"This is a classic Web 2.0 problem: it's hard to aggregate the wisdom of the crowd without aggregating their madness as well."
Interesting kurfuffle out in the blogs today about O'Reilly's Steve Mallett being accused of stealing Digg's CSS pages to create Digg-like sites. My first thought was to recall the conversation I had with Ross today about intellectual property and the increasing complexity of making it work in an open source world where IP agreements extend beyond the classical employer-employee contractual relationship.
However, after a few minutes of thought I realized that this really has little to do with IP and everything to do with something I wrote a few months ago in response to a topic that Fred Wilson raised called "the looming attention crisis".
The problem here isn't that O'Reilly was accused of being a bad actor, it was that Digg was gamed, albeit not with bad intention I believe, by a community who probably had little appetite for consuming the hundreds of comments to the original story to get to the bottom of the story. The Forbes piece last year that derided blogs for being the equivalent of online lynch mobs had a lot more truth to it than most bloggers would be willing to admit. Instead of simply amplifying the communal voice, it's time for blogs to focus more energy on truth seeking.
Technorati Tags: digg, o'reilly, forbes, attention