This talk of using humans as pattern-recognizers and pattern-synthesizers has made me hungry.
Modders are an example of this kind of behavior. They are a group of high-level pattern recognizers creating value-improving content FOR FREE.
It's not some idiotic ivory-tower quack's dream. It is ALREADY BEING DONE. Right now. Just look around!
The reason it's not in common use is because of secrecy. Most people want to keep their data secret. For example, I'm highly unlikely to post my street address or phone number. Companies don't want random people diving through their customer lists and seeing their earnings. Secrecy is important.
But I'm not here to discuss that today. I'm here to talk about on-line personas, notably bloggers and livejournalers.
Each of these people is a pattern recognizer. Each probably specializes in specific types of pattern recognition - economics, modding, being a political elitist. Each probably knows many other personas in more or less the same field... and more importantly, THEY KNOW HIM.
Gee, what could that be used for?
Well, advertising is an obvious example.
How about quite the opposite:
Knowing that what builds on-line personas is interacting with other on-line personas...
Let's make a method which helps people build on-line personas!
Right now, blogging starts lonely. You start a blog, and nobody visits. You have to go out and spammify other blogs and hope for some audience bleed.
Why not bind new bloggers together? Assign every new blogger five other newish blogs on more or less the same topics. They can ignore each other, but just the fact that you're giving them the links at such a critical time means THOSE BLOGS WILL BE READ.
And there's a reverse action: whenever you accept a link and read a blog, that blogger gets slipped YOUR link.
People who are just starting blogs generally have a lot of free time. Certainly enough to peek over at five other starting blogs. The key is to point them at blogs they might be interested in. Because "next" just doesn't cut it.
I think this would be a very valuable tool. It would radically accelerate the establishment of blogging and also fortify our infrastructure. Them's big words for "it would make blogging more worthwhile".
As always, I welcome comments, so long as they aren't for something that costs money.