Those who continue to believe that volume compensates for intelligence are heading for a painful awakening. I understand that social interaction and User Generated anything is very trendy these days, especially on the West coast of America where any new idea is a Great!! idea. But this belief that there is truth in volume is a frightening concept. Social interaction is not the magic key to everything.
Some people are misreading Google’s success by wrongly interpreting that the quality of it search result is based on user ranking. it is not. It is a very complex set of algorithm where social interaction has little input on the final result
I am afraid of crowds . Crowds are, by essence, stupid. They follow trends and peer pressure. There is no originality in a crowd. If anything a crowd is very conservative and resistant to change. A crowd panics much faster than a single individual, for example, because it is much more sensitive to emotions. And there is nothing worse than letting emotions be the purveyors of truth. For those who studied philosophy, they will understand immidiatly. The others should just ponder for a while and think of how many times they made critical decisions using their emotions. Social search, social editing, social content, everything is being fed to the eyes, ears and control of the social beast.
Those who did not vote for George Bush know how much the majority is not always right. Most dictatorship start with a nicely and fairly elected representative. Because, like a Hitler, they know how to play crowds and manipulate their emotions.
People become crowds when they are ready to drop their individuality. And we would like to see those people decide which image is the best, the most relevant? and then what ? every search will reveal the same content and the same type of images? Although I do not have the relevant data, I am 100% sure that best selling products were not create based on social interaction. The best images are produced by retro feedback of user interaction either.
As much as I am client-driven and believe in listening to customers needs, as much as I cannot agree to listen to a mob of faceless anonymous clicks. So, I will watch as web 2.0 junkies continue to submit editing, search, content to the multitudes of anonymous users and continue to using professionals for my needs.
If I was to build a photo search engine, I would mimic professionals photo buyers. If I was going to build an editing tool, I would also use professionals photo editors, and if I was going to offer images, I would more then certainly use the advice of someone who knows.
Computers have the capacity to mimic the human brain. After all, they were design for this and top researchers are currently trying to replicate human intelligence. That is what needs to be integrated in editing, search and content engines. I have yet to see intelligence come out of a crowd.