The Triple J Hottest 100 is a pretty big deal in Australia. Known as the world’s largest musical democracy, the whole country tunes in every year on Australia day, January 26, to listen to the top 100 songs of the previous year count down. The number 1 song is always a closely guarded secret.
In 2013, I figured out how to predict the countdown, using data from social media. Together with a few friends, I created the Warmest 100 – the web’s most accurate prediction of the Hottest 100- a playable list of how we predicted the Hottest 100 would go, released a whole week before the countdown.
To many, we’d spoiled Australia day. To us, the whole thing was a big experiment.
The next year, after Triple J tried put steps in place to prevent a similar prediction, by preventing users from sharing their votes on Twitter and Facebook, we found another way to predict the countdown, using Instagram and OCR (optical character recognition) technology.
The Warmest 100 has been covered extensively, and I’ve spoken about it at conferences in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, and Chicago.