I have a Hunch

A new discovery on my quest into the very deepest, darkest secrets of social media (and beyond) is the website HUNCH.

A few words of warning before you rush off to look at it – this site is very good at the one thing my employer (and most others) will frown upon – decreasing employer productivity. It is one highly addictive social network. Thank God my time spent on this one was for research purposes (mostly).

So what is it all about? It is a site based on a computing problem that has troubled even the leaders in the industry for quite some time now – recommendations. This is a simple idea that suggests: I can let you know a little about me and you, with a fancy algorithm and some statistical genius, will accurately suggest products, places and ideas that will appeal to me – and all this without the help of Leo and his band of Incepticons (great movie).

Hunch asks you questions, you answer, they tell you what’s good for YOU. So why was I playing around on Hunch when I should have been working? My colleague Ru tasked me with the daunting task of providing her with a means to explore the holy grail of marketing – what young, connected people want, do, think, like, say and BUY.

So I e-mailed a chap at Hunch asking him how I can extract insights from all the data they have about their users, and believe me, they have like everything (thanks to Facebook Connect and the millions of questions people have answered on their site), and now I’m scheduled to have my first ever transatlantic conference call next week (YIPPEE!).

In the meantime, I found a fantastic tool they released ages ago which gives you some idea as to the potential of the data they are collecting. It lets you search for a question and then tells you, depending on the answer you choose, the other highly correlated questions and answers . Check out the example below if you’re confused:

I answered “Of course I have…” and got these highly correlated, very interesting results:

Talk about PROFILING someone!

Anyway, you’re either confused at this point or you totally see the potential behind this site – either way, check out what Wired magazine recently had to say about the company or just dive straight into the site and check it out for yourself.
One other use (other than market research) I have already found for the site is to read what people are saying about different brands – e.g. sports equipment (like Umbro… hint hint). Some reviews are REALLY detailed (as if people don’t have anything better to do than go on and on and on); which reminds me, check this out as well – battle of the brands
Back to work!