Wisdom of Crowds Mark II

After twitVoteUK comes soccervote. You may know the FIFA World Cup kicks off in South Africa in June, and so we’ve put together a World Cup prediction site at www.soccervote.org. The backend is pretty much the same as twitVoteUK, but Chris has put a lot of work into the frontend to offer a global view, refine the form and add lots of language support, given we want a global submitting audience.

There is a subtle difference behind this effort. Last time it was about obtaining people’s opinions in order to get a poll to try to reflect how the nation might vote. Those people were an attempt to see if that sample set would predict the outcome of the election. They were representing the people who would go to the polls earlier this month and place their votes for real. This time the people who add their predictions on our site are not going to be playing in South Africa, they have no influence on the outcome of the World Cup. Instead this is a wisdom of crowds experiment, ie can the majority view of people who submit an opinion on our site accurately predict the winners of the World Cup? Indeed, will the second, third and fourth listed teams make the semi-finals and so on? Once the tournament begins and teams get knocked out we’ll use the rules in our event processing system to prevent folks from voting for invalid teams, and if volumes of votes increase, then we’ll modify rules to highlight particularly interesting countries of origin in terms of frequency of voting or frequency of change of leader.

What would be good, though, was if we could include Scotland in the list of contenders. Unfortunately we missed out on qualification again. 😦


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