Just like thebeststuffintheworld, Standpedia gives random people with no real claim to expertship except for the fact that they know how to connect to the Internet the ability to leave their opinion on whatever they please.
While this surely is the apex of Internet democracy, I do wonder how long these sites will last.
See, both of them are nicely implemented. Thebeststuff is more like a collection of lists of what people think is the greatest stuff in the world. Well, the name really is quite straightforward. I has all the features of a social network type site, and it’s a fun way to kill time.
Standpedia is a bit more complex, they offer a more or less live discussion of various topics, giving people the option to add their comments and challenge other people’s views. They group these views and comments in a clean organigram-like interface. If I had a screenshot tool at my disposal right now (on Windows, so no KSnapshot), I’d show you, but alas, you’ll have to go there yourself to see.
Now, here’s what I think will happen to these sites. Well, nothing really. They’ll keep being fun places to check out once in a while, but more due to their obscurity than for their inherent value to the opinion seeker. Why? Because you’ve basically got a page that lets everyone add little comments about whatever they please, resulting in messy communication taken totally out of context, with no real information value to it. In the end, these sites will be fun for people who like watching micro-feuds on any kind of issue. Social network voyeurism, if you will.