Came across a piece by Larry Sanger, "Who Says We Know: On the New Politics of Knowledge." Here's a quote:
But we are now confronting a new politics of knowledge, with the rise of the Internet and particularly of the collaborative Web—the Blogosphere, Wikipedia, Digg, YouTube, and in short every website and type of aggregation that invites all comers to offer their knowledge and their opinions, and to rate content, products, places, and people. It is particularly the aggregation of public opinion that instituted this new politics of knowledge. In the 90s, lots of people posted essays on their personal home pages, put up fan websites, and otherwise "broadcasted themselves." But what might have been merely vain and silly a decade ago is now, thanks to aggregation of various sorts, a contribution to an online mass movement. The collected content and ratings resulting from our individual efforts give us a sort of collective authority that we did not have ten years ago.
I really like this idea of collective authority. The next challenge in information literacy and scholarship is making this leap into truly understanding the impact of collective authority.