There is a totally wonderful little essay over on Kevin Kelly’s Technium blog where he discusses the relationship between the perceived bottom-up hive-mind collective that has built sites like Wikipedia and the need for a top-down influence of editors/publishers/moderators.
There is a lot of good stuff in the essay but I thought I’d pull this bit:
“The exhilarating frontier today is the myriad ways in which we can mix out-of-control creation with various levels of top-down control. We are rushing into an expanding possibility space never accessible before. It’s the 5th dimension of “no one is as smart as everyone.” A recurring insight (but still worth exploring) is simply: what happens if we turn it inside out and have the audience/customers in charge? As Clay Shirky puts it: here comes everybody! But pure unadulterated dumb mobs is the easiest, perhaps least interesting new space in the entire constellation of possibilities. More potent, more unknown, are the many other combinations of everyone and someone.”
This is, is many ways, just another out-growth of the mashup culture.