Tim O’Reilly quotes Craig Kaplan of predictwallstreet.com:
I feel there is a big difference between user generated content and collective intelligence.
For example, PredictWallStreet.com focuses one million unique monthly visitors on predicting whether a stock will close up or down. With the help of our algorithms the community can outperform the market — something most analysts can’t do. That’s not user-generated content, that’s a cognitive community exhibiting super intelligent behavior.
Wikipedia exhibits super intelligent behavior when it is more comprehensive and more up to date than encyclopedia Britannica. Britannica has the brand, but Wikipedia has the Brains on Board. And with very minimal software, Wikipedia directs millions of minds to create a new and better kind of encyclopedia. That’s not just user-generated content. It’s a cognitive community exhibiting super intelligent behavior.
Together we form a super intelligence that is a lot smarter than any one of us alone. As you say, Web 2.0 truly is just the froth before the wave. I believe networks of super intelligent cognitive communities are our future.