A Wedding to Test the 'Wisdom of the Crowds' Theory...
One of the most prevalent theories directing the stream of internet development is "The Wisdom of the Crowds". James Surowiecki published an accessible, if not completely academic, book a few years ago where he argued that "the aggregation of information in groups" results in decisions "that are often better than could have been made by any single member of the group". In other words, he claims that collective, disorganized group decisions lead to better results than decisions made by one or two people who are actually in positions of authority.
While the notion of "crowds" being smarter than "experts" might seem a bit counter-intuitive, the fact is that Surowiecki's argument has unquestionably influenced the development of the Web over the past few years. Think Wikipedia, Digg, Reddit, and other sites classified under the moniker of "Web 2.0".
So how can we test this theory in action? As any good academic and blogger would doubtless do if presented the opportunity... by planning a wedding.
As my own wedding plans are in their embryonic stages, I'm offering myself to the world as a guinea pig. Here are the rules. Shortly, a website will be created in which questions will be posed to the internet public at-large. These questions will be those that any wedding planner must address - What should be the wedding colors? The types of flowers? The music playlist? The honeymoon destination? The menu options? Etc.
The bottom line is that we will stick by the "decisions" that the "crowd" suggests. If Surowiecki's theory holds true, then the result will be a wedding that is far superior than one in which we would have made all of those decisions ourselves.
Naturally, the Nerfherder Gal was a bit resistant to this idea at first. In fact, when I first broached the subject, she gave what I believe is referred to in scientific circles as "the look of death". However, she has acquiesced with the caveat that she can veto "completely ridiculous" group decisions such as a Star Wars wedding complete with Stormtrooper attire, or a wedding location on one of the moon's craters. Naturally, I will remain vigilant in not letting her take an overly interpretive and ever-expanding definition of what meets the "completely ridiculous" criteria. But we are taking this project seriously, and the more input we get, the better.
So... would anyone care to submit a few initial wedding ideas?