The New Expertise

Though the old expertise is still there, it’s true that a new kind is emerging. Peer-produced content both compliments professional content and competes with it, to varying degrees in different contexts.  More from my contributions to the PBS Panel:

A great domain to look at these issues is healthcare. Work by folks like Lena Mamykina on online and mobile support for people with diabetes suggests that we need to teach patients to be scientists of their own disease. It doesn’t work to simply go to the doctor and request instructions and follow them. It’s particularly true of diabetes, but is a profound message for healthcare more generally. And beyond healthcare, for life more generally.

The wealth of peer produced information and support is an essential component of helping people make that transition–to help them to take on more agency in their care, their own lives more broadly. But at the same time, the individual does not yet have the tools or training to know how to sort good info from bad.

We are most definitely in the early days. We are left with a design challenge: to develop tools to better support individuals making sense of all the available information and mis-information. To create communities where sense-making is a collaborative effort, and your friends are there to help with the knowledge-building discourse.

  1. Will Dover
    March 17, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Just an FYI, we are having design discussions for our product that deal with exactly the problem you stated in the last paragraph.

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