsing) a Tivo-like thumbs-up or thumbs-down. There's other social networking aspects as well, but I've yet to use any of those. It's just fun for random browsing.


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