Hunch’s Recommendation Engine Goes Local

Hunch has launched what its co-founder, Chris Dixon, calls an alpha version of a new local recommendation engine. You can access it at It's not to be confused with Hunch's existing Local category on the main site, and no one would confuse the two, anyway. The new Hunch Local is map-based (using Google Maps) and offers recommended businesses in your local area in a small window to the right of the map. (click for larger version) Hunch Local, like Hunch itself, works best when the service knows more about you. It relies on the your social connections -- th [...]

Hunch: Traffic Down, Registrations Way Up & We’re Smarter

Even though its traffic is down, Hunch says new user registrations have risen dramatically recently. And as more users register, Hunch says its recommendation engine keeps getting smarter. Barely more than two months ago, Hunch began requiring visitors to register/login to use the site. In doing so, all Hunch visitors were required to answer the site's "Teach Hunch About You" (THAY) questions -- the information that Hunch relies on to make more accurate recommendations. To date, Hunch says its users have answered more than 50 million THAY questions. At the time of that June announcement, Hu [...]

Hunch Tweaks Home Page, Focuses On Recommendations

Hunch has announced what it calls a "streamlined and simplified" home page, but the changes really reflect a slight change in focus, too. When the site launched last year, we referred to Hunch as a "personal decision maker;" Hunch itself used the term "decision engine." The new home page, though, presents a change of emphasis; logged-in users are immediately presented with a group of recommendations. The previous home page was more of an activity stream that seemed geared toward funneling users into existing decision topics. The difference between decision-making and recommending [...]

Hunch Doing ‘Pretty Well,’ Co-Founder Says

Barely two weeks after its launch, Hunch is already taking stock of its progress. "How well do we think Hunch is working?," asks co-founder Chris Dixon. "Pretty well, although we still have a ways to go." Writing on the Hunch blog, Dixon explains that the decision engine is using what it calls "success rate" as its best measure of Hunch's accuracy. Hunch defines success as when a user clicks "Yes" on one of the top three results and doesn't click "no" one one of them. Dixon says the site's success rate is at 81% now, up from 70% when the private beta site was launched. Their goal is to get [...]

Hunch: Your “Personal Decision Maker”

Hunch is not a "search engine" insists Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, one of the people behind the new site. But you'll probably start seeing it show up in (Google) search results, just like Wikipedia or Yahoo Answers. And in some ways it's like a mix of both of those concepts, as Matt McGee discusses in his companion piece on Hunch. Danny Sullivan, Matt McGee and I spoke with Fake on Friday about Hunch, how it worked and many of the ideas behind it. At the end of the call I asked Fake how she would succinctly describe Hunch. She brought up the "decision engine" concept, which was abandon [...]

Hunch: A Real Decision Engine

Caterina Fake's enthusiasm for her latest project is contagious. Hunch is now open to the public, but it's still three days pre-launch when we talk and, at this point, about the only uncertainty is how best to describe it in all the media interviews she's doing. Phrases like "Q&A community" and "knowledge tool" are mentioned, but "decision engine" is what the Hunch team settled on some time ago. And, for a couple reasons, the timing appears to be perfect: First, Microsoft is throwing around $80 million to promote as its new decision engine. "We owe them one," Fake says. "Bing [...]

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