ThinkingAloud: The Twitter Man

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I had a long caffiene-filled weekend chilling out reading old Wired articles on counter-culture, prediction markets and social media when an idea came to me.

Why not combine the approach of Luke Rhinehart’s novel The Dice Man with an ad-hoc prediction market being substituted for the pseudo-chaotic responses provided by a pair of dice.

Like the dice a number of possible decisions could be created and then a prediction market could be used to decide which decision to take.

Then it struck me that Twitter would be an ideal vehicle for this:

  • The Twitter Man could have a closed set of people who they follow in the prediction market (a kind of advisory board based on the their social graph), which would hopefully provide the optimal decisions
  • 140 characters of Twitter would keep the options simple, closed, inambiguous in nature and enable simple responses; improving responses and making tallying up the results easier
  • Responses should be short, taking up a minimum amount of time and allowing for immediate gut reactions rather than an overly-analytical response

There is also a certain circular reference in this as the proto-online social network The WELL, can trace its history back to the Whole Earth Catalog and the back to land new communalism movement of the 1960s and early 70s which tried to create a collective mind similar to that occurring in a tribal people.

On the other hand it could also pander to the darker modern phenomena of self-centred wannabe micro celebrities.