From Whole Earth To SmartMobs To Crowd-Sourcing – Let Your Customers Talk

Howard Rheingolds vlog: Vernacular Video

research: crowd-sourcing prediction software


One of my favorite themes in life has become the critical need and great value of letting your customers TRULY communicate with you.

So I was going to write a simple post today about online prediction software used for crowd-sourcing [Wikipedia] (leveraging mass collaboration) But, like most of my thoughts, it twisted and turned a bit. So I tried to unravel it for you here.


I first fell in love with Howard Rheingold’s mind [Wikipedia] when he took his turn editing the Whole Earth Review. He was one of so many thinkers and doers who interacted with the great works of Steward Brand. [Wikipedia]

Periodically, I check Howard’s site to see what he’s focusing on. He bumped his fame with his 2003 book Smartmobs: The Next Social Revolution. Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution parallels much of our early work at MutualGravity creating functional online platforms. Howard has been trying to build his own social network platform for years.

Related to that, I’ve embedded his current video about web videos on his vlog. It a simple, visual overview of video on the web.


Predictify is one of many open social networks built on the idea that the crowd can predict the future, participants can build a reputation based on their accuracy, and marketers can post questions to collect actionable data.

It’s one of many twists on traditional marketing research approach being tested by companies. Like most approaches, one of our key concerns wraps around statistical validity. Can you trust this sample of people and this methodology to bring you accurate enough information for you to make multi-million dollar decisions on it? We’ll come back to that issue next Tuesday. We’ll simplify the jargon, and give you the information and tools you need to understand validity to do research correctly.

In the meantime, there’s a lot of potential in letting your constituents, or the whole world, give you their best guess into the future.


Begin with a comparison of online prediction software used for crowd-sourcing. It’s a bit dated, but there’s a good discussion of various online prediction software on Mercury Research and Consulting’s Mercury’s Blog on prediction markets.

David VanAmburg’s involvement with marketing research began in 1968 when he was hired as a research analyst with technology leader, Lord Corporation. Since 1977, he has provided over 2,000 research studies for clients in 165 industries, designed the first national hunger study for America’s Second Harvest, and taught MBA courses in the subject. He loves designing research studies and analyzing results.

VanAmburg Group and MutualGravity design automated real-time marketing research and customer feedback systems for large and small corporations, from utility customers to hospital patients to restaurant patrons, and more. What can we implement for you?

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