Leadership

Harvesting Collective Intelligence

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Executive Summary

When harvesting collective intelligence, a user wishes to maximize the accuracy and value of the acquired information without spending too much time collecting it. The author empirically studies how people behave when facing these conflicting objectives using data from Yahoo Answers, a community driven question-and-answer site. The paper takes two complementary approaches. The author first studies how users behave when trying to maximize the amount of the acquired information, while minimizing the waiting time. The paper identifies and quantifies how question authors at Yahoo Answers trade of the number of answers they receive and the cost of waiting.

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