Consumer Reports, Reuters and Topix spar on user feedback
During the We Media conference in Miami, a forum for thought on the changing participatory media, an frank question came from a traditional press representative seeking to modernize. A Consumer Reports executive presented her company's conundrum: how does an institution founded on principles of scientific study and struct controls respond to a public need to give "everyman" feedback on product experiences?
Reuters Scientist Nic Fulton, PhD responded swiftly, defending the role of the expert, cheifly in high stakes scenarios. "One has to be careful" in saying the crowdsourcing is perfect, contended Fulton, adding that "it depends a lot on the size of the transaction."
The Web 2.0 crowd unanimously opposed, led by Topix CEO Chris Tolles. "Give the people what they want. Chances are they want to see more opinions rather than less, and the people who don't want it, don't have to read (user reviews)."
Suha Araj and Randy Paynter, of Real Girls Media and Care2 respectively, supported Tolles, asserting that they expect to decide for themselves based on all the information present. Ms. Araj and Mr. Paynter were the youngest participants on the panel.
Moderator Merrill Brown of NowPublic also questioned the panel, titled "Networked Economics: Leveraging Connections" on the scale of innovation, importance of social networks, and naturally, Facebook.
Lawrence Wilkinson of the Global Business Network ended the talk by opining on the next two years: "it's going to be a lot of fun." "Spoken not by a media executive, but a consultant," quipped Brown, in closing.
Tags: Wemedia , Media , Merrill , Brown , Nowpublic , Nic , Fulton , Reuters
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