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Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence involving knowledge creation and flow. Pooled brainpower emerges from the collaboration and learning actions of a community of connected individuals empowered by social media, participatory tools, and mobile platforms.
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Bing Adds Social Sidebar Mod

Bing Adds Social Sidebar Mod | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
Yesterday Microsoft’s Bing released an all new design for their social sidebar, a version less cluttered and better linked to friends and trends.

Designed to present Bing users with relevant results of friend networks via Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and Klout, the social side of search is still located on the right side of a user’s desktop, but with more minimalist style and ease of use too.

Besides a cleaner and edgy look, Bing users no longer have to hover over people to catch on to added and deeper content. A little + icon lets users drill down to get more info, which is a nice touch. The Official Bing Blog tells more of these improvements, and while not exactly what anyone would call “sweeping innovation”, the incremental change is nice. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Bing, the practicality of social sharing and suggestion come through with some of these refinements
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Scooped by Huey O'Brien! provides on-demand professional advice provides on-demand professional advice | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

To date,, which lets anyone pay from $9 to $80 for a one-on-one conversation with a range of verified professionals, has kept a low profile. But with the new cash, it plans to step up its game with a big media and marketing blitz, including a media tour and broadcast TV campaigns.


Quora, which itself raised $61 million in venture funding, similarly connects people with experts (although it doesn’t charge users and takes a crowdsourcing approach). And vertical-specific sites like HealthTap and RocketLawyer also give people on-demand access to doctors and lawyers online.


But Andy Kurtzig,’s founder and CEO, told me his company wants to be the of the online professional services space. “The way we look at the market is like retail over the last 15 years,” he said. “Ten years from now, people are going to expect to be able to interact with professionals online and on mobile.”


Expecting the market to be twice that for retail and even more conducive to online transactions, Kurtzig said he thinks there’s room for both vertical-specific and general professional services sites. In addition to elevating its profile with consumers, the company plans to strengthen its mobile presence (it currently has an iPhone app) and focuses on personalization. For now, the company said users select from a pool of about 10,000 professionals in 700 specialties, including doctors, lawyers, mechanics, veterinarians and home repair pros. The price depends on the urgency of the question and the level of detail users would like in response.


In the future, the company said it plans to build out products organized around lifestyle needs, such as packages for wedding planning, nutrition or the birth of a baby.  To ensure quality across the site, Kurtzig said, the company uses expert peer reviews, works with an advisory board of professors from top schools and requires experts to pass category-specific tests.



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