Smart Mobs and Collective Intelligence

In the book Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, Howard Rheingold describes Smart Mobs as a group that behaves intelligently or efficiently because of its exponentially increasing network links. This network enables people to connect to information and others, allowing a form of social coordination (Wikipedia).

Collective intelligence, according to Pierre Levy, is a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals and appears in consensus decision making in bacteria, animals, humans and computer networks.

So can sports fans be considered a smart mob?

Their networks have generated collective intelligence using blogs and other web tools. It’s easy to get online and join in on the conversations about sports and hockey. The community itself is large and encompasses not only fans, but mainstream media individuals, teams and the league itself.

The amount of information speaks for itself with blog sites becoming sources of knowledge and analysis. Fans are continuously helping other fans with questions and debates about various topics take place regularly.

Levy, P. (1994). Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World in Cyberspace. Paris.

Rheingold, H. (2002). Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Basic Books.

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