Web 2.0: Harnessing the Collective Intelligence

The social web allows for interaction and socialising among people through the World Wide Web. This can have its advantages and disadvantages. Arguably one of the biggest attractions that Web 2.0 provides is that the majority of it is free. One thing for sure is that through the use of Web 2.0 applications this can lead to the creation of meaningfully rich knowledge.

A set of basic patterns or characteristics of Web 2.0 were identified by Tim O’Reilly. For this weeks blog I will be focusing on the pattern: harnessing collective intelligence.

Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals from multiple sources. In a shared intelligence space users effectively use this pool of knowledge to create a vast collection of information. As the global accessibility and availability of the Internet this has allowed more people than ever to contribute and access ideas.

The emergence of these Web 2.0 technologies has opened the door to the concept of collective intelligence which plays a key and pivotal role in the social semantic web in harnessing this knowledge.

From all the various kinds of Web 2.0 technologies I have chosen to focus on Wikis due to their huge contribution to collective intelligence.

There any many wikis around the globe, but chances are the most common one, that most if not all of you have heard of and use on an every day basis is Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a massive online encyclopedia that is so large that it is commonly the top result that is returned in your browser search results.

 The use of Wikis is growing at a phenomenal rate due to the fact of the pure simplicity in which users find them to utilize. A wiki allows quite simply multiple people to enter and communally edit information which in turn can be viewed and edited by anyone who visit the wiki.

Although wiki’s can be very quick and useful for finding general knowledge answers and relevant information, the downside of the simplicity and the utter openness of a wiki cause many people to instantly reject the concept. Where does all the information come from? Is it reliable? What stops people from vandalizing a wiki until it dies? In fairness the information is not always reliable as virtually anyone can go onto Wikipedia and put up whatever they want. This means that people with no qualifications in a particular subject area can still write information about it.


O’Reilly. Tim & Battelle. John (2009) Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On. Retrieved 9th March 2012 from,

 Rogers. Clint & Liddle. Stephen (2007) Web 2.0 Learning Platform: Harnessing Collective Intelligence. Retrieved 9th March 2012 from,



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Welcome to my crazy little Web 2.0 World

Web 2.0 adds a social dimension to a set of technologies that have been pretty dull and has made them quite interesting and engaging.

I am equally interested in the technological changes that Web 2.0 will bring about.

In the coming weeks I will be discussing in my blog the impact of Web 2.0 applications and the changes they are bringing about.

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Filed under Web 2.0