Debatewise is a three-month old UK site which is deceptively simple at first but which could have a future in data gathering for market research.
The underlying principle is this: Who has the time to read hundreds of random blog or forum posts or an issue they are interested in?
A better idea is to pose a question and have opposing sides put their case temperately. But how often do you see that online?
Should VAT be added to fruit juices? Should you invest in property in Berlin? One hears an arguement in favour but often rarely against, since the Internet tends towards a rabbit hole of debate rather than the pros and cons.
Debatewise’s mission is to enable people to compare the collective wisdom of one side of a debate with the collective wisdom of their opponents, to help them make up their mind about anything. It puts the for and against arguement alongside eachother in a vertical column, which is a better user experience than threaded conversations.
The revenue model is market research. People can vote on debates and over time one can compare the voting behaviour of those registered. That anonymised data can then be sold to businesses as consumer trends intelligence. Although Debatewise says the incentive for the user is getting targeted advertising, this seems like a slightly optimistic revenue stream. Not incentive enough for me, at least.
Now, hold your horses. This may not be a great consumer internet play. It could require a hefty marketing budget to get Debtwise sufficiently front of mind to make people start using it.
But corporates could also look at this as an internal decision making tool. It’s possible that DebateWise – and they admit this – will change their business model. We shall see…