Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Find users that anticipate popular search terms
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If you have a search engine, you can (and probably do) drop a cookie that identifies each user. You also have a list of the most popular search terms this week. Keep a record of all searches and IDs (which you probably do anyway). Now, find those people who searched last week for something that's just become popular this week. These people are trendspotters, and in the aggregate, can be used to predict what will be hot (or not) next week. Invest or sell short as appropriate. ("Uh, yes, I'd like to sell 3200 shares of Britney Spears.")
rmutt, Mar 14 2000

The Foresight Exchange http://www.ideosphere.com/
Bet your reputation on the future! [dnm, Mar 14 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Hack the Spew! http://www.wirednew...hive/2.10/spew.html
A short story by Neal Stephenson ("Snow Crash", "The Diamond Age","Cryptonomicon") about a similar idea. [koz, Mar 14 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Baked, after a fashion: buzz.yahoo.com http://buzz.yahoo.com/
Not sure if they are tracking individual trendspotters or not (they may, behind the scenes), but this one seems to be baked to a a nice, golden brown. [land, Mar 14 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Google Trends Correlate https://www.google....ds/correlate/search
[slater, Nov 15 2013]


       I think this is an interesting idea. It could actually be made useful if the results (the search targets, not the users of course) were made available to search engine users, especially if they were categorized.   

       Do people think it's an invasion of privacy? It has some echoes of Amazon's purchase circles.
syost, Mar 16 2000, last modified Mar 23 2000

       I think that this would be fine if you operated it as an opt-in scheme, and ensured that the trend setters were not identified. Most people would probably not mind opting in if it meant that they felt they were recognised as trend setters, you could could maybe provide other incentives as well.
rob, Mar 17 2000

       I don't see a privacy problem. The idea is to use the *trends*, not the the spotter IDs. Unlike other net things where privacy concerns are totally justified, the spotter's personal info (name, age, credit card #) is irrelevant. In fact, spotters should not know they are such, lest they be tempted to bias the trends. If you are ethical, the whole thing can (and should) be done double-blind: the only thing you know about the spotter is a random cookie ID.
rmutt, Mar 23 2000

       There's an idea somewhat like this in Connie Willis's cute novel _Bellwether_. To say much more would be a spoiler, I'm afraid.
cosma, Mar 29 2000

       many search engines allow you to watch searches as they happen: try metaspy, at <a href="http://www.metaspy.com">MetaSpy</a>   

       does this thing allow html links?
cybercyph, Jul 24 2000

       guess not!
cybercyph, Jul 24 2000

       [Admin: To add a link to an idea, use the [link] button located directly under the idea's text.]
jutta, Sep 20 2000

       This doesn't have anything to do with a bad heroin trip does it?
GeneticCrypto, Sep 21 2000

       I really don't see any ethical problems with the idea, but I am not convinced that you could come up with any tangible information unless you watched for several years or even longer to really get any ideas. Issac Asimov described your idea as psycohistory (predicting the movements of society as a whole thru mathmatics). Ifv you have the resources nessesary to develope your idea, go for it. Don't expect return any time soon!
maliki, Sep 26 2000

       (((((shimmering psychic awareness)))))Swami thumbwax predicts...Champagne...2001(((((psychic awareness fades)))))
thumbwax, Sep 28 2000

       While Yahoo's "buzz" is cute, I don't think it's at all what this idea is suggesting -- it's just a fancy list of search terms. The notion of finding a "bellwether" remains entirely unbaked, as far as I can tell.
egnor, Oct 31 2000

       Isn't there a Google tool which does this now?
hippo, Nov 15 2013

       @hippo Google Trends Correlate?
slater, Nov 15 2013


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