What is Cunningham’s Law?


Cunningham’s Law states that the internet tends to focus more on correcting mistakes than answering questions. It was named for Ward Cunningham, who developed software used by wiki-type websites such as Wikipedia.

One way to demonstrate this is to post a fake answer online, observe its impact, then compare that response against reality.

Cunningham’s Law is a common adage on the internet.

The Internet allows people to share information and ideas in ways that were never possible before. At the same time, its positive aspects outweigh its drawbacks, such as helping to facilitate sexting rings where nude pictures of teenage girls are shared with numerous boys who store them as souvenirs – often having long-term consequences on these young women’s lives and reputations of companies or organizations alike. Therefore, users must utilize appropriate tools to manage their internet usage effectively.

One of the fascinating aspects of the Internet is its global community aspect. According to Datareportal, over 4.9 billion Internet users exist globally – a staggering number that speaks volumes about its influence. From changing how we communicate between individuals to shaping cultures worldwide – its effect can only continue to expand and multiply over time.

Cunningham’s Law is an internet adage that states, “The best way to find answers online is not by asking, but by posting poor answers.” The Law was named for Ward Cunningham, who created the wiki-type website he called for; however, this truism does not represent a law but instead describes its power.

Cunningham’s Law can be applied in multiple ways. One such method is using it to gather expert input; another way would be testing an idea. Either way, Cunningham’s Law is an effective technique for engaging people in discussions.

The Internet can be a potent tool, yet when misused, it can become potentially dangerous. Making mistakes while reading through information is accessible on the Internet, and it may have negative repercussions for health and well-being; additionally, it may make maintaining relationships difficult as trust may not develop between users as quickly. Luckily, a few simple tips will help protect you against these dangers.

It’s a truism.

Life can often leave many questions unanswered, leaving us more confused than when we started. But there are ways around this challenge – one such tool being Cunningham’s Law which helps anyone seeking answers from someone.

Cunningham’s Law, named for Ward Cunningham, who developed the software used by wiki-type websites such as Wikipedia, states that to get an answer on the Internet quickly is to post incorrect replies – this usually results in an outpouring of corrections and is reminiscent of French sayings such as “preacher le faux pour savoir le vrai” (“preach falsehood to know the truth”).

This principle has been observed repeatedly in forums, message boards, and other online communities. It is an integral aspect of the social web and an invaluable asset in your arsenal.

However, this approach does not work in every circumstance. When faced with an urgent question that requires an instant answer, it may be more effective to look up an answer yourself because correcting mistakes is more straightforward than making them in the first place.

Other truisms include Henry’s Law, which states that the mass of gas dissolved in a given volume of liquid is proportional to its pressure, and Ohm’s Law which says that total enthalpy change of physical reaction is related to reactant entropy change. These are examples of similar laws around us today; you might discover more!

Engaging others in conversations is often challenging, especially when discussing contentious issues. But there are strategies that can assist, like employing Socratic irony to encourage participation – an approach taken by Socrates, who used his ignorance of specific topics to prompt more information from his friends – this form of “Socratic irony” has proven highly successful in stimulating discussion and dialogue.

It’s a strategy.

Cunningham’s Law is a common internet adage that states: ‘To find the answer on the Internet, the best way to obtain an answer isn’t by asking; rather, it is posting incorrect answers’ This statement is similar to Murphy’s Law in that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, yet unlike Murphy’s this adage intentionally misleads rather than reflecting reality.

Utilizing Cunningham’s Law can be an excellent way to elicit responses from your target audience. One proven tactic is sending out emails that appear as mistakes before providing something of value – an effective strategy for increasing conversion sales and expanding brand exposure.

While some may find this strategy annoying, others can use it. For instance, companies could hire an SEO expert to create engaging website content. This professional will know how to rank for keywords while creating interesting material attracting more visitors. Furthermore, viral videos may be another effective strategy for increasing website traffic and drawing in new customers.

Domenick Di Cicco serves as Global General Counsel at Cunningham Lindsey, a firm that assists large insurers and reinsurers in navigating complex and high-stakes litigation. He has over 23 years of experience devising strategies that enhance the performance and market position of financial services firms and their customers – his areas of expertise include private equity-funded M&A strategies, law department leadership & management, corporate finance, insurance law & regulation, and policyholder advocacy.

Cunningham Lindsey is a nationally acclaimed law firm offering insurance and risk management solutions to clients of all sizes. They partner with clients to identify unique risks, implement management systems, support loss events, and tailor their products and services to individual clients – small businesses or insurers who experience significant losses.

This firm serves a range of commercial businesses, public companies and their boards, family-owned and operated enterprises, and family-run operations as its clients. Their expertise includes handling cases involving breach of fiduciary duty, reinsurance claims, catastrophic losses, and class action lawsuits, including high-profile ones like the World Trade Center Attack or Hurricane Katrina.

It’s a marketing strategy.

Cunningham’s Law may not be as widely known, but it can still be a compelling marketing strategy. The basic premise is that posting incorrect answers online is the surest way to generate feedback – similar to the French phrase “preacher le faux pour savoir le vrai,” or spreading lies to discover the truth.

If you want people to take action – such as sharing something on social media or purchasing an item – it is vital that you understand their motivations. An intelligent way of using this knowledge could give your brand an edge against its competition.

Professor of Marketing at the University of Colorado Denver and member of several editorial boards. He has published widely on topics related to international entrepreneurial marketing and luxury marketing; edited special issues for the Journal of International Marketing Strategy on these subjects; regularly contributed to industry journals, conferences, and symposia as a regular contributor; as well as provided consultation services regarding corporate branding, product development, and marketing strategy to companies from US, South Africa, and China.