Finding Truth in Crowds

The folks at JanRain (the OpenID library builders) have released jyte, a site that allows you to make claims about anything you like and then other people can agree or disagree. It's a well-done Web 2.0 kind of site with lots of cool infographic features, embeddable result bars, comments, tags, and OpenID authentication (what else?). It even let me use my i-name. Hurray!

Here's a claim that David Recordon made about Emacs:

I'm not sure how that's going to look or even if you have to log in to vote, but we'll see...

The idea that people can make statements about something and then other people can agree or disagree has a nice tie-in to reputation. There's a lot of debate about whether there really is wisdom in crowds or not, but reputation is one place where that happens in real life. It doesn't matter much whether it works or not--in society it just is.

Most of the claims on the site are trivial at this point (like the one I embedded above--who cares?). Still, I believe that you could use it for more serious activities like paring down the results of a brainstorming session. I may try using it on my class on Reputation in some way.