James Surowiecki writes in The Wisdom of Crowds that the group is smarter than the individual (under four conditions). Essentially, the premise is that if you get enough different people to work on a single problem independently, you’re going to get as good or better results than that of a small group of experts working together. Think of it as advanced crowdsourcing.
These three applications tap into the wisdom of crowds. It’s clearly election season.
Intrade works like a stock market, but instead of buying stocks, you buy shares in your opinion. For example, if you think Barack Obama is going to win the election, invest some money in him. The price of the contract changes with demand in the same way stock prices change for Google. Below is a prediction of election results based on what is currently invested by Intrade users.
Predict the News
Predictify pays users for correct predictions of the news. I’ve earned a whopping 4 bucks. Topics vary from current events, to pop culture, to sports. You can also put in your own questions to gain some of insight from the crowd.
Social Data Analysis
FlowingData readers are familiar with Many Eyes by now. Users upload datasets and evaluate what they see via a mix of visualizations. Users are also encouraged to evaluate others’ datasets and discuss what they see – hence the phrase of the day, social data analysis.
Do They Succeed?
Whether these three applications successfully tap into the wisdom of the crowd is up for discussion. I already know what I think. More importantly, what do you think?