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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Power Of The Crowd

11:17 PM Posted by Deepak Nayal , No comments
Revolutions have been part of the human history for centuries. Pretty much all of us have read about some of these in our school - French Revolution, Russian Revolution and Indian independence movement to name a few. There is one thing common in all of these revolutions and it is that these were brought by the crowd, not any government or organization. It was the collective power of the common man that changed the destiny of many empires. 

We have been witnessing similar examples of the power of the crowd in recent days. The Arab Spring and anti-SOPA/PIPA protests are two of the most prominent examples of this. There is however one major difference between these recent revolutions and the ones that happened decades/centuries ago. And that is the speed at which the revolution spread, all thanks to Internet. The anti-SOPA sentiments nowadays and blackouts on the internet yesterday are very appreciative. But what is more impressive is the speed and scale at which it happened without a single person leading the charge. The power of the crowd has again shown its impact. 

Technology, and Internet in particular, has helped connect people together and spread the word in a matter of minutes if not seconds. While we take a lot of this for granted, it is worth stopping for sometime and appreciating how the world around us has changed. While the examples given above are unfortunate and thankfully very occasional in nature, Internet has amplified the power of crowd in many positive and peaceful ways as well. News now travels faster thanks for social networks, you can get detailed information on any topic quickly thanks to Wikipedia and watch videos on almost any topic thanks to Youtube. 

In the world of technology and business, this act of tapping the power of the crowd is called CrowdsourcingThe human nature of sharing and giving back to the society, combined with the scale and speed of the Internet has the potential to make this world a better place to live in. I believe that as the society matures and Internet adoption increases we will see more miracles of crowdsourcing for social or commercial good (or hopefully both).

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