The wisdom of the crowd

Last Update: October 22, 2018

If enough people answer a question then the average answer is usually correct. This is known as the wisdom of the crowd.

Here at WA we can access the wisdom of the crowd by asking questions. The first answer you get may be right or it may be wrong. But when enough people answer that question and hit the like button for answers that they believe are correct then the wisdom of the crowd should prevail.

So don't rely too heavily on the first answer you receive, just wait a while and reap the benefit of the wisdom of the crowd.

So please, friends. Even if a question has already received an answer, don't hesitate to chime in. Your perspective may be just what's needed. And if you see an answer you agree with then please hit the Like button to vote it up.

By the way, there's no such thing as a silly question.


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wealthysage Premium
Good advice Marion.

On your latter assertion I sometimes feel that questions may be unnecessary because a) they are contrived for ranking reasons, or b) often folks don’t even bother to search for a solution before posting, probably also ranking related.

It seems a shame in the age of smart algorithms that they cannot be applied to cases such as above which in my book are “silly”.

Cheers,
Will
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MarionBlack Premium
Ah yes, the pointless rank-spanking. There will always be those sorts of people but I think the majority of questions come from those who are unaware of the ways to do their own research here (using the grey search bar for example). All this WordPress stuff can be a bit overwhelming for new people.
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wealthysage Premium
Yes, it’s the exceptions that prove the rule of course and I learn so much from the Qs and As by just reading through them. It’s a great feature and the support is very encouraging.

However, it just seems a shame when raising questions that the algorithm does not prompt a check on whether the search facility has first been tried or not. Similarly, if “rank-spanking” had a negative factor applied the undesirable behaviours would soon be rectified?
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suzzziq Premium
I totally agree with you, Marion:) I'm just thankful that no one seems to judge me for what seem like "silly" questions! I've asked enough questions that have sounded "not all that smart" to make up for the entire WA family!
Thanks for always sharing your wisdom with all of us:)
Blessings:)
Suzi
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MarionBlack Premium
Asking questions is a great way to learn. Answering questions is even better.
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Wayne66 Premium
Thanks, Marion. This is food for thought and I may have to re-think my reasons for clicking the "Like" button.

Sometimes I click it just to let the person know that I read their post, not necessarily that I agree with it.

I will definitely have to re-think that approach.

On the other hand, I DO click on answers/comments I like.

I guess I am a little of this and a little of that :)
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bosco50050 Premium
I have always found that asking questions is one of the simplest and most effective ways of learning. In school, I used to ask a lot of questions - many a time I thought I was being silly asking such questions only later to find that many of my other classmates were having the same question -only that I voiced it out first. One of the beauties of WA is you can ASk and get ANSWERS!

“The best scientists and explorers have the attributes of kids! They ask questions and have a sense of wonder. They have curiosity. ‘Who, what, where, why, when and how!’ They never stop asking questions, and I never stop asking questions, just like a five year old.” – Sylvia Earle
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Roybretton Premium
Thank you for your excellent blog post Marion, I hear you. It always amazes me how quickly I get a response to a question and also how variable the answer can be at times, however, there is wisdom in the crowd!

Enjoy your day.

Roy
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hanley Premium
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
― Mark Twain
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MarionBlack Premium
I like that.
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Tirolith Premium
Teamwork is what I call it. We all have an opinion, so put them all together and end up with a greater opinion.
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hanley Premium
Good question Marion BUT


Not sure about this, I understood the majority is usually wrong.

Just saying Peter H
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MarionBlack Premium
Quite often that's the case, Peter. But when we average out the answers we can get a fairly accurate end result. Especially here, where everyone is trying to help each other.
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JamesJB Premium
Hi, Marion...I usually lie low when I see a good answer being given. I never thought about the 'wisdom of the crowd'. I'll keep that in mind.
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FKelso Premium
I like that phrase -- wisdom of the crowd. It's very true. Eventually you get the correct answer on here if you just wait. Thanks!
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RichieR Premium
Most of the time! Especially here at WA. But don't expect it to be true everywhere. The examples I have in mind are either political, religious,loyalists, or have mental abnormalities. For instance, I wouldn't believe the answer I'd get about the need for gun ownership at an NRA convention, or unlimited driving rights at a Mothers Against Drunk Drivers meeting. Answers about internet marketing asked at WA will get you correct answers from the majority who answer. Good post!
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MarionBlack Premium
Oh yeah, you sometimes need a diversified crowd for the wisdom to shine through.
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RichieR Premium
Yup! Pick the group, pick the question. Politicians pick the answer they want, pick the question, then pick the crowd...get there right answer every time.
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MarionBlack Premium
So true.
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AlexEvans Premium
Well said Marion I haven't come across that concept before I must be leading a sheltered life. One of the beneficial things about WA is that we can share in the experience of all the other members that take the time to engage.
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MarionBlack Premium
There was a documentary on TV a couple of weeks ago which demonstrated the wisdom of the crowd. It's an interesting concept and they actually proved it works in many instances.
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bigrog44 Premium
Thanks for sharing, Marion.
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nudge1969 Premium
Good point Marion.
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