Posted on 9 Comments

First Red Balloon Found! DARPA Balloon #6!

Okay…first red herring found. How will we deal with similar misinformation tomorrow?

balloon1DARPA has issued a challenge so that it can study study how to solve large scale problems with social networks. All day today people have clamored to create teams in preparation for tomorrow’s red balloon hunt. Tomorrow from 10am eastern time to 4pm local time 10 red weather balloons will be anchored near roads throughout the United States. The person who finds all ten balloons and reports their GPS coordinates will receive $40,000.

Rather than forming a team, I am offering $1000 to the first person who reports the correct coordinates of any of the 10 balloons to me if I am able to win the prize. Read the details here.

Where is red balloon #6?

Okay, the contest doesn’t start until 10am tomorrow. But you can see red balloon #6 here and see the rest in DARPA’s gallery. This post begs an interesting question. How will we distinguish the red herrings? The false information? Each entrant only gets 25 guesses. How many ghost will we chase between now and December 14th?

Get at least $10 from this

I will pay $10 a retweet to each of the first 100 people who retweet the following message on Twitter if I win the challenge. No money rewards will be paid if I am not the first to report all 10 red balloons. Be sure to follow @djuggler.

Help @djuggler win the DARPA challenge. $ rewards for balloons and RTs; #10luftballoons

9 thoughts on “First Red Balloon Found! DARPA Balloon #6!

  1. Team DeciNena (think of the 80’s song about 99 Red Balloons) is one of the best-organized and fastest growing, and we are now incorporating other teams into our web site and recruiting teams to join us if they feel they are too small to compete alone.

    We are offering to share part of the prize money with all particpants who are active on Dec 5th, not JUST the actual balloon finder (who will receive a larger reward).

    Join us, and tell all your friends. That’s what the whole goal of the challenge is — to build large teams quickly.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Doug McCaughan, Vitorino Ramos. Vitorino Ramos said: (LOL) First Red Balloon Found! DARPA Balloon #6! […]

  3. Why would someone want $1,000 from you? did you know that 40k divided 10 ways is 4,000? Don’t insult your readers, Mr greedy.

    We have better offers from other teams…………..

  4. Ryan, good luck with the other teams. The winning team will likely be either MIT or the Geocaching one. One check will be written to one person. They will be responsible for the tax obligation. So it’s not $4000. It’s $40k minus taxes divided by number of team members. As for insulting? I am not deluding myself nor others into thinking we stand a chance. However, if you happen to drive past a balloon and send me the coordinates and put no other effort into this and that produces $1000 then that’s a pretty easy $1000. I’ll still have to try to secure the other 9 balloons so the effort is likely to not be proportional and neither should the payout. I disregarded the team model for crowd sourcing. If you want to convince me to team with you, post something more constructive than “Mr. Greedy”. So sit back and enjoy this little spectator sport DARPA is providing us because come Dec 15 neither you nor I will be any wealthier than today.

  5. Decinena- Great approach!

  6. I think the most creative scheme I’ve seen is making everything transparent and turning it into a lottery:

  7. That’s a pretty good one. It should give much better odds than the real lottery. Of course, the hunters of these balloons should disregard all the incentives and simply report their coordinates to as many of 3600 entrants as possible simply to increase their personal chance of getting anything whether it be a thank you, $1000, $4000 or all $40000. It’s an interesting study of greed, loyalty, and ingenuity.

  8. See a red balloon? Email location to and get up to $10,000 if we win.

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