Sat through a presentation today of Web 2.0 and all it's implications.
People are ruling the Internet. It's a true democracy. It's communication, not monologue. It's interaction. It's honest.
True, all true. But you still have to be careful. Case in point: product reviews. A product can live or die based on what people say about it. But, who the heck are these people? Case in point: The presenter today just happened to use a site for an example where people could write reviews. The site was to learn about outdoor gear. There was an image of some urban woman model striding along, power walking and I noticed a couple of reviews for trekkers (shoes).
I'm a pretty serious hiker. I used to work for both REI and Eastern Mountain Sports. I think I know outdoor gear pretty well, and I'm leery to advise people about gear. Part of the reason is you can get killed out in the outdoors. And there are lots of people who would use a site inhabited by suburban mom power walkers to base their buying decisions for gear.
If you present information, no matter what--write reviews, comment on politics, write recipes--you have to have a modicum of knowledge in that area. And the thing about the Web is anyone can post (even me!) Not everyone is going to take the responsibility. Or they might think they're responsible, but haven't a clue what they are talking about. The rule still applies: You have to check the source. But there's no way of doing that on the Web.
So the Web is wide open and everyone has a say. That's the good news. It's also the bad news.