Give yours to the collective wisdom

Stumbled on this today on the Blogger blog–an entry comparing blogging to the “collective wisdom” James Surowiecki writes about in his new book called The Wisdom of Crowds. A concise review reads:

“If four basic conditions are met, a crowd’s ‘collective intelligence’ will produce better outcomes than a small group of experts, Surowiecki says, even if members of the crowd don’t know all the facts or choose, individually, to act irrationally. ‘Wise crowds’ need (1) diversity of opinion; (2) independence of members from one another; (3) decentralization; and (4) a good method for aggregating opinions.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly

The idea is that blog aggregating (feed) services collect the opinions of thousands upon thousands of bloggers (Technorati asks 3 million) and feed them back to whoever wants to read them. Collective intelligence being…ahem…collected from people who have little in common in the way of physical location or other tangible properties. They’re all just bloggers.

The power of collective wisdom has long been understood. First, one of the immutable tenets of one of the world’s fastest-growing religions, Bahai, is that the will of the majority rules. Even if the choice is later proved wrong, all followers must abide by the decision of the greatest number. And second, the greatest leaders of all times have always consulted the people when making major decisions. Read this recent article on what deans of America’s most prestigious business schools think about what makes a good leader.

If you have an opinion about anything in your business (and who doesn’t?), you might as well put it out there in the collective wisdom. You’re part of it anyway, like it or not.

RANKING 93 – You, as an owner or executive of a small or midsize business, owe it to your customers to contribute your wisdom to the whole. You can reveal truths about things that are just dim memories for most giant corporations. And you are in the thick of dealing with the realities of a changing economy much more directly than the big guys. Go ahead–get your blog on…

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