Each week of this class I have been introduced to something new in the world of Web 2.0. It is in a way overwhelming to grasp all of the different ways to socially interact now days. While I have been accustomed to surfing the web, there is so much more information to access than ever before. There is no table of contents that clearly lists all of the topics available. You simply start at a given point and see where it takes you. As Zelenka states "You need to embrace serendipity, even when you're searching for something specific" (Connect, pg. 113).
I find it interesting that I have never encountered any of the sites that I have been introduced to in the past few weeks. I have always spent my time on the web for personal reasons such as finding answers to questions that I had. I have never taken part in collaborating information with people that I have never even met. Up until now I have used my "favorites" option to mark websites that I find useful and email them to my friends if necessary. Now that we are using del.icio.us I have grown to like it and even use it for my own personal reasons. I have also introduced this to my friends and taught them how to use it. It is amazing how much information you can obtain simply from a mass collaboration. Information that I more than likely have never come across has been given from a complete stranger. The web has provided us all with an abundance of information and it keeps growing everyday. I think this quote from Maria Mitchell sums it up best "We have a hunger of the mind which asks for more knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing" (Connect, pg. 114). Also, "The web is one of the most powerful tools ever used before for extending our minds. You don't have to bring the web into your mind to expand your mind. You just have to connect out and extend out the offerings of the web" (Connect, pg. 133).
While I find ideagoras to be useful in today's marketplace, I can't help but question the purpose of having people internally. This would have a great impact on the future job market. Companies today face such tough competition for new ideas and innovations that they may start to devalue having employees and embrace the new way of outsourcing. There would no longer be such a thing as job security. You would be more of a contract employee and would only get paid if your ideas and/or solutions were used. As in the case of the Werner Mueller story who stumbled across the web site InnoCentive and submitted a valuable solution to a scientific challenge. "Companies can tap emerging global marketplaces to find uniquely qualified minds and discover and develop new products and services faster and much more efficiently than they have in the past" (Wikinomics, pg. 98).
On the other hand, if you look at ideagoras in the perspective of a customer and not an employee they can be amazing. They make it possible to find out what customers really need and then invent it. They can also "lower transaction costs, deliver innovation faster, and make all participants in the marketplace more efficient. Customers would get more of what they want for lower prices" (Wikinomics, pgs. 100-101). Constant change and growth are now essential for most businesses today. I think that it is important for companies to find a balance between utilizing internal sources and ideagoras that allow accessing people with the right combination and expertise that might not otherwise been found.