I have said Web 2.0 websites (sites where users can actively post and contribute) have a sort of "give a penny, take a penny" philosophy. For the most part, there are so many people out there that want to help (by giving a penny or writing a cool blog post) than hurt (taking all the pennies or leaving malicious comments).
Because I work for a company that allows people to write to the site, people often say "Zillow should manually police this or that". Of course we do our best to catch any scandalous behavior, but really we leave it up to the community to catch and call out these perpetrators. Truth is, the community can do a better job policing itself than if we went out and hired 100 people to just look for missteps. The same is true here on Active Rain.
This morning, the Web 2.0 police was out in full force and rightfully "caught" someone who has now been "sentenced" to Internet purgatory as her online reputation is now ruined.
Time line of the community at work:
6:22am - A really stupid post is made that attacked someone personally that didn't deserve it (really, not worth reading, although the comments are good)
7:03am - The first comment is made by Jay Thomson which calls the author out.
7:22am - A Twitter goes out to several real estate bloggers - “Wow, My respect for Redfin and Carol D Hian, has gone down signficanty. Good thing these post come back to bite the author, hard.”
10:33am - The Real Estate Zebra is using this as an example of what not to do in the blogosphere.
10:47am - The owner of the website in which the post was made, Glenn Kelman, chimes in to apologize and insinuates author has now lost her job.
11:25 am - Mummy Dogs is reporting.
11:36am - The Real Estate Coach's Weblog chimes in.
Later- 46 comments later on the original post, and Geek Estate expresses an opinion.
Now this is a pretty extreme example, but an example none-the-less how fast the community catches and calls out wrong-doers. All reputable 2.0 websites make every effort for the community to make such judgment calls.
As a community we can police and make sure that information being disseminated is appropriate. We have the power to flag and remove that which is not. And conversely, we have the power to reward that which is particular helpful by Digging It or linking to it.
As a community we can all work to make this Blogosphere a better place!