Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Man vs Machine

Man vs Machines. It is a concept that has provided fodder for many a book and made millions for movie and tv producers.

It now appears that the battle rages on - on the Web!

ReadWrite Web has a post about how Twine could surpass Delicious. In explaining Twine’s bookmarking methodology, they described it this way: “It's like tagging in Delicious but automated and, in theory, more thorough than any human being would be in assigning tags.”

What is strange is that not long ago, Mitch Joel was commenting on the power of people in the search engine arena. He mentions an article he wrote a while back where he stated that Delicious was becoming his default search engine. The reasoning was this:
“…if someone found a piece of content and took the time to tag it and bookmark it, odds are it had already been vetted and could be considered much more reliable than anything a Google algorithm might return back.” It is the wisdom of crowds philosophy that has made, amongst others, Wikipedia what it is today.

There is an obvious debate brewing here. Wisdom of crowds vs machine efficiency.

From my own perspective, I favour the Soylent Green approach but I am very curious to hear your opinion.

Who (or what) do you trust more to give you relevant information on a web page’s content, man or machine?