By Nathan Rudyk

There are two edges to the Web 2.0 sword of collective intelligence being waved around by 21st century consumers.

Internet pioneer Tim O'Reilly posits that "Web 2.0 represents not just a turning point for the computer industry but for the world as a whole" in the context of applications that get smarter every time somebody uses them. But Sony appears to be bleeding on the nasty edge of the blogging blade with its communications approach for PlayStation 3.

The downside corollary to the upside of collective intelligence is that an organization gets dumber every time somebody ignores what BusinessWeek accurately describes as "The Power of Us".

In a recent Jack Schofield article in the tech section of The Guardian, Paul Jackson, a consumer technologies analyst for Forrester Research, says:

"You can't overestimate how much negativity there is around the PlayStation 3 in the Web 2.0/blogging space, even among hardcore PlayStation fans. The stories just keep getting worse and worse. They've got a real fight on their hands."

But Sony isn't fighting it. Microsoft had ... embedded in the online community, and it fed the press a string of encouraging titbits about the progress it was making. Sony, by contrast, is often silent."

Silence is not usually golden in the blogosphere. The Power of Us can't be ignored. The quest for collective intelligence in online communities, if spurned, becomes a thirst for blood from the brand.

Keep the blood in your company's veins! Embrace, don't ignore The Power of Us and get smarter as your prospects and customers become fans, co-developers and friends who provide referrals to other friends.

(Nathan Rudyk is President of market2world communications inc., Canada's social media agency, founder of Ottawa's tech business podcast, and VP Community Relations of Government 2.0 Technology Think Tank)