Revenge of the Experts
By any name, the current incarnation of the Internet is known for giving power to the people. Sites like YouTube and Wikipedia collect the creations of unpaid amateurs while kicking pros to the
curb—or at least deflating their stature to that of the ordinary Netizen. But now some of the same entrepreneurs that funded the user-generated revolution are paying professionals to edit and produce
online content.In short, the expert is back. The revival comes amid mounting demand for a more reliable, bankable Web.
"People are beginning to recognize that the world is too dangerous a place for faulty information," says Charlotte Beal,a consumer strategist for the Minneapolis-based research firm
Iconoculture. Beal adds that choice fatigue and fear of bad advice are creating a "erfect storm of demand for expert information."