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Think Chocolate is better than Sunlight or Ninjas? You better vote, because it’s well behind in the rankings on The Most Awesomest Thing Ever, a website which pits unrelated objects, celebrities and activities against each other and then ranks them based on how many people think they are awesome.

“We had no idea it would take off like this,” says Michael Lebowitz, founder and CEO of Big Spaceship, the digital creative agency behind the website which launched April 15. “People spend hours on it. Someone on Twitter even likened it to ‘heroin-dusted Oreos,’ it’s just that addicting.” After just five days, the site stole a collective 18,000 hours from visitors debating between Nachos and Jazz Hands.

There’s something uniquely awesome about the site, beyond pitting cheeseburgers against cleavage. Rather than limiting would-be reviewers to a predetermined list, The Most Awesomest Thing Ever allows anyone a chance to add their own awesome ideas to the ever-building bank of battling items.

As market researchers we often set the context in which consumers can view a given product or brand by forcing our consideration set – what we see as the obvious or correct choices – into the equation, but that leaves little room for the answers we didn’t anticipate. It’s a confined conversation, which makes it more command than collaboration.

Having the courage to place control in the palms of the people pondering your problem opens up the opportunity to see what consumers actually see – not what we want them to. Do so, and you may just discover something unexpected. Now that would be awesome.

A special shout out to the person I find most awesome, my mom; happy Mother’s Day to my only guaranteed reader and the rest of the moms out there!

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