Tap Into the Wisdom of Crowds, Make Money by Predicting Future Events

February 5, 2008  |  Social Data Analysis

Predictify LogoPredictify takes James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds to heart. Surowiecki argues that when certain factors are present (for example, group diversity), then the group is always smarter than the individual. Predictify has turned this "principle" into a money-making platform.

Predictify provides a simple, fun way to engage in current and future newsworthy topics. You can research, discuss and predict the outcomes of real-world events, challenge your friends to private prediction contests, build a reputation based on your accuracy, and even get paid real money when you're right.

There are two roles at Predictify -- those who answer and those who ask -- and you can do both.

Contribute to the Wisdom

Once the questions get posted, you predict the outcomes. If you're correct, you'll get a share of the "pot" and your reputation will improve. The better your reputation and the sooner you make your predictions, the more of the pot you will earn. There's also a social aspect to it with a discussion section and a chance to provide reasons for your answer.

Request the Wisdom of Crowds

If you want to ask a question, you can get 200 responses with "basic" results for free or you can get the premium plan for $1 per response which includes "enhanced" results and a "rich data set." Here are some of the questions being asked now:

  • Who will win the California 2008 primary election?
  • Which conference will win the Pro Bowl?
  • How many Grand Slam tournament wins will Maria Sharapova have in 2008?
  • What will be the total box office gross for the opening weekend of the upcoming movie "Jumper"?

Implications for Social Data Analysis

The questions getting asked on Predictify are fairly straightforward, but for those interested in social data analysis, it'll be a site worth watching. With a monetary incentive, people are eager to answer, which in turn provides for a lovely case study. Since every posted question comes with a discussion section, it'll be interesting to see the reasons why people give the answers they do.

Do people usually answer correctly? How well do they answer questions with no pot? Do low reputation and high reputation users answer differently? What would happen if we were able to ask more complicated questions or request an analysis of a large data set? Should I post these questions on Predictify?

UPDATE: I wrote this before the Super Bowl, but now that it's over, check out the predictify results for the game. Spot on.

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