Wikibrains lets you peek into the thoughts of others


Wikibrain is a web service for shared brainstorms, which is similar to the stream of consciousness free association method that psychologists sometimes use to do their job. A quick example: quick, what do you think of when you think about Apple? (Or how about Samsung, Bitcoin, Microsoft, or anything else).

No matter what your responses were, Wikibrains, a free web service for collective brainstorming, wants to know what they are. What Wikibrains does is allow you to look up any topic or keyword and see it’s collective brainstorm; which is to say, the responses that were elicited by other people, which can be very telling and informative depending on what your topic of interest is.

Wikibrains also lets you log in and create your own brainstorms, which consist of your own ideas as well as others that you can ‘collect’ from the collective brainstorming of others.

Wikibrains is organized around a search box: type in the entity or concept you are looking for, and it will present you with a number of ‘bubbles’ which correspond to the reactions of others that have visited the page. The bigger (and darker) the bubble, the more it has been submitted by other users.

Wikibrains Screenshot2

The value of these bubbles is immediately apparent. For example, I recently wrote an article about Bitcoin and wanted to see the kinds of reactions that it had. It was interesting to see that so many people associate it with ‘Black Market’, or that so many people were apparently so conscious of it’s 21 million coin limit. It is also interesting to see some of the lesser popular reactions, such as ‘Arabs’ (?), ‘Samsung’, and ‘Debt Free’.

Note that for each entry, Wikibrains also features a feed displayed on the right hand side, from various sources on the internet, that relates to the subject at hand.

The verdict: a very interesting service. It seems to be that Wikibrains can be an extremely valuable tool, although I am not quite sure about how or the extent of it’s usefulness (I can see this being looked at by investors, for example, to measure the sentiment around a company or something of the sort).

One thing I would love to know, though, is how many people put in their votes, for each particular thought bubble. It would make a difference to know that 1,000 people are responsible for a certain sized bubble, rather than a mere dozen as an example. Would love to hear what you guys have to say about it!

[Thanks go to reader Panzer for the tip].

Check out Wikibrains.