Getting persons to coalesce around a bigger project is not as simple as describing a bigger project. An expressed desire to be like Wikipedia (but better) isn’t enough to get persons to contribute knowledge like they do for Wikipedia. Humans pursue their self-interests socially and create complex social dynamics.
Because social relations involve complicated social calculations, knowledge sharing among persons not connected in a social network can be more efficient than knowledge sharing across social networks. That’s not just an abstract possibility. The deputy head of Google’s search division, Amit Singhal, recently made some unfashionable observations about social networks. Asked “Can social context make search more relevant?” Singhal replied, “Maybe, maybe not. Social is just one signal. It’s a tiny signal.” It’s a tiny signal for true knowledge in the vast, complex space of social relations.