Amateur Journalists (Bloggers) Vs. Professional Journalists (Media) Vs. Wisdom Of Crowds & Collective Intelligence (Wikipedia)

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And the wisdom of crowds won, of course. That&#8217-s the conclusion I draw from reading Rogers Cadenhead at WorkBench, who assessed what would be the settlement of the LongBets wager on:

In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007, weblogs will rank higher than the New York Times&#8217- Web site.

Dave Winer

($1,000 each)

Martin Nisenholtz

For Rogers Cadenhead, Dave Winer will win the bet. But he also says that the overall winner is&#8230- WIKIPEDIA.

[…] So Winer wins the bet 3-2, but his premise of blog triumphalism is challenged by the fact that on all five stories, a major U.S. media outlet ranks above the leading weblog in Google search. Also, the results for the top story of the year reflect poorly on both sides. In the five years since the bet was made, a clear winner did emerge, but it was neither blogs nor the Times. Wikipedia, which was only one year old in 2002, ranks higher today on four of the five news stories: 12th for Chinese exports, fifth for oil prices, first for the Iraq war, fourth for the mortgage crisis and first for the Virginia Tech killings. Winer predicted a news environment &#8220-changed so thoroughly that informed people will look to amateurs they trust for the information they want.&#8221- Nisenholtz expected the professional media to remain the authoritative source for &#8220-unbiased, accurate, and coherent&#8221- information. Instead, our most trusted source on the biggest news stories of 2007 is a horde of nameless, faceless amateurs who are not required to prove expertise in the subjects they cover.

So the real winner is Wikipedia &#8212-a news and knowledge aggregator&#8230- using anonymous volunteers. But Wikipedia is only an information aggregator&#8230- it feeds on both media and blogs to gather the facts. Wikipedia is the common denominator of knowledge &#8212-not the primary source of reporting. Just like prediction markets feed on polls and other advanced indicators.

External Link: See a previous assessment of the bet by Jason Kottke.

NEXT: Amateur Experts (Yahoo! Answers) Vs. Wisdom Of Crowds &amp- Collective Intelligence (Wikipedia)

UPDATE: An empty comment from Read &#038- Write Web.

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