Your Choice


I was watching an old black and white movie, filmed back in the late 1940’s, that had a story line of gladiators performing the coliseum during the Greek era. After gladiators fought and no one died, it was decided by the referee if one of the gladiators was spared or put to death. However, the decision by the referee was made by the crowd’s mood with shouting or by using hand gestures of a thumbs up or thumbs down motion for life or death.  Something triggered in my mind, what we now call “social” likes and dislikes and if it has the same representation.  If you liked something, perhaps a video or photo, would it get thumbs up or if you did not like it get thumbs down. And using the crowd to make the decision. Could it be possible, the history of likes or dislikes dates back to Greek times?

Like DislikeThe more you like something online, the higher the rating goes. For example, the more likes you get on some of the social media sites, the more it moves up to in popularity. We have also seen in the past year, how someone can become a star practically overnight, by lots of thumbs up (likes). Could that mean death of something online if it gets many thumbs down?  Possibly. Some could say this is what we also call crowd sourcing. Many are using crowd sourcing for generating ideas from the public (or crowds). Being able to share your idea(s) and have others rate it, the more popular it becomes the more it moves to the top of the list. Ultimately knowing what likes and dislikes helps in the decision making process, as it lets leaders know what is important to the people.

Of course, the movie I was watching was produced from Hollywood. This could very well be just Hollywood influence and interpretation of the Greek history. But crowd sourcing and social networking will continue to grow for what is popular, innovative or what technically dies.

Additional readings:

http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/03/crowdsourcing-evolution-of-congressional-websites.html
http://irevolution.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/towards-a-model-for-successful-crowdsourcing/
http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2010/03/open-philanthropy-modest-manifesto.html

Last month I attended a digital summit. As soon as you walked in you saw on the tables a clicker.  During the PowerPoint presentation of the keynote speaker, the audience was encouraged to use a clicker to vote or answer his questions.  I have also been watching on TwitterFall several conferences that people are tweeting all day during the conferences, and it gives you the feeling like you are there, virtually.  Also, with the latest release of FireFox 3.5, it seemed like within an hour of being released over 1 million downloads had occurred.  Between clickers, tweets, and open-source software, we give end users (or audience) the ability to have a choice.  Is that supposed to be the greatest thing about America? We are free to have a choice and have your voice heard, whether virtually or not.

Times have changed so drastically over the past 5 to 10 years, as I did not grow up with a computer, nor a television.  Web 2.0/3.0 technologies have opened up a world of more choice, engaging the end-user and more on the go applications. Although I’m not sure if that is good or bad, however, we don’t want to give up the freedom to go outside and enjoy the nature around us.