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Hunch: A Flickr of hope for customized info?

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Hunchcookies_lEver since I heard about Hunch, uh, last week, I’ve been dying to check it out: “From the people who brought you Flickr” gets my blood pumping. After poking around for a few hours, I can say Hunch is pretty fun, reasonably accurate, and very intuitive, but that I’m still not sure what it’s for exactly.

Hunch is technically still invite only (a.k.a. private beta, though they’re not using that term), but I signed up on Friday and got my invite today — not a bad turnaround. The site — service? concept? movement? — is “a decision-making tool that’s customized for you,” according to its FAQ. Users (Hunchbacks?) can get choose your own adventure–style answers to questions like “Is my partner cheating on me?” “What funny video should I watch?” or “What Girl Scout cookies should I buy?” (Ugh, the answer should just be “Samoas” and then “Thin Mints as a distant second choice,” duh.) Anyway, Hunch asks you a series of questions then points you in its statistics-generated right direction. It correctly predicted what kind of wine I like and which museums I want to visit, but I wonder: Is Hunch meant to legitimately help answer those questions, or is it more just for fun and goofing around? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

As far as pluses and minuses go, Hunch definitely has a lot to offer, and its clean, sensible design makes it a breeze to use…not to mention a total time-suck. Egads, I have spent most of the afternoon putzing around on it. As its users contribute more information, Hunch should become more robust, and part of what’s exciting and fascinating about community-oriented sites is that it’s not always clear what they’re going to become. Hunch doesn’t have all the answers yet — zing! — but I’m definitely curious to see where it goes.