We’re back! Yep school’s in and for the next 8 weeks you and I will be discovering and hopefully discussing O’Reilly’s 8 patterns of best practice for developing Web 2.0 applications as interpreted by Wendy Warr
- Harnessing Collective Intelligence
- Data is the next “Intel Inside”
- Innovation in Assembly
- Rich User Experiences
- Software above the level of a single device
- Perpetual Beta
- Leveraging the Long Tail
- Light Weight Models and Cost-Effective Scalability
Each week we’ll discuss and analyse these by comparing them against a specific site or application and we’ll do so in a sequential order. Naturally that means this week we’ll be chatting about #1, “Harnessing Collective Intelligence” with particular reference to coderater.net.
Harnessing Collective Intelligence
Let’s start off by defining “Collective Intelligence”. To my mind this is best described as “collaboration” or “teamwork”, where a connected user base work implicitly or explicitly together to create and refine a product or products. Harnessing this Collective Intelligence is the real trick and there are a number of different best practices to follow in order to do this. Some of which are detailed below.
- Rewarding the User
- Make it easy and efficient to use
- Provide valuable and insightful content
- Involve Users
- Explicitly through creation or collaboration
- Or implicitly where the user’s actions contribute in some way, e.g. likes, page visits, click throughs etc.
- User Trust
- Allow all users interact in some way, e.g. comment, rate, favourite etc.
- Evolutionary Design
- Ensure that that the more your application is used the better it becomes, ratings, views, favourites etc.
- Folksonomy & Tagging
Coderater.net is a platform that allows users to quickly and easily upload, rate and share code snippets and has been designed specifically with all four of these best practices in mind. Think of other applications such as SourceForge or Snipplr
Firstly the site name itself immediately gives the user some insight but once you’ve read the top three words on the site you know exactly what its purpose is and what it sets out to do.
And within these three words, you’ve already successfully achieved the goals of the best practices set out above.
The only downside to a platform such as this is that to provide any real value, the site needs users and content. As it is only in its Beta form at the moment this is precisely what it lacks. A couple of things that I also think would make the site easier to use and potentially help inspire people to add content are a few design revisions. For example the navigation menu is on the right hand side sort of half way down where there is nothing that immediately draws the eye towards it, plus the overall layout of the site could do with a bit of work.
Conceptually I think this is a great site with the potential to become a very useful tool that developers across the globe could make great use of. But what about you? What do you think could be done to harness their collective intelligence? And are there any other considerations should be addressed?