Edopter is a unique concept that attempts to combine crowd-sourcing with internet buzz to predict new trends. It’s called “social trendcasting.”
The way it works, is by allowing users to generate “trends” according to what they think will catch on. Some trends are “cewebrities” (pictured below), “Batman: The Dark Knight,” and “tap water.” The user who makes the trend writes a “pitch” – the reason they think it will catch on. Then the Edopter system scans the web to measure current internet “buzz.” Users can join a trend, and give their pitch, upload photos and videos related to the trend, and discuss the trend with the other users in that trend. The more discussion and content you add, the more likely more people will join, thus increasing the value of the trend.
There is a point system that measures the trends based on the users involved, the internet buzz, and the time it’s been a trend. The points go up with each user, and down as time goes by. To join a trend, a user has to buy in with some of their points (each user starts with 500). The purchase price for a trend is its current worth, so users are encouraged to get in on trends early.
The Edopter “Showcase” is where users can trade in points for exclusive opportunities and other prizes. The showcase is currently under construction, with plans to open it up sometime in the near future.
Edopter recently launched their Facebook application so users can connect with friends already using the service and invite others. Through the application users can track other users’ favorite and recent trends, and or use the VS. feature to compare common trends and statistics.
The potential for a solid business model here is huge. If it were to take off (maybe its users and algorithm could predict if it will or not), they would have access to a very hard to reach demographic – early adopters. The trendsetters who are always on the lookout for the next new thing. There’s opportunities to sell sponsored trends, and promotions where users could earn more points. They could draw some inspiration from popular virtual currency Facebook applications like Friends for Sale. For example, using points as rewards for users that invite their friends, and become more involved in the site.
There are several sites with with similar concepts, but they mainly stay within one vertical. MediaPredict is a site where you buy shares in movies, music and books and predict milestones for each item. Another similar application is PicksPop, where users can predict and bet on celebrity gossip and pop culture. There’s also CoolSpotters, a site where users can “spot” cool clothes on celebrities and share with the community to get reviews and similar trends. What these sites lack in comparison to Edopter, is the proprietary algorithm that Edopter uses to predict the trends’ staying power. Edopter is also lacking a specific vertical, enabling users to predict and measure any trend they want.