Internet paradigm I: Networked Participation and Collective Intelligence

Network participation and collective intelligence are key factors in the distribution of knowledge on the internet today. Without it, people would not be able to bring their ideas together and learn from each other.

Collective intelligence is all about the sharing ideas and knowledge among people online.

“Collective intelligence is a form of universally distributed intelligence, constantly enhanced, coordinated in real time, and resulting in the effective mobilisation of skills”

Pierre Levy

One way to really grasp this idea of collective intelligence is to imagine a group of bees. Bees will go out and collect pollen and then bring it in to be produced into honey. Without the bee’s ability to go out and collect pollen from many different flowers, the honeycomb would be weak and wouldn’t form.

Collective intelligence is like the pollen the bees collect. With the help of the internet we can now source information from people all over the world and bring it together, a practice that is at the core of many businesses.

There are examples of collective intelligence around us every day. One example is the influx of tiktokers using the platform to help them find people.


yeah tonight’s epiphany led to this. help me find her! Ugh I have to! Literally just like this haha I’ve done it for so many videos I hope this works

♬ Wildfire – John Mayer

Reply to @bella_and_june but y’all… should I go? This seems dope

♬ SUNNY DAY – Matteo Rossanese

With the help of the tiktok community (collective intelligence), Marley was able to find the social media account of a girl she met on a plane.

Another aspect of this sharing of knowledge is network participation. This diagram shows centralized, decentralized and distributed data networks. These are all examples of how information can be shared between people within the global community.

There are so many ways that information can be distributed and adapted online which gives information on the internet an unlimited reach. As we learned from McLuhan, the digital society really is a great way to share and distribute information around the globe.


Mitew, T 2021, ‘Networked Participation and Collective Intelligence’, online lecture, BCM112, University of Wollongong, viewed 22 March 2021, <>

Nesta – The Innovation Foundation 2020, ‘What is Collective Intelligence?’, <>

Sumelj, T 2020, ‘BCM 112 Week 5: Networked Participation & Collective Intelligence’, Viewed 22 March <>


16 thoughts on “Internet paradigm I: Networked Participation and Collective Intelligence

  1. Hiya! Really awesome blog! I thought your comparison with the bees and the honey was quite unique, I thought it was a great example to explain collective intelligence. Also enjoyed the tik toks you linked! I’ve been seeing those all over my for you page recently so I think it’s quite relatable and relevant today too. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was an informal blog about collective intelligence! I would recommend talking more about citizen journalism and how citizen journalism voices the concerns in the media, as this is a form of network participation.


  3. Hey Sophie! I really appreciate how easy to digest this blog post is, I was very confused about this weeks topic and you explained it in a way that I could understand. A great example of how networked participation and collective intelligence online helps spread knowledge and include more people in “the know”. I also really loved that you included tik toks and other media to help break the read up and make it interesting.


  4. Cool post! I really like how your blog is straight to the point and provides an easy summary of both collective intelligence and network participation. The analogy of the bees collecting pollen is an interesting way to show the importance of collective intelligence. We very much share the same view on how significant this is in receiving diverse information. Nice work.


  5. Great blog post, I loved it! I personally don’t have Tiktok so I found this story extremely interesting. I also loved your example of bees, it makes the topic much easier to grasp. I thoroughly appreciate your writing skills also, such great language choices in order to present your idea clearly and articulately, I’m jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Firstly, I love your analogy of the bees and the gif! – it is such a clever and easier to visualise, relate and understand the concept of collective intelligence – I will definitely have to try to remember to include an analogy like this for a future topic as they are great introductions to a topic. The inclusion of the TikToks was also a great addition – in my own post, I talked about memes as being info that is copied and changes in format to have different meanings. Similarly to your post, I discussed centralise, decentralised and distributed data and also included that same diagram although I did not mention McLuhan which would have been a great other point to discuss. Overall great post.


  7. Hey Sophie, such a great post. You have some really good context and examples that help further understand this topic much more easily and as everyone else has said, the idea that collective intelligence is like bees collecting pollen is a quality analogy. I can relate heaps to the example you gave on the the TikTok videos about helping to find a certain person as I have probably seen hundreds of those – how ironic. All the elements you’ve included in this post provide awesome reinforcement to your text. Following the same idea, in my post I spoke about how reddit lately has become a huge influence in the stock market, making some people overnight millionaires – how crazy. Overall, I think you have done a superb job on this post. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Contextual essay

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: