Was on Today programme this morning, arguing with the charming and usually pretty good Tory culture secretary Jeremy Hunt about the internet. About three years later than everyone else, including the magician Derren Brown and an amateur league team from Kent called Ebbsfleet, they’ve wheeled out the ‘wisdom of crowds’ idea and reprinted much of Jeff Howe’s 2006 book Crowdsourcing in their press release. Since the whole basis of conservatism is supposed to be a scepticism of faddish new ideas, it’s a shame. Crowdsourcing seems to be the last refuge of struggling organisations. The last time I was called upon by an organisation to tell them about the pros and cons of crowdsourcing, it was the Iceland bank Kaupthing. Six months later, they sunk into bankruptcy and took the rest of the Icelandic economy with them. I’d say the Tories should steer clear.
Also wrote a comment piece for today’s Guardian, reprinted in the Sydney Morning Herald tomorrow, looking at how ideas about society have been colonised by internet gurus. Read it here.