herd_immunityBeing young and ambitious, almanis is always keen to get noticed and attract new users. Encouraging then, to see ourselves written up in The Economist on Wednesday – not bad for a website that’s only a couple of months old! Read our write up from the award winning ‘Journalist of the year’ Philip Coggan here.

One point the article focused on was the herding mentality of expert forecasters – economists and the like – and contrasting this with almanis which rewards only those forecasters who shift the prevailing consensus, who move away from the herd.

But this herding problem might actually be far more widespread than many, including The Economist, assume. On Tuesday, herding hit UK headlines after an official report into the disastrous performance of UK polling in last year’s general election highlighted the suspicious herding of results between pollsters as election day drew nearer. Opinion polls are meant to be scientific and impartial and yet there is clear evidence of such herding trends taking place both in the UK and US. Whether with economic forecasters or pollsters, the cause appears the same: those in the public eye can’t afford to look stupid, so they tend to be drawn to the safety of the pack.

Stepping into this malaise is almanis, a site to incentivise and facilitate the meaningful expression of diverse views. It’s incentivised because nobody gets their hands on almanis prize money by agreeing with the crowd. It’s facilitated because this is a place you can make forecasts according to your own opinions, no bosses or clients are looking over your shoulder, no judge other than the outcome.

Accurate and timely predictive outcomes come from diverse groups communicating clearly and openly. Serious social media outlets are a powerful means for many people to debate with one another in a concise and meaningful way. To encourage this, almanis is drawing more and more diverse users into the fold to consider the questions that matter. Now that The Economist’s readers know a little more about us, perhaps our next goal should be to have almanis profiled in Rolling Stone.

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