Here’s a nice article about user generated content and its effect on health care.
The web is more available, and it’s faster. Generating content is easier. And if wikipedia is any indication, there’s a massive population out there with web access and a wealth of knowledge. When New York banned trans-fats from restaurants, I jumped on wikipedia to find out exactly what they were banning. When Fred and I first thought we had bed bugs, I jumped on the internet. (I know I said not to….but it was helpful).
So the how valuable is crowd knowledge? Wikipedia was enough to satisfy my curiosity, but I’m no chemist. The bed bug information was overwhelming to say the least, and there’s stuff out there that’s utter hog-wash. The article points out, “on the internet, as the old saying goes, nobody knows you are a dog—or an idiot.”