SocialTumbs is a decision making utility that taps the wisdom of the crowd to help people make tough choices. Utilizing the "pro vs. con" approach to decision making, SocialThumbs allows users to look at both sides of a tough decision and call on others to help them muddle through it.
Specifically, SocialThumbs uses a simplified version of the PMI method of decision making developed by British author Edward de Bono. PMI stands for "Plus/Minus/Interesting" and calls on decision makers to create a pro and con list for a particular decision and then assign scores to each (plus for pro, minus for con). SocialThumbs nixes the "interesting" column and simplifies things by limiting scoring to plus or minus 5 -- where as de Bono's scoring system was arbitrary.
When adding a decision to SocialThumbs, authors are asked to input a question (like, "Should I wear red to the prom?"), a motivation (like, "I want to look hot at the prom")," and some background information (like, "My favorite color is red," "My date is color blind," "I have brown hair and green eyes," etc.). The decider then lists pros and cons and offers a score of -5 to +5 for each. Once the decision is public, other users are invited to add additional pro and con reasons, vote on any of the pro/con statements, and leave comments. Based on the overall scoring data, SocialThumbs comes up with a yes or no suggestion.
It strikes us that this site might do well as an application on social networks like Facebook or MySpace where users could call on their friends to help them make decisions.
SocialThumbs is an interesting idea, and while it's not truly a wisdom of the crowds app (we use that term loosely around here), it makes sense to lean on the wisdom of others to help clarify the decision making process. Ultimately, people need to make decisions for themselves, but using SocialThumbs might shed light on aspects of an issue that users hadn't thought of, or offer alternative views that are helpful in their decision making. To paraphrase the Beatles, we get by with a little help from our friends.