Gallery

What’s new for me: Hunch

I’ve always been intrigued by the potential intersection of community-based, user-generated web platforms and algorithmic, machine-based ones. Wikipedia and Wikia have proven to do a pretty darn good job with the former. Search engines clearly do a great job with the latter. But until recently I hadn’t seen a great example of how the two approaches could come together, co-exist and truly complement each other to form something greater than the sum of the parts – which I believe is the future of the web. (Allow me to call it now: this is what we are going to come to call Web 3.0.)

Hunch.com‘s combination of community-sourced content and algorithmically-driven smarts is forging a promising path towards this potential future. And that’s why I’ve decided to join Hunch as a Board Member and an active advisor for the company’s ongoing development. As a result, I’ll be spending some time in Hunch’s NYC offices.

Hunch may be new to many of you; it was launched just 6 months ago. But the decision-making site, powered by a passionate community of active contributors, has already made significant progress and garnered respectable press. I’m impressed with the product, the Hunch community and the Hunch team, but mostly by the great potential I believe the company and its model have to intelligently fuse human input with machine smarts.

I’m looking forward to working closely with the Hunch team going forward (not to mention spending a lot more time in NYC!)

30 comments on “What’s new for me: Hunch

  1. Welcome to hunch! As a small member of the hunch user community I look forward to seeing what sort of contribution you might make to its future, whatever that may be.

  2. I just read an entry on CNN’s website titled “Citizens lay down law on U.S. debt” written by Jeanne Sahadi and, as I usually do, I began reading the comments posted by other readers. I find the posted comments to be very interesting because as you read through them you get a feel for what a slice of the readers are thinking.

    The comments to this particular entry contained several with suggestions to how we could fix our current deficit problem. I began to wonder…what if you could harness this power of collective thought to try and come up with solutions to our country’s problems. You know, the old saying “two heads are better than one”. How would you do this using the internet?

    Disclaimer: I am just an average user of computer and internet technology. I currently work as an aerospace engineer.

    So I thought, what type of sites collect and assemble information using inputs from users? It was not hard to realize that Wikipedia does this very thing. So I wondered how hard would it be to use the social networking power of the internet to come up with solutions to our problems. God knows our politicians can use all the help they can get.

    I guess you could set up topics and invite people to contribute ideas in a discussion format. There would be rules, of course, like no cruel criticism. Only constructive criticism would be allowed. I think it would be wonderful if everyday citizens were offered the opportunity to participate in solving our problems and I think the internet will play a key role in this area. Think of the power social networking sites could have in a collective thought process.

    I figured you would be the person with an open mind to this suggestion. And it looks like “Hunch” runs along the lines of what I just mentioned. After reading the article mentioned in my first paragraph I did a little research. To be honest, I didn’t know who Wikipedia’s founder was until 20 minutes ago.

    Take Care.

  3. Jimmy

    Sorry to cut into your thread, but I’ve specc’d an idea for a translexicon (free translation device) based on the wiki methodology.. It’s not a 1+1=2 word translator either i’ll go through it with you when you email me.

    Within 3 years the project would: 1 allow any site to be meaningfully translated to any language (triangulated via english) 2 become part of a library that would license spoken words into a hardware device to be spoken out in translated form by that machine. the second part would be commercial and would pay for the whole of the wiki website plus a lot more.

    email me conradbate@hotmail.com

  4. I’ve only recently discovered Chris Dixon’s blogging via Fred Wilson. I have recently scoured his shared thoughts on many topics and found his decision methodology to be incredibly open and reliably brilliant.

    I believe you’ve made an excellent decision, and I’m anxious to see your input help push Hunch to a wonderful future.

    Admittedly I asked Chris to have a seat on my pre-startup very early in reading his blog and still stand by that offer. VictusMedia.com has a long road ahead in creating great value to both users and business partners.

  5. Just saw your message (translated in Dutch) on wiki with your “imagine…” statement. I’ve always loved that about wiki and I’ve been promoting it in business a lot more lately as well. While the building business has slowed, it gives us more time now to think, share, trust and evolve…. I’m betting it’ll get through some day!
    Thanks for the inspiration, From a Florida Girl gone Dutch –
    Regards, Laura Stevens

  6. Hey Jimmy, I was just sitting at my window thinking of your appeal to help wiki and I came up with an idea to monetize wiki that doesn’t conflict with the ‘sum of human knowledge for free’ philosophy..

    If you google ‘offline wiki’ you can find instructions for creating an offline, off-site, workable version of wiki, which many portable users find useful because a wifi connection isnt always available.

    I myself looked into getting an offline wiki onto a laptop for the family to use while at the cottage or while on vacation.

    If wiki offered a digital subscription service, allowing users to pay a onetime nominal fee of $100 which would allow them access to offsite ‘image’ of wiki thats fully workable in local environments. Monthly snapshot image updates, (or bi-yearly even.) could be offered.

    Im sure I could convince my dad to drop a hundo just so he would be able to search for info on; how to build a deck, what type of bird he just saw, and to treat a serious burn from the fire.

    Just an idea.. offer the people what they’re doing anyways (offline wiki backup), with an ease-of-use factor that negates the cost of paying the premium.. itunes did it.. people were downloading mp3s anyways, they made it easy, and charged 99cents and changed the industry.

    $100 bucks, wiki for life, offline. with status updates. (i think the whole site properly compressed and indexed locally is 16 gigs? perfect for netbook users. it will even fit on an SD card. ;D)

    Something to think about..

  7. Hi Wales,

    Iam Deepa here from Chennai, India.

    Iam a great fan of Wikipedia and use it as a reference for almost every but of information which i need.I think Wikipedia is a real wonder in terms of the information which it offers about everything possible in this universe.

    I would suggest that Wikipedia also be converted in to book and sold to Indian/Asian Market.There is a huge amount of population who would like to read these contens in the form of a book as well apart from using internet to refer.i would like to publish it as a book if iam given rights to do that and a revenue model.

  8. I started editing on Wikipedia about 6 months ago. I never thought creating an article would open a new world for me. I have met so many kind and helpful folks on Wikipedia. The whole concept of Wikipedia is brillant!

    • Colleen,
      I totaly agree.
      I think it is very brave to explore new things and get in touch with new people.
      It is surprising how much kindness and good you can find out there.
      Ari

  9. Mr. Wales,
    It has truly been a pleasure reading about your life, education (by the way, War Eagle) and path in life. It seems that we may have a lot in common. I have recently been toying with an idea myself…the particulars I’ll share with you later. I believe this idea could fit in nicely with the Wikia family. I realize your time is quite valuable, but I would truly appreciate 5 minutes of your time in the near future to briefly share my idea with you. Email is the best medium to contact me. Thank you for your time and consideration.

  10. I just read an entry on CNN’s website titled “Citizens lay down law on U.S. debt” written by Jeanne Sahadi and, as I usually do, I began reading the comments posted by other readers. I find the posted comments to be very interesting because as you read through them you get a feel for what a slice of the readers are thinking.

    The comments to this particular entry contained several with suggestions to how we could fix our current deficit problem. I began to wonder…what if you could harness this power of collective thought to try and come up with solutions to our country’s problems. You know, the old saying “two heads are better than one”. How would you do this using the internet?

    Disflaimer: I am just an average user of computer and internet technology. I currently work as an aerospace engineer.

    So I thought, what type of sites collect and assemble information using inputs from users? It was not hard to realize that Wikipedia does this very thing. So I woneered how hard would it be to use the social networking power of the internet to come up with solutions to our problems. God knows our politicians can use all the help they can get.

    I guess you could set up topics and invite people to contribute ideas in a discussion format. There would be rules, of course, like no cruel criticism. Only constructive criticism would be allowed. I think it would be wonderful if everyday citizens were offered the opportunity to participate in solving our problems and I think the internet will play a key role in this area. Think of the power social networking sites could have in a collective thought process.

    I figured you would be the persoh with an open mind to this suggestion. And it looks like “Hunch” runs along the lines of what I just mentioned. After reading the article mentioned in my first paragraph I did a little research. To be honest, I didn’t know who Wikipedia’s founder was until 20 minutes ago.

    Take Care.;

  11. Good Day Jimmy!

    I like your phrase “intelligently fuse human input with machine smarts.” The whole becomes more than the sum of parts. I keep hearing Aristotle alongside algorithms for future data system organization.

    I am co-organizing a TEDxHuntsville that will take place about a year from now and, though you presented at TED 2005, an open keynote speaking invitation is extended from your hometown to you. My goal is for participants to gain new perspectives on the creativity underlying what becomes future tech. Using Kevin Kelly’s definition of technology: “anything useful created by the human mind”, I think you are an excellent candidate.

    I realize you are busy saving the world by supplying us internet nomads with information for our endless pursuit of knowledge. And that you probably have fifteen ongoing projects and ten transcontinental flights a week. If time is really against us, perhaps we could illustratively blend technovation and idea generation into a pre-recorded video, even just five minutes, giving you free reign to share your inspiration and perspective on future innovations and how the pursuit of your passions and interests in life changes both who you are and the world in which you live.

    I’ll be in touch. Cheers!

    Amy Robinson

  12. JW,
    off topic-
    While hunting for the address information for my donation to Wikipedia Foundation for 2009, I found your school information.
    War-Tide!!
    Mine HS Grissom in Huntsville, then UofA.

    We need a Wikipedia reference in one of the next futuristic Sci-Fi blockbuster movies. Better yet the hero has to use an computer to research some info and it gets him out of a jam :-)

  13. I know you do not review all content on the site, but I was wondering if you could change something for me? The Stamps Family of Virginia has an entire page about them. I am related to them and have some information that I would like you to add. About 3/4 the way down it mentions Dr. Timothy Stamps and has his birth year. The year is wrong. It should be 1720 to 1801.

    http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/1685097/person/-1902082109

    I have included the link to show this and it also has his will attached to that page.

    Thank you, Pete Snider

  14. Dear Jimmy,
    I may be overlooking it, but there doesn’t seem to be an obvious “button” for forwarding Wiki pages via email. It would be great to more easily share Wikipedia’s contents with friends. Thanks, JH

  15. hello, mr. wales.
    i really liked to contribute to wikipedia, but, unfortunately, i have other priorities in my life at moment, and i had to decide if i like to support wikipedia or do other things that are really urgent…
    but i am in principle a supporter of wiki and i hope that the project can be free forever.
    thank you

  16. Hi Jimmy,

    I greatly appreciate what you are doing to retain the most valuable and critical thing for human race, knowledge. Also I want to donate in favor of this masterpiece of knowledge crafted and created with such a beauty and passion.But I am startled to see no option for fund donation via INR ( Indian national Rupee ), the Indian currency. India is one of the biggest users of the internet and Wikipedia, so I think that is a point you might wish to look into.

    Thanks & Regards
    Jagannath Sahu
    Thanks & Re

  17. Hello, Mr Wales:

    I am Rodrigo, and I am from Brazil.
    First of all, I´d like to THANK YOU for creating this wonderful ‘tool': the GREAT Wikipedia!
    I made lots of searches (and still make!) there…
    Well, about the ‘donation': I agree, it´s important (I even tried to ‘help’ too!).
    That´s it. One more time, thanks for that HELPFUL issue!

    Lots of luck,
    Rodrigo O Rosa (Porto Alegre Brazil)

  18. While hunting for the address information for my donation to Wikipedia Foundation for 2009, I found your school information.
    War-Tide!!

  19. Hey Jimmy :)
    I’d just like to say that I support your wonderful site. I think it’s fantastic ! Thank you for creating
    Wikipedia for the world to utilize and enjoy. I frequent your site on a daily basis. I’m of the genX demographic of the general population.
    Since 2001 the web has progressed for the better by the culivation of your creation. It’s the first app I downloaded for my iPhone. The time I’ve spent on Wiki is only surpassed by my joy of finding myself a most formidable and comfortable home in cyberspace. Jimmy Wales
    you are an example of what the world needs more of,” a visionary of tomorrow on a Monday.”
    You Sir are brilliant ! Thank you for all you do.

    Sincerely

    Jenifer Wong

  20. I often tell my friends and colleagues that Wikipedia is in my opinion the absolute greatest achievement of humanity of all time, in any context. That the collective knowledge of humanity could be shared, made redundant, and be made freely and publicly available to all cultures is nothing short of giving our species an opportunity to rise above differences, government, war, and misfortune such that something greater than our present condition can be achieved through human innovation. It is my utmost passionate disposition that knowledge, above all else, leads to the highest levels of human fulfilment while providing the opportunity for solving the world’s problems. Lately, I’ve been dreaming of the idea of a “Wikipedia Day”, where young students could showcase, via posters and expositions in a fair-like environment, subjects or topics that they’ve learned on Wikipedia. The goal of the event would be to fund-raise for WIkipedia’s efforts, encourage self-discovery and personal education, and promote the spirit of freedom of information and knowledge. I may not have the resources to realize such an event myself, but perhaps someone would carry the torch on this most beneficial concept. Cheers!

  21. Dear Jimbo I LOVE you! I’m a huge fan and hope to meet you some day! <3

    Thanks for maintaining this insightful blog! Oh and I'm a female wiki editor! :)

  22. JW:

    Machine derived answers are not “done” by just talking about Search. Search cannot work with the fragments of knowledge inside a document or other container.

    Computation (both Wolfram Alpha and IBM Watson fall into this category) is a second great category but Wikipedia is all containers and without an adapter the knowledge inside WP stays locked there.

    Further the answers from computation are determined. That means that there is one right answer to each question and not a lot of discussion needed, other than to say “wow” if the answer is interesting.

    There is a third category of machine derived answers and that is from correlation. A correlation engine would decompose the 3.5 million English resources into its constituent fragments (about 1.6 billion) and allow a user to pose a complex query (two or more vectors of significance – semantically disjunct, of course) and have the correlation engine deliver a complete set of assertions which connect the origin to the destination.

    The answers from a correlation are, of course, perfect for further discussion because the set of assertions is not vetted by the machine for truth or accuracy. That is left to human operator.

    Since the assertions can range from the absurd to the profound, correlation derived answers are perfect for further discussion in a social setting.

    Carl Wimmer

  23. jimmy..love the movies but why does amc have so many ads and comm’l cuts during a two hour movie that lasts three hours? Every 10 minutes an ad..Please advise.
    Jack Turso

  24. Hunch personalizes the internet by helping you share and discover great recommendations about all sorts of topics.
    Hunch’s ambitious mission is to build a ‘Taste Graph’ of the entire web, connecting every person on the web with their affinity for anything, from books to electronic gadgets to fashion or vacation spots. Hunch is at the forefront of combining algorithmic machine learning with user-curated content, with the goal of providing better recommendations for everyone.

    But, there is no other start up focused on social media?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s