We all know that any single tweet has a much better than average chance of containing total nonsense, and that any individual Twitter user's Oscar predictions aren't worth their weight in ones and zeroes.
But if you aggregate tens of thousands of users' guesses, you end up with what could be called The Wisdom of the Twitterverse, and in this case, the crowd has spoken: "The King's Speech" will win Best Picture in a runaway.
Since the announcement of the Academy Award nominations last month, a service called Tweetbeat has been collecting each and every Oscar-related tweet, and today it released its conclusions.
With well more than 25,000 votes, if you can call them that, "The King's Speech" emerged as the clear winner, with the support of 31.4 percent. Next up was "The Social Network," with 13.7 percent, "Black Swan," with 10.9 percent, "Inception," with 10.6 percent, and "True Grit," with 8.1 percent. The five other Best Picture nominees, "The Fighter," "127 Days," "Toy Story 3," "Winter's Bone," and "The Kids are Alright" all had less than 8 percent.
In the Best Actress category, Natalie Portman was an even bigger favorite than "The King's Speech." The "Black Swan" actress garnered support from 54.5 percent of tweeters, while runner-up Nicole Kidman got 16.7 percent, Annette Bening got 11 percent, Jennifer Lawrence got 10.6 percent, and Michelle Williams came in last at 7.3 percent.
Among the men, Colin Firth, the king in "The King's Speech," did even better than Portman, raking in 56.4 percent of the "vote," while Jesse Eisenberg was the favorite of 14.1 percent, and James Franco, Javier Bardem, and Jeff Bridges rounded out the field with 12.3 percent, 10.6 percent, and 6.5 percent, respectively.
To be sure, these are entirely unscientific numbers, so please don't bet your kid's college fund based on them. But when you're talking about the collective impressions of many tens of thousands of people, it's hard to imagine Tweetbeat's predictions being off base. I, for one, think "The King's Speech" is a shoo-in to win, and that Firth certainly deserves the Oscar for his role as King George VI. I haven't seen "Black Swan," so I can't weigh in on Portman's performance.
Regardless, this is an interesting way to arrive at wisdom of the crowds-type predictions, and it will be very interesting to see if Tweetbeat has it right. If so, I'll be very, very interested to see what the Twitterverse has to say about the 2012 presidential election.