If you are ever frustrated by inaccuracies in or simply have disagreements with Wikipedia entries, or you experience the feeling of confusion when you do a traditional web search for everything from cars to travel to restaurants, you're not alone. A recent Newsweek article - "Revenge of the Expert" - talks about how the CGM phenomenon may be evolving back to an environment where professional opinions are more highly valued.
Our old friend, Jason Calacanis, has created Mahalo, a search engine that is people-oriented, rather than popularity-driven. Thus, when you type in "Detroit restaurants" in Google, you get an infinite number of entries that are good, bad, and otherwise. In Mahalo, you get this:
The key to sites like Mahalo is the premise that expert opinion has value. As Calacanis notes, "The wisdom of the crowds has peaked. Web 3.0 is taking what we've built in Web 2.0 - the wisdom of the crowds - and putting an editorial layer on it of truly talented, compensated people to make the product more trusted and refined."
In radio and in music, stations and DJs have the ability to play this curator role. The vast resources provided by the web have made music searching a confusing process with too many choices and so many consumer opinions that no one knows what's worth buying. iTunes may be a great resource because it contains so many millions of songs, but a filtering process would make it so much saner and easier to negotiate purchasing decisions. And that's where your station comes in.
When new albums come out, when CD repackages and box sets are released, and when concerts and concert movies premiere, there's an opportunity for radio's "experts" to use the power of their expertise and history to play this important role. And on a station's website, reviews and podcasts can be a great way to help listeners decide what's good...and what should be avoided.
Back when Spike was with Q101, he did something like this for new releases. The idea of a DJ as curator works both for the audience and for sales sponsorships, by leveraging their celebrity and their expertise. It can generate that all-important dialogue with listeners, while creating web content that can be marketed. That's MY expert opinion.