A popularity contest isn't the best way of getting to the truth.Today, I saw Nathan Torkington's post on O'Reilly Radar, "Digging the Madness of the Crowds":
People don't know what they don't know. Majority vote doesn't work if people don't have the information they need to have an informed opinion.
Steve Mallett, O'Reilly Network editor and blogger, was very publicly accused, via a Digg story, of stealing Digg's CSS pages. The story was voted up rapidly and made the homepage, acquiring thousands of diggs (thumbs-up) from the Digg community along the way. There was only one problem: Steve didn't steal Digg's CSS pages.Take a majority vote from people who don't know the answer, and you're not going to get the right answer. Summing collective ignorance isn't going to create wisdom.
See also my previous post, "Digg, spam, and most popular lists".
On a side note, the O'Reilly Radar story mentions a site called Pligg. Like de.lirio.us for del.icio.us, Pligg is a free open source clone of Digg.
Update: There is a good discussion going on in the comments to this post.
Update: Yahoo Answers PM Yumio Saneyoshi and Yahoo My Web Community Manager Matt Stevens dropped by and left comments on this post. Well worth reading their thoughts.