Much has been written and said about the inherent power of crowdsourcing, or the collective merit of millions of individual online users collaborating or contributing their opinions and knowledge. The reality of this theory really came to me during research for my upcoming trip to Kilimanjaro.

As I confirmed my travel arrangements, it became clear I would have to spend the night at Nairobi’s somewhat notorious airport. So I started an online search to try and find out the do’s and don’ts, and any realistic sleeping options. Not surprisingly, the formal sources (airport website, Kenyan Airlines) had little relevant information – unless you count laudatory and useless promotional materials. But I found several sites where customers had posted their comments and advice, including this one. Though individual comments or suggestions in isolation were of limited use, I was able to get a good, credible picture of my options (and of the definite “don’ts”) by scanning a number of comments. (I was able to confirm that there are sleeping quarters in the airport, what they cost, where they are located and even the best location for a quiet night.) Up to several years ago, it would have been difficult if not impossible to find this information. Just another example of the power of the Web, and of the collective widsom of online citizens.