Community Intelligence evolves

One of the aspects of the internet is starting to bear real fruit: community intelligence. Up until recently (from my perspective), the internet has been primarily used in a community sense for discussion boards (newsgroups, mailing lists, chat boards), and self indulgent websites (like this one). I frequent a couple of sites that are aiming slightly higher than the others.

One of them is the CAPS facilities provided by The Motley Fool. For years, The Motley Fool has promoted discussions on their stock boards, which I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to. The CAPS facilities provide a lot more than just simple discussion. They actually allow you to weigh your stock picks against the market, as well as weigh your stock predication abilities against other people. This becomes a community effort because you can post comments along with your picks that other users may end up reading (and commenting on). This has spawned a whole new community around these simple concepts. They have recently partnered with MSN, which has expanded the pool of users a bit. It is interesting to see how things grow and progress in that environment. I’m skeptical that the data gleaned from the site has merit, but that is remained to be seen.

The other site I have been frequenting is a site devoted to community reviewed wine called Cork’d. In addition to wine reviews, they also allow you to keep an online catalog of what wine you have stored, and provide the opportunity to search for online vendors to purchase wine. It is interesting to see how other people react to the wines Lisa and I have tried. Especially the bad ones. There are a few jokesters who rate wines inappropriately (Mad Dog with a 100 rating for example), but a lot of people put significant time and energy into their entries. Check the sites out if they sound interesting — there’s always room for one more!

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