#TIFNUM - Find­ing the in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber

tifnum-bannerThe in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber (#tifnum) pro­ject started with a sim­ple idea: If you ask a ran­dom per­son a ques­tion, like "How many peo­ple are cur­rently liv­ing in the US?", then the chances aren't very high that you'll get the right an­swer. How­ever, if you ask a thou­sand peo­ple or even more and cal­cu­late the av­er­age of all the an­swers, it will be close to the right an­swer most of the time. That's what I was think­ing about when I had the idea of this so­cial ex­per­i­ment. I wanted to find out which num­bers peo­ple on the in­ter­net like the most and which num­ber is the in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber. As peo­ple change, their fa­vorite num­bers might also change and that's some­thing I want to find out, too. As with al­most every other so­cial ex­per­i­ment, the more peo­ple are par­tic­i­pat­ing, the more in­ter­est­ing it gets. To make this ex­per­i­ment even more in­ter­est­ing, I wanted to add re­lated links to each num­ber that gets cho­sen as the in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber. And sub­mit­ting your own fa­vorite num­ber should be as sim­ple as pos­si­ble with­out need­ing to lo­gin but still pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tion from spam­mers and so on. And with that idea, I started #tifnum - the in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber. To get the in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber, the web­site will take the me­dian of all num­bers that are sub­mit­ted. I chose the me­dian be­cause that way we'll get nice num­bers which are only bi­ased a lit­tle by very big num­bers and rep­re­sent the in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­bers best. One ex­am­ple, as­sum­ing the data­base has 7 en­tries:

52124242842500

The en­tries are sorted as­cend­ing and then the cen­ter en­try is taken as the in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber. As you can see, the larger num­bers, like 500 don't in­flu­ence the me­dian much. It would­n't make if this num­ber is maybe 500000 or even higher, and that's ex­actly what I wanted to achieve. Now, I could also just have taken the most sub­mit­ted num­ber and make that the in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber, but then the other num­bers that were sub­mit­ted by other users would­n't be in­cluded in the cal­cu­la­tion and that's not what I wanted. The in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber is built on­top of CodeIgniter which man­ages the data­base and server-side op­er­a­tions. The site it­self is built us­ing Twit­ter's Boot­strap tem­plate to­gether with jQuery for the AJAX re­quests, an­i­ma­tions and so on to make it look good on every de­vice. » Go to the in­ter­net's fa­vorite num­ber and sub­mit your fa­vorite num­ber As al­ways, if you've got an idea or any other com­ment con­cern­ing #tifnum, just leave them in the com­ments sec­tion be­low :)