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What’s Your Hunch on New Discovery Engine’s Chances of Success?

Last week, we gave you a heads-up that Hunch would be launching today. Well, our…ahem…hunch was correct; Hunch.com is now live.

When you visit the site–it’s not really a search engine, as you’ll see–you’ll be asked to answer one simple question. Then another. Then another. In fact, Hunch cleverly draws you in my asking you a series of very simple questions–many of which you feel strangely compelled to answer. Here’s an example:

And another:

After you’ve answered 20 or so questions, Hunch will prompt you to save your answers by creating a new account, after which, it will be able to help you make those not so important decisions in life. Like this one:

After I answered a number of questions about my music tastes, Hunch suggested the following artist:

Unfortunately, it didn’t offer to play me a sample of music–which would have been nice, considering Hunch was recommending a band I had never heard of before.

So, what’s to like about Hunch? It’s kind of like flipping through the channels on your cable box. You come across that Anthony Bourdain show and realize that you too might like to eat sheep’s gonads in Outer Mongolia. Hunch offers itself as an "answer" site, but I think it’s more akin to a "discovery engine." It helps you find neat stuff that you never knew you liked.

What’s not to like about Hunch? It gets painfully slow. Maybe this is just launch pains, but after I selected my "music" answers, I had time to go and pour another cup of coffee, before Hunch came back with its suggestions. Also, I’m not convinced of Hunch’s long-term appeal. Sure, if I’m bored of Twitter, Hunch is a great place to go and waste time, but will it have enough to keep me coming back? Perhaps that’s why Hunch allows you to embed topics on your web site–with millions of blogs showing Hunch topics, Hunch.com itself won’t need to be the central hub of interaction.

Hunch has been under wraps for months and its founder is Caterina Fake–the same of Flickr fame–so, I suspect it’s worked hard on mixing the right ingredients to bring us back for me.

What do you think of Hunch?

  • http://www.itrackmine.com Dean Higginbotham

    Was it 20 questions? Seemed like 200. Is it a survey wrapped in a glossy Search Engine ribbon? Do I win an iPod now?

    I couldn’t finish – you’ve got more patience than me.

  • http://www.yousaidit.com Charles Borwick

    I think Hunch is pretty cool. I’ve been using it during the beta and I think it has a good success rate predicting the decisions I would have made anyway. The API is a really neat idea and may be their best contribution in the end.

    My only issue is that once again it is a national/global destination site and really not organized around the community of people whose opinions and ideas I’m most likely to want and trust.

    I’d prefer to go to a local site and ask questions in a less structured way and see what they have to say. For example http:questionland.thestranger.com is for people who read The Stranger in Seattle and Questionland should be available to all cities with alternative weeklies/sites after the upcoming AAN conference.

  • Mary

    Hunch recommended Chester French to me too! Weird coincidence or pay-to-play? ;)