We have seen lately the complaints surrounding the gaming of "Digg". [linky] Wherein a small number of power users influence the vast majority of Digg ratings. First of all these people need a life, secondly this highlights the primary weakness of Digg. It rewards power users. It does this if in no other way by allowing people to see the links and how high they are rated and who voted on them.
Virtual Schrödinger's Law
Each single piece of visibility into the workings of the system makes it less efficient. Knowledge of the effects you have on the system affects the outcome of the system. This is the Virtual Schrödinger'sLaw: you cannot both see the content and see the rating on the content without being influenced by bias.
The wisdom of crowds gets influenced by the bias of crowds.
Unpopular topics to the biased crowd will not get as many dissenting votes. There is an echo-chamber effect that then occurs. A self-replicating bias entrenches itself. People outside of the crowd bias do not participate, the vision narrows and the echo-chamber shrinks.
Digg becomes biased.
If there were a system that allowed for a "digg" or a "bury" without any of the "ego" feedback that is given with digg.com, a more democratic outcome could be achieved.
There already is a system that satisfies that requirement.
It's called stumble upon.
Stumble upon provides the voting functionality without the "ego" feedback loop. In essence it hides the useless UI. The end user has no list to traverse, the wisdom of crowds is not influenced by the bias of crowds. The Virtual Schrödinger's law is upheld.
After installing the stumble upon toolbar, practically nobody goes to the stumble upon site. You don't need to go there, there is no point. You don't need to read any lists. All you do is set up your interests / categories and the sites are brought to you.
You vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down and that's it. Egos of power users are not stroked. The quality of the site and the potential for its rating to go up or down is not influenced by arbitrary bias. [linky] btw - my experience with traffic closely mirrors the last link's.
You don't see the link and the rating on the link at the same time. The rating on the link is hidden from the user.
The wisdom of crowds is not influenced by the bias of crowds. QED.
Update: Here is the wikipedia entry for Schrödinger's Cat: [linky]. Also there was a comment left questioning my use of Schrödinger instead of Heisenberg. I think it may be a valid point, but I like the cat thought experiment. [Heisenberg]
Update 2: Someone else has posted essentially the same article: http://www.howtoliveonline.com/2007/06/why-stumbleupon-is-better-than-digg-to.html