Why crowds are an extension of our capabilities


Marshall McLuhan very often provides an instructive reference point for how we understand our changing world. As I wrote in my Chapter 1 of Living Networks:

The brilliant visionary Marshall McLuhan accurately described the media as an extension of our senses. Your eyes can see what’s happening in your immediate vicinity, your ears can hear what people are saying in the same room as you, but with television and radio as an adjunct to your senses, you can see and hear anywhere around the world. All of the cameras and microphones of the world’s media are an extension of your eyes and ears, and journalists are your personal emissaries to report on their findings and impressions.

In my keynote on The Future of Crowds at TheNextWeb conference shown below I built on this perspective to suggest that:

“Crowds are an extension of our capabilities”

Now that we are connected, now that we can tap global talent and resources, our capabilities are extended to an extraordinary degree.

As I write in Getting Results From Crowds, the power of ideas reigns supreme. Crowds – if we know how to use them well – are making us capable of so much more than ever before.

View from 26:55 to 27:40 for the discussion of how crowds are an extension of our capabilities.