DC member alex3f
, is a good friend of mine from University, and was one of the very first people on the planet to explore the use of collective intelligence on the web (he's published extensively on the field of Human Based Genetic Algorithms, see www.3form.com
He's just started a blog on some of these issues and he's off to a promising start. His second post is on the closing of the Google Answers service. Definitely worth a read if you are interested in social computation and collective intelligence algorithms and architectures.
In my opinion, late Google Answers was a very interesting experiment combining fee-based and free Q&A services together. To my knowledge it was the first attempt to combine them. However, paid researchers had to compete with free answerers in answering questions. This created unsatisfaction among researchers and they start to publicly criticize the service.