Lately, we have gotten excellent feedback from several major companies about the reliability and accuracy of WOT’s data. Being validated by others (especially important, successful others) makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. But it really came as no surprise because we already knew that our data was reliable and accurate. Why?
Because the community is always right.
The reason why the WOT community is right is because WOT has the proper conditions in place to use the collective intelligence of many individuals to rate the reputation of websites. The conditions necessary for a crowd to be wise are: diversity, independence and decentralization.
The WOT community represents different points of view and different perspectives of what can be deemed trustworthy. Our users have different attitudes, experiences and personal information that make the whole wiser than the part. Bringing new members into the community, even if they are less experienced, makes the community smarter because they add information and experience which is unique.
Each individual in the WOT community in an independent decision maker and relatively free from the influence of others. The personal knowledge that individuals bring with them, coupled with independent thinking, makes the community as a group smarter. Being independent doesn’t necessarily mean the same as being isolated, and in fact, many of our members have casual connections and advise each other. Since information is spread across many people, this makes the group more likely to be collectively right. This also minimizes mistakes. As long as the WOT community is diverse and independent enough, mistakes that individuals make will diminish in value and the judgement of the community will be wise.
The WOT community is a geographically diverse group of people representing almost every country in the world. This means that when making a judgment about the trustworthiness of a website, someone from Germany is applying their local and specific knowledge that may differ from someone in the USA or Indonesia, for example. There is no community leader orchestrating everything; rather the WOT system aggregates the local knowledge and personal experiences into a collective whole, making the reputation ratings smarter and more reliable.
Trusting the collective judgement of the WOT community is smart. The wisdom of this crowd gives you the best chance to make the right decision when searching, shopping and surfing the web – a decision that could save your computer and your bank account.
Please share WOT with your friends and family, and be sure to keep contributing your knowledge and experiences with websites so WOT has the most reliable and accurate ratings.
You can read more about this subject in James Surowiecki’s book "The Wisdom of the Crowds."