A small setback on the road to total world domination

Hmmm…not quite sure what to think about this one yet.

On the one hand, I’m a big fan of the idea put forward by James Surowiecki in his great book The Wisdom of Crowds, which argues that the collective is smarter than any one individual.

On the other hand, I run a business that provides paid research services, and am somewhat concerned what this development might say about the willingness of people to pay for quality information and answers.

Google Is Shutting Down Answer Service – New York Times

Google said today that it would shut down Google Answers, a service that allows users to pose a question to a panel of researchers and pay for a helpful answer.

The service, which started about four years ago, failed to gain much
traction with users, especially when compared to a rival service
offered by Yahoo, which is free.

“It was not one of our most popular products,” said Sunny Gettinger, a Google spokeswoman.

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