We live in a world where consumer demand is changing constantly.  Companies are always looking for ways to predict where future demand will be, but it is difficult to guess what is going to be in highest demand in the future.  Mixx, Digg, and Delicious may not be able to predict the future, but they are assessing current demand in a very powerful way.

Stock traders gesture while negotiating in the iBovespa future index pit at the Mercantile & Futures Exchange, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Global stock markets posted solid gains Wednesday, with investors buoyed by prospects for global interest rate cuts to help the world economy resist a slide into recession.

Mixx, Digg, and Delicious all use popularity in some way to suggest to users content that they might be interested in.   When a user checks out the content they can agree or disagree, which will affect others view of the content. 

These sites have harnessed technology to essentially get up-to-the-second reports on the popularity/demand for a product.  They are able to quantify market signals and determine the demand for these sites at this very moment.

If a business can’t predict the future demand, perhaps the next best thing is up-to-date measurements of demand.  Companies should study Digg, Mixx, and Delicious to see just how they measure demand and break it into different market segments, and then apply it to their companies in order to be able to better assess market demand.

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