I Have a Hunch That Hunch Might Not Be For Me

I Have a Hunch That Hunch Might Not Be For Me

Hunch launched today. For those of you who missed it it’s the latest Web 2.0ish venture founded by Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake. With a pedigree like that it’s got to be good no?

I tried it out but didn’t get very far.

1. The first thing I tried was setting up a profile. I wish companies were not so restrictive on what they’ll allow in your profiles. Hunch is a lot more restrictive than Flickr in terms of what they will allow. To make things easy, I did what I normally do and just cut and pasted my existing Flickr profile into Hutch. Hutch first rejected it because I had more than 2,000 characters. So I edited it down to below 2,000 characters. Then it rejected it because it only allows basic letters, numbers and punctuation. So I took out the html code linking to my blog, flickr account, Twitter account, etc. Then it rejected it again even though at that point it only contained basic letters and punctuation less than 2,000 characters. Anyways, here’s my profile. Apparently I haven’t earned any banjos yet.

2. The next thing I tried to do with Hunch is ask it a question. I tried the first relevant question for me that came to mind. “Which city should I visit next to photograph neon in?” Unfortunately it appears that you can not actually ask Hunch questions that are not already in their system. Since only freaks like me would care about shooting neon in U.S. ciites, I doubt I’ll ever see that question in Hunch.

3. So I tried a broader more general question, simply, which city should I visit next? Unfortunately that question was a little too much for Hunch as well. Instead it offered me up opportunities to learn about what cities I should visit in Europe and China, but not in the U.S. Oh and it also offered me up which museums I should visit in New York City. I’m not sure if Hunch was saying I should go to New York to shoot neon, or if I should just go to New York. It did offer back the advice though that I should “visit as much of Scotland as I can.” I wonder what’s in Scotland? The world’s biggest neon sign?

I tried a few more of the premade Hunch questions. I tried the “should I upgrade to the new iPhone,” question and it told me no. (I’m upgrading on Friday anyways, my son dropped my wife’s iPhone in a glass of water and it doesn’t work anymore, but it didn’t ask me that question). I also asked it if I was more of a Mac or a PC person and it told me PC (unfortunately, my new Mac arrives later this week).

I don’t really see Hunch being very useful for me. Maybe in 10 years or so when they have more pages or if they hire some kick ass photographer who knows where all the best neon is hidden away in America, but not for now. TechCrunch calls it “beguilingly fun” though, so maybe I’m just not doing it right. Official Hunch blog announcement here.

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  1. My reaction was similar. I answered 345 questions right off the bat so Hunch would know me like a mother. I then looked over the premade questions, choosing the Food & Drink topic. None of the questions — “Should I get drunk tonight? Should I make my lunch today? Should I have a cup of tea?” — resembled any actual question I might have. The only one on my mind was, “Why am I wasting my time on Hunch?”

  2. Maybe I’m missing something here, but I’m not sure that I get it either. Why would you use a search engine that won’t search for what you are interested in. Maybe I shouldn’t be thinking of it as search engine and more as some kind of web 2.0 destination, but it feels like it has limited utility from just a quick test drive.

  3. Mike says:

    The problem, Thomas, is that Hunch hasn’t yet worked out your 29 dimensions of compatibility.

  4. Peter Caputa says:

    I’d encourage you to give it another try and look at it from the angle of someone who is trying to teach, instead of someone who is trying to find.

    I think Hunch might attract a wikipedia like crowd as early adopters. I also think that crowd will build it big enough to make it useful, attracting a more mainstream non-contributor/user/later adopter market.

    I also think there is incentive for businesses to participate and build Hunch.

    Here’s an article I wrote about my experience:

    Greg Sterling has the value prop covered really well:

  5. Thomas Hawk says:

    Mike, my 29 dimensions of compatibility could look pretty scary.

  6. Eric in SF says:

    God please tell me this has utility beyond what’s been revealed. Caterina’s PR-heavy blog post said:

    “What is Hunch? Look. Decision-making is difficult, and decisions have to be made constantly. What should I be for Halloween? Do I need a Porsche? Does my hipster facial hair make me look stupid? Is Phoenix a good place to retire? Whom should I vote for? What toe ring should I buy?”

    These are all questions only neurotic over-educated city dwellers have. I see it daily and it drives me insane. Just make a decision damnit and move on. Yes, you’re going to make bad decisions, you’re going to make poorly informed decisions, you’re going to make brilliant decisions, but if you turn into a stressball simply for having to MAKE the decision then you’ve got bigger issues – issues a new internet service isn’t there to solve for you.

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