DialIdol.com blows away the competition, but bloggers are better writers.
As you may know, I just started blogging about American Idol this season. I started primarily because I had (what I believed to be) a better than average ability to predict the bottom three finishers each week. Since I started, I’ve been keeping track of my progress compared to other American Idol bloggers. I also have been adding computer pundits (DialIdol.com, Zabasearch, and Google Trends) to my chart. What I’ve learned is that some people are better at picking the bottom one, and others are better at predicting the bottom three (or two). So I’ve added a “weighted average” to the chart, which, I believe, more or less correctly ranks a pundit’s overall accuracy. This is kind of like the game Mastermind, where you get one score for guessing all of the colors of the pegs correctly, a higher score for getting the colors and the order of the pegs correctly.
What the chart shows is that DialIdol is kicking the human pundits’ butts in all categories. But at least the human pundits are better writers. If DialIdol starts churning out pithy commentary in addition to ridiculously accurate predictions, watch out world!
I’ve personally been reading the blogs by DJSlim, Augie De Blieck Jr., and Reality TV Magazine for the last two seasons. I added Jennifer and Dave to my blogroll this year. Some American Idol blogs have great commentary but not predictions, and I have to say that I’m partial to AI blogs with predictions. I’m also partial to the contestant-neutral blogs, even though all of us have our favorites.
My personal music story is ongoing. I remember deciding whether to pursue music or math/science as a career, and I chose the latter (first MIT, later law school, now a patent attorney). My friend Joe chose the former, taught at Boston University for nine years, and now teaches in Andover, MA. Joe and I have many things in common, and music is one common bond we’ll always share. It’s like a shared language and a shared experience wrapped up in one. I was all-state two years in high school (chorus) and sang with the prestigious MIT Logarhythms (http://www.mitlogs.com/) in college. I also played French horn (hated it) and trumpet (liked it). Somewhere along the line (in high school, I think) I also picked up the guitar (liked it). But my first instrument was the piano (love it). I’ve been playing the piano as long as I can remember. Last year, a bunch of parents (including me) from our local elementary school got together to form a band to play at our annual fundraising auction. That band, the MCats (http://www.mcatsband.org/), and blogging about American Idol, are my current musical outlets. I play keyboards and sing for the MCats and will be playing at least one song on the electric guitar (love it), the most recent addition to our music room, for our next gig. My signature song is Green Day’s “American Idiot.” Did I mention I’m almost 40? I suppose playing in a rock band is a better mid-life crisis than others I could think of.
By the way, don’t waste your money on the $0.99 song downloads from American Idol. They have managed to edit all of the energy of the live performances out of the songs. A large part of the fun of listening to a live performance is hearing the crowd, and the audience is barely audible in these tracks. Almost makes me wonder if they are from the dress rehearsals. And what a lame decision to offer them as WMA files and not to offer them on iTunes. Yeah, I want to click four times to download four songs and then enter four codes to unlock the files, which then play only in Windows Media Player (and not on Windows Media Player for OS X). (Hint: Use Audacity to convert the WMA files to MP3s.) If iTunes is one-click purchasing, American Idol Downloads (http://downloads.americanidol.com/) is multi-click multi-hassle purchasing. Plus the quality of the music sucks.
With only one week left in season 5 of American Idol, there is not much room for any of us to move up or down on the chart. But it’s been fun.
|Erik’s Chart of American Idol Pundits|
|Pundit||Bottom 2-3 Accuracy||Bottom One Accuracy||Weighted Total Accuracy|
|Power Dialers @ DialIdol.com||87% (13 for 15)||71% (5 for 7)||82% (18 for 22)|
|Augie De Blieck Jr. @ Various and Sundry American Idol||73% (11 for 15)||57% (4 for 7)||68% (15 for 22)|
|Erik @ Erik J. Heels||80% (12 for 15)||43% (3 for 7)||68% (15 for 22)|
|Joe Reality @ Reality TV Magazine||80% (12 for 15)||43% (3 for 7)||68% (15 for 22)|
|Jennifer @ The Woes and the Prose of an American Idol Junkie||87% (13 for 15)||29% (2 for 7)||68% (15 for 22)|
|Dave @ High Lord Dave’s Blog||67% (10 for 15)||57% (4 for 7)||64% (14 for 22)|
|Ken Barnes @ USATODAY||67% (10 for 15)||57% (4 for 7)||64% (14 for 22)|
|DJSlim (Brent Natzle) @ American Idol Season 5 Blog||60% (9 for 15)||29% (2 for 7)||50% (11 for 22)|
|Flipping A Coin||50%||50%||50%|
|Simon Cowell @ American Idol||NA||29% (2 for 7)||29% (2 for 7)|
|Web Searchers @ Zabasearch.com – Most Searched American Idol Contestants||no historical data||no historical data||no historical data|
|Web Searchers @ Google Trends||no historical data||no historical data||no historical data|