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The Internet

User-Generated Content Vs. Experts 210

Jay points out a Newsweek piece which suggests that the era of user-generated content is going to change in favor of fact-checking and more rigorous standards. The author points to Google's Knol and the "people-powered" search engine Mahalo as examples of the demand for more accurate information sharing. Quoting: "User-generated sites like Wikipedia, for all the stuff they get right, still find themselves in frequent dust-ups over inaccuracies, while community-posting boards like Craigslist have never been able to keep out scammers and frauds. Beyond performance, a series of miniscandals has called the whole "bring your own content" ethic into question. Last summer researchers in Palo Alto, Calif., uncovered secret elitism at Wikipedia when they found that 1 percent of the reference site's users make more than 50 percent of its edits. Perhaps more notoriously, four years ago a computer glitch revealed that Amazon.com's customer-written book reviews are often written by the book's author or a shill for the publisher. 'The wisdom of the crowds has peaked,' says Calacanis. 'Web 3.0 is taking what we've built in Web 2.0--the wisdom of the crowds--and putting an editorial layer on it of truly talented, compensated people to make the product more trusted and refined.'"

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