Forget the wisdom of the crowd. Forget CNN's user-generated news module. Forget thinking that you -- the humble reader, amateur, voyeur and all-around user of average intelligence -- know anything at all. Move aside, the experts are taking back their domain.
Since the dawn of new media, which has so-far allowed mere mortals to upload their musings and broadcast it to just about anyone everywhere, experts have been wringing their hands in frustration, contempt and dismay. Don't their advanced degrees, decades of schooling and cozy, corner offices mean anything anymore, they whined.
It used to be that people vied for their wisdom, advice, expertise. People trained their whole lives to know everything about very minute topics. But Web 2.0
made everyone knowledgeable about something and suddenly experts weren't in demand; it was the common man's perspective that reigned.
Well times, they may be a-changin'!
A recent Newsweek Web exclusive
noted that recent trends indicate that a tipping point is emerging -- entrepreneurs who "funded the user-generated revolution are paying professionals to edit and produce online content" to weed out the fiction from the fact. Consumers are bogged down with so many opinions that they desperately seek out the advice of "experts".
All of this begs the question, is the Web too cluttered with other people's thoughts, ideas, opinions and suggestions that we, the minions, can't possibly distinguish the good from the bad?
Pointing to possible up-and-comers like Google's Knol
and Mahalo's "people-powered search engine" as their proof that user-generated content is withering under the burden of scammers and fraud, they note the promise of Web 3.0
as a return to the "trusted and refined" -- as if Web 2.0 is the unkempt, surly cousin that isn't suitable to take home to mom.
And after all that Web 2.0 has done for us. It practically liberated us -- gave us the ability to say what we thought, felt and desired. How's that for gratitude? I have a sneaky suspicion that Web 2.0 won't go away without a fight. But that's for the user to decide.
These alternative platforms built to "clean up" the mean streets and offer a more illustrious experience seem to go against the democracy of social media
. Is Web 3.0 meant to gentrify the neighborhood? Or is it meant to offer a better, faster way to disseminate information?
In the spirit of user-generated content, let us know what you think