One of my current online loves is a decision-making site called Hunch, which relies on the collective knowledge of its users. Don’t know what to make for dinner, a problem that plagues me nearly every night? Should you ask them out on a date? Which blog, out of the millions out there, should you be reading anyway? When Hunch was released to the public, I immediately jumped aboard because the idea sounded cool and because I had a lot of spare time on my hands, along with satisfying my desire to take little quizzes and not post the results, which helped keep my new year’s resolution of not posting any quiz or meme results on my LiveJournal.
Then came the discovery that I could write my own topics. While this sounds easy (think of all the decisions you make on an everyday basis), the actual things you weigh in order to make a decision are more detailed than one may think. I gave this a try in creating a topic on National Novel Writing Month. I’d normally ask if people like to write and like crazy challenges. What I didn’t think about was other factors that I take for granted, such as adaptability, writer’s block, and persistence. Other Hunchers did, and they added the appropriate questions.
I’ve actually learned a lot about decision making through taking supposedly silly quizzes: what quote to put on my Facebook page, what to fix for dinner, whether I should go to bed (usually yes), what that smell is (sadly, it’s usually not bacon), where I should eat, where I should live, what Linux distribution I should try (Debian, and I have plans to install it), that I could become a good writer, and that I am apparently a prolific Hunch user. Who would have thought?
Because Hunch learns from its users, it’s not as good at deciding relationships or health issues. Case in point: Tonight Hunch says I shouldn’t go to bed, but I do have plans for tomorrow. This time I’ll have to listen to myself. Luckily there are no pro/cons for this topic.