The wisdom of the crowds says...

I recently reviewed James Surowiecki’s book The Wisdom of the Crowds for the Journal of Information Technology and Politics.  The crowd thesis is of interest because it permeates many online processes and activities.  A really obvious example, that virtually everyone will be familiar with, is Google.  The search engine essentially takes information, created by the online behaviour of millions of people undertaking billions of actions, and organises it into a useful format, prioritising websites on that basis.  One aspect of this process is to be found in the Google toolbar, as detailed in a Slate article today.  If you half fill the box, Google uses the searches that other people have made before you to offer suggestions as to what you might like to search for.  So for example, if you type in “Tom Cruise” the additional suggestions are: Movie, short, height, katie holmes, films and on oprah.  You get the idea.  But then this got me thinking… what would the suggestions be if I typed in some of our more famous political leaders?  Here we go (and I warn you some of them are slightly weird):

Gordon Brown - estate agents, rocking horse, mp, associates, for Britain, biography, glass eye, estate agent, wiki 

Tony Blair - wikipedia, biography, resignation, speech, resigns, wiki, catholic, speeches, steps down

David Cameron - mp, gikandi, blog, zionist, wikipedia, wiki, ’s wife, biography, wife

Ming Campbell - No suggestions

George Bush - watch, quotes, watch stolen, jokes, intercontinental airport, albania, in albania, senior, airport, ’s watch

Bill Clinton - biography, quotes, foundation, impeach, scandal, library, wiki, harvard, bio, birthday

Hillary Clinton - for president, campaign, 2008, website, biography, jokes, campaign song, president, quotes, botox

Barack Obama - biography, muslim, for president, religion, bio, campaign, quotes, wikipedia, website, myspace

John Edwards - for president, psychic, campaign, house, haircut, wife, home, crossing over, 2008, wiki

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