In 2004, James Surowiecki published a book entitled “The Wisdom of Crowds”, in which he discussed how a well rounded group of laymen were better at evaluating almost anything than any individual expert in that field. Essentially, he posited that a large group of people would almost always do better in any test of knowledge than an individual person, even if that person was clearly more informed than any other individual in the crowd.
This applies to almost every facet of life, including baseball. As notable analyst and friend of USSM Tom Tango has shown, an amalgamation of projections from fans often perform as well or better than advanced projection systems or baseball experts. By combing the various bits of knowledge from a large sample of people, the inherent bias’ that each of us hold can generally be overcome in most cases, presenting an accurate assessment of reality.
In that spirit, we’re happy to join forces with Jeff Sullivan and the gang over at Lookout Landing to present the 2007 Community Projection series. Last year, Jeff spearheaded this project on his blog, and this year, we’re joining forces to give the Mariner blogosphere readership a real chance to show your stuff. Is the group widsom of the average USSM/LL reader more knowledgable about the potential of this team than advanced systems like PECOTA? I say yes, and this is a chance to find out.
The community projections officially kick off on Monday. In order to make the collection and calculations easy and accurate, we’re going to be utilizing Google Spreadsheets. This will allow us to share an Excel style workbook over the web for collaboration and publishing. To use Google Spreadsheets, you need to have a (free) Google account and join the community projection mailing list so that we can add you to the list of collaborators.
We will not send any spam, sell your address, or do any other annoying things – we just need to be able to invite you to edit the spreadsheet. To participate, send an email to email@example.com. On Monday, we’ll send a notice inviting everyone on the list to enter your projection for Kenji Johjima, and we’ll proceed around the diamond with the rest of the team over the next several months.
You don’t need to be an expert to feel like you have something to offer. If you’re reading the blog, you’re probably a pretty well informed fan, and we’d love to have you participate in the community projection series. So, sign up today and help us make this a true test of the wisdom of the Mariner blogosphere crowd.