Posted 23/Jul 2011 at 08:48
by in Fun & Games read by 15 people

Enter the world of magical, comparison based voting on Vomack

Yesterday I launched a project I had been working on for a few weeks called Vomack. The basic idea behind is that people setup a polll containing roughly 10 options, and then let their friends (and the whole world) vote on it through by deciding preference of one over the other ("Head to Head voting"). The result is a completely personal and fully ranked list which gives the voter an insight in not only his top preference, but also the lesser favourite items on the list.

Give it a try: Visit Vomack - voting magick

I initially had the idea for such a site sometime back in 2005 or so. Back then, I had spend only very little time trying to build an interface around it - but never got very far. The name I first wanted to give to it, "This or That", was also unavailable as dot com domain name and I simply didn't have the experience of setting up web apps yet. 

But that was then.

Until I not too long ago woke up thinking about it again, somewhat out of the blue. I cooked up the simple code that would drive the comparison and ranking engine into a command line script, using some fruits as options. Three things already quickly became clear:

  1. This is fun!
  2. Some people prefer banana over apple, apple over melon but still melon over banana
  3. Many comparisons are needed to get to the final results

The second one is probably why it is so much fun, and the first one isn't really a problem. But I had to tackle the third one if this project was supposed to be a success. Improvement came quickly, when I changed the calculation of the "next comparison" from "when needed" based to "queue based". Without going too deep technically, it cut down the number of comparisons needed in a 10 item option chain from 90 to roughly 26 - depending on how decisive the voting person is.

Then an interface, a quickly cooked up design, terms of use and privacy policy and here it is. Vomack is born!

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