... [W]ho actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I'm going to mash up 50 Cent's vocals with Queen's instrumentals? I'm going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?
The answer is, you do. And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you.
It's always an event when Time announces its person of the year, and this year's announcement was met by more than a few slaps on the head. Of course! It's us! Brilliant! And so true. According to Jon Fine at BusinessWeek.com, "2006 was the year of YouTube". The year of Wikipedia and lonelygirl15. And 2007 promises to be more of the same, as internet businesses find new ways to wrangle true value from the enormous -- and rapidly growing -- amount of user generated content on the web. In this context, it's worth reviewing what New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki wrote in his book "The Wisdom of Crowds":
In other words, in order for the wisdom of crowds to work, each member of the crowd has to think (or vote, write, review, rate, etc.) independently. It's independent and unique content that makes the web useful and compelling, not the law of averages. In her blog "The 'Dumbness of Crowds'", Kathy Sierra points out that:
By "crowd", [Surowiecki] was referring to a collection of individuals. Individuals whose independent knowledge (and "independent" is a key word in what makes the crowd "smart") is aggregated in some way, not smushed into one amorphous Consensus Result.
Which brings us to the year 2007 and Wize.com. By collecting more independent product reviews from more sources, Wize is committed to leveraging the wisdom -- not the dumbness -- of crowds. We are convinced that using these independent reviews to generate ratings is a better way to do product research. And while we're actively looking for ways to improve our Wize Rank algorithm -- and our customer experience -- We've already used the wisdom of crowds to make better purchase decisions fast. We'd love to hear what you think.