Manasco on “The Wisdom of Communities”

My friend Britton Manasco blogs about the “Wisdom of Communities” here.
His point is “the future is increasingly about the wisdom of crowds — or, at least, communities.”
So people, says Britton, especially in the B2B world, tend to trust their peers and not the experts.
Britton’s right to some extent. But what he forgets is that a community is a group of individuals, some more passionate than others, focused around a practice or interest. The leaders of the community are viewed as experts (perhaps not in the academic sense), but certainly in the role of the teacher helping the novices get up to speed.
These “experts” rise to the top naturally. And unlike senior management in most American companies, they rise to the top by virtue of merit – the knowledge they share with their fellow community members. The wisdom of communities is thus not the wisdom of crowds, but the wisdom of the expert-practitioner. Often they’re amateurs. Which makes them even more believable, because they’re in it for the love of the game, not necessarily for the money like the “professionals.”
Ask yourself: How can we get customers to collaborate with our company/companies to co-create products and services that benefit everyone involved?
To me, that’s the real power of communities, aside from double loop marketing.

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