Although the Wharton experiment is on "wisdom of crowds" ideas for business management, those same ideas (woc) have been rocking in oss communities for years. A simple look at sourceforge.net (Registered Projects: 138,299, Registered Users: 1,474,747) will yield volumes of actionable insights about community development, management, and woc.
Promotion from Wharton Publishing
We would like to invite you to participate in a novel experiment Ã¢â‚¬ leveraging the knowledge and experience of the Informit newsletter subscribers to write a book together (yes, together), to be published in 2007 by Wharton School Publishing.
The - wisdom of crowds is by now a well-understood phenomenon, made popular by a recent book of the same name. Examples abound: a minor-league baseball team is being managed by its fans, who decide the starting lineup, batting order and pitching rotation. Underwriting decisions are being made by - the community, who assess the risk of loans and bid directly on offers to lend money. Companies are asking their customers to develop and film their own commercial for their favorite products, using the best to promote their products and services.
While much has been written about these new initiatives, less thought has been put into how companies should harness the trend. The focus of our new book, tentatively titled We Are Smarter Than Me, is just that: a guide to the landscape of community knowledge and the identification of key principles to harness it. Organized initially around the major business functions and processes, the book will contain case studies of successes and failures, and commentary on the lessons learned.
But most importantly, this book will (we hope) be written by hundreds or thousands of people, each listed as an author. Using wiki technology, the purpose of our experiment is to determine whether a community approach applies to book-writing, and to harness the knowledge of the community to advance the state of management. You can learn more about how this will work by visiting www.WeAreSmarter.com.
To ensure the success of the venture, we've enlisted some additional resources to provide support. We're forming an advisory committee of faculty and industry experts, led by Thomas Malone, a senior faculty member at MIT Sloan, director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, and author of The Future of Work, an earlier book about the themes we hope to tackle here. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has agreed to serve as a member of the Advisory Board as well. And we have recruited Donna Carpenter, a writer who has helped pen bestsellers for Jim Champy, Michael Hammer, Tom Peters and Senator John Kerry, to ensure the final manuscript is of high quality.
Well, this s/b an interesting experiment. Of course, we've been setting up social network software apps (community 2.0 systems to capture the wisdom of crowds) for organizations over the last few years. Most of them are walled gardens (not available to the public) so they lack some of the finer points of "the wisdom of crowds - mainly diversity.) What we've learned is that they work great for connecting (people, places and things), collaborating and creating once egos are put to the side.