Mechanical Turk and leveraging people-to-people networks

I came across an interesting story from Wired this morning:“Man vs. Machine in Newsreader War.”

The article discusses one of my favorite sites, Digg, which has quickly replaced some of my former haunts – namely Slashdot and to some degree, even the ongoing link frenzy found at

The crux of the story is this: who does better, machine or humans when it comes to sorting, filtering, and surfacing information?

Much of the story deals with the popular upstart news site, Digg.

Success is attributed in large part to a legion of dedicated human filters. Unlike Google’s reliance on mystical algorithms worthy of Gandalf, Digg relies on masses of people who go about actively finding and rating information (mostly tech and geek-friendly information, at present).

So many opportunities present themselves when you can generate or harness this sort of interest and enthusiasm within a user community.

I didn’t even get around to talking about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. So unfortunately, this is where the days-old draft stops and where I now go to bed.

Please feel free to create and voice your own opportunities or ideas on how this might speak to libraries or the information world at large. Or feel free ot make stuff up about what I might have blathered on about.

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