"We are in a condition where we conveniently forget the years of discovery, exploration and mistakes that lead to whatever is in today’s headlines. We’re also conditioned into accepting the rhetoric of marketing as fact. Web 2.0 favourite theories like ‘the wisdom of crowds’, ‘the hype cycle’ and ‘crossing the chasm’ are actually commercial products, not independent academic studies."
This is something that a lot of digital, marketing, PR and advertising types should really take into account - and I mean *really*.
We all need a reality check from time to time and this is the best I've read for long time.
The significant point here is that we are all quick to grasp concepts that shore up our prespective on the marketing and communications industry, but how often do we check to see whether what we evangelising is 100% proven.
I'm not suggesting that there is no truth behind the Wisdom of Crowds or The Long Tail. However, I am saying that empirical evidence can easily be misunderstood or misrepresented to make an argument. This situation is compunded where there is a financial or commercial imperative for specific results or results that support a particular world view.
UPDATE: On looking up the Wikipedia entry on Wisodm of Crowds I discovcered the following Wiki-warning:
"This article is written like an advertisement. Please help rewrite this article from a neutral point of view."
Which seems to me a clear enough reminder - if one was needed - of the theory's commercial purpose.