Laurent Haug, a very smart guy and part of the brain trust behind the LIFT conference in Geneva, has written a great post on his blog about finding balance in social media, and how he thinks that we are beginning to do that — in other words, stepping back from the “all users are created equal” view that has driven some of the commentary around sites like Wikipedia and Digg and acknowledging that some people actually might have skills or qualifications that make them more valuable. Not exactly a revelation for some, perhaps (yes, I mean you Seth) but still worth saying. As Laurent puts it at one point:
“Kicking out the experts was not the answer. We do not all contribute the same value. Somebody who has carved violins all his life should have more editing power than me on Wikipediaâ€™s Stradivarius page.”
Laurent goes on to talk about how he sees social media and online communities that generate content being made up of three necessary groups: the users, content creators who are “needed to scale the system to a dimension where it starts to matter;” the drivers, who “build the community framework,” and the experts, who “bring credibility to the whole edifice by sharing their extensive knowledge.” Go read the whole thing.