Welcome to the virtual village, where the right answers are no farther away than your keyboard.
Do too many cooks really spoil the broth? Not necessarily, claims former Microsoft marketing and online services guru Zoref in this informative look at the way crowds can help us make better, smarter decisions. You’ll get better results, writes the author, if you ask lots of people for advice, because groups can actually provide more accurate answers than the experts. Many readers will have encountered this topic and argument before, and Zoref readily refers to landmark studies such as Mark Granovetter’s 1973 paper on the strength of less intimate relationships, or “weak ties.” We’ve long recognized that a diverse group of acquaintances may be able to create a better solution to a problem than our more biased friends and families. But never before have we had ready access to such a huge number of acquaintances as we do now in the era of social media. Zoref explores how technology expands, accelerates and simplifies the process of taking a question to the people. The author writes in a friendly, conversational style and reassuringly confesses the insecurities he faced on the way to becoming an international speaker on crowd wisdom. The humorous story of how, and why, he dared to lead an ox onto the TED stage, and similar tales, makes his surprising successes with crowd wisdom all the more believable. Zoref knows the research and makes useful reference to it throughout the book, but he doesn’t pretend to be offering a survey of group psychology. Instead, he gets down to practical matters, like how readers can harness the power of the crowd by frequently updating their LinkedIn profiles and knowing what not to ask their Facebook friends.
Zoref makes a convincing case for crowdsourcing everything from careers to romance.