Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Onion is not that Far Off

The Onion ran a pretty funny news-in-brief yesterday about Obama waiting for the new Springsteen album to gauge the health of the economy. While obviously satire, this isn't that far off from the work a lot of folks are doing in the realm of crowd sourcing, distributed intelligence, group behavior analysis for gleaning information about complex systems (e.g. world economies).
My friend Jack writes a pretty cool blog called "Markets with Search" that examines Google search trends to predict global market behavior. His post on predicting iPhone sales is particularly illuminating as to how one might use this technology, that is freely available to everyone, to do much better jobs of predicting economic figures than what a "professional" analyst will tell you.
In the future, when I get a little time, I hope to apply this sort of mass crowd search analysis to commodities fundamentals and prices. Intrigued? I hope so.

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