InTrade has a higher PageRank than BetFair. No change.

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Google has just updated its external PageRank servers. (The PageRank is updated internally in a continuous way, but Google updates its external servers once a quarter or so.)

- InTrade is 7/10. BetFair 6/10. HSX 6/10. HubDub 6/10.

- BetFair’-s blog (Betting @ BetFair) is 5/10, proving, once again, that it is a mediocre publication run by mediocre people. BetFair’-s second blog (BetFair Predicts) is 4/10. Midas Oracle is 6/10.

- For the record, the goal to attain (for both exchanges and publications) is 7/10.

BetFair Predicts = a new WordPress-powered website concocted out of San Francisco, California… -whose informational value is close to zero.

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BetFair Predicts

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UPDATE: The guy in charge says in the comment area that this is just an early beta website, which is going to be much improved soon.

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WHAT I LIKE IN BETFAIR PREDICTS

  1. BetFair Predicts is a (clumsy) response to some of the (harsh) criticism I directed at them. So, it shows that they listen up.
  2. They chose WordPress as the content management system (CMS) for this project &#8212-it’s the right choice. (DruPal would have been OK for a more sophisticated project.)
  3. They are web-hosted on an independent domain name (as opposed to a sub domain on the betfair.com website.) It’s good because it gives them freedom to use whatever information technology they want. (For security reason, they get limitations on their main website. That’s why the BetFair blog had to be run on MovableType, and not on WordPress.) – [UPDATE: The website now redirects to http://predicts.betfair.com/.]
  4. The architecture of this new website is well done. It’s standard. (Unlike the BetFair blog, which is a price of crap, technically.)
  5. They created a new compound chart on the 2008 US presidential elections. (I have hot-linked to it, just below.)

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WHAT I DISLIKE IN BETFAIR PREDICTS

  1. It was an error to call this project BetFair Predicts“, singular. “BetFair Predict”, plural, would have been better, because the wisdom of crowds requires both a collective judgment mechanism (here, a predition exchange named BetFair) and the event derivative traders associated with that prediction exchange. By using the singular, BetFair appropriates a predictive power that should be credited to a community (lead by BetFair).
  2. Overall, it’s a very thin website. It does not bring much to the kitchen table. (That new compound chart above is really the novelty at this time. But it’s not Earth shattering, since the BetFair Politics Zone already displays compound charts, which are dynamic, and which can be hot-linked to.)
  3. That compound chart is probably not a dynamic one (that is, a chart that will update itself in the future). This compound chart is just an image that has been uploaded from the BetFair exchange to this new BetFair Predicts blog, I doubt that that image will be updated in the future.
  4. And they seem light-years behind when it comes to embeddable chart widgets. (They claim on the frontpage that you can “embed” their charts in your blog, but what they offer is just static charts. Those idiots don’t know what they are talking about.)
  5. Their explainer on prediction markets is&#8230- so-so.
  6. Their blog is written by a “Joe Seither”, whose background is not disclosed. The writings (well, only 2 posts, as of today) are typical of any copy-writer who would have been instructed about the mechanism of the prediction markets the day prior to undertaking this project. You won’t find any insights- just banalities. What I see is worthless.
  7. They can’t spell “RSS”. (See below. :-D )

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TAKEAWAY:

  1. BetFair is still struggling with the web publishing technologies.
  2. BetFair is still struggling with the prediction market approach, embodied by InTrade.
  3. BetFair has a hiring problem: they pick up incompetents on the job market and put them in charge too quickly. The result is the disaster detailed above, and chronicled in the Midas Oracle archives since 2006.

Is this a sign that the BetFair prediction exchange and the BetFair blog are not the best sources of information on the 2008 US presidential elections?

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Previously:

- the latest InTrade predictions

- Emile Servan-Schreiber’-s post on market arbitrage

WEB EXCLUSIVE: – The annoted, historical, compound chart that those triple morons at the BetFair blog are hiding from their readers view. – It is located in a secret cache, linked to behind a picture of Hillary Clinton. – Curious place to locate a prediction market chart. – I bet nobody downloaded t

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For comparison, InTrade:

BetFair Education has now a sub-site within the BetFair blog.

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BetFair Education

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  1. The navigation is easy —-see the menu on the left-side sidebar.
  2. I encountered only one 404.
  3. They are using Movable Type, and not WordPress, alas.
  4. The list of posts is comprehensive.
  5. They could have integrated their events with Google Calendar —-just like the BetFair FireFox add-on does.
  6. The only bit of criticism I’-d make is that their betting “-knowledge”-, which they want to “-educate”- their traders with, is not based on economic science. I think the next revolution in betting is science-based betting knowledge and science-based betting tips. That’-ll happen outside of BetFair, I guess.

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Both InTrade and NewsFutures are in the process of overhauling their website. We’-ll see within the next weeks what they have to offer.

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Why the BetFair blog shoud move from MovableType to WordPress – Edition #3,961

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Matt Mullenweg has a post out comparing the 2 platforms and touting WordPress.

[…-] WordPress is 100% open source, GPL. All plugins in the official directory are GPL or compatible, 100% open source. […-] WordPress MU is 100% open source, GPL, and if you wanted you could take it and build your own hosted platform like WordPress.com, like edublogs.org has with over 100,000 blogs. […-]

I have read with fascination all the comments there, on the original MT blog post, and else. I have spotted many webmasters explaining why and how they moved from MovableType to WordPress —-but I have spotted none explaining why and how they moved from WordPress to MovableType.

Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Jason Ruspini was an imprudent and cocky predictor, but, in the end, he is a honest man.
  • Polls Vs. Prediction Markets
  • Prediction exchanges let traders buy and sell contracts on the likelihood of future events. Contracts are structured so the prices can be read as a percent likelihood of an event occurring.
  • What Jed Christiansen did say about Predictify
  • Russell Andersson, Chief Operating Officer: Third Ave Beach
  • Based on the analysis of some 600,000 official Iraqi documents seized by US forces after the invasion and thousands of hours of interrogations of former officials in Saddam’s government now in US custody, there is no evidence Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda.
  • Robin Hanson is breaking the Internet.

The true numbers of the BetFair blog readership

They do poorly, as of today. Not surprising, since their content is not interesting (to say the least, and to stay correct). The only traction in the feed readership stats (compiled by the Google Reader, the world’-s most popular feed reader), right now, is the portion of the BetFair blog that is written by a female professional Poker player (”-Annette 15″-). She is sponsored by BetFair Poker.

BetFair blog

Read the previous blog posts by Chris. F. Masse:

  • WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg is my hero and so he should be yours.
  • InTrade-TradeSports has seen more than $50 million wagered on the U.S. presidential election.
  • Prediction markets on who is going to win an election are more accurate then the final Gallup poll.
  • LinkedIn will be data-mining its database of millions of users to find potential experts.
  • Britons can’t get enough of Yankee’s politics.
  • TURNING POINT: BARACK OBAMA EVENT DERIVATIVE NOW AHEAD FOR BOTH DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION AND NOVEMBER’S ELECTION.
  • Five reasons Hillary Clinton should be worried

Heres an example of the total crap that the BetFair blog is publishing.

Betting @ BetFair - Home

Betting @ BetFair - Sports

Betting @ BetFair - Specials

Betting @ BetFair - Poker

Betting @ BetFair - Casino

BetFair blog:

Pamela Anderson’-s Poker Guru

PAMELA Anderson says she is “-done with the marriage thing”-.

Pammy is divorcing her third husband. The marriage lasted four months. Says Pammy: “-My mom wishes I was born gay”-. She adds: “-I am in the market for a good divorce attorney.”- And, who knows, maybe the attorney is the market for a wife. Of course, before her next marriage, Pammy has to complete her divorce from the man we call [?] Rick Salomon and Metro newspaper calls a “-poker guru”-. A guru is a recognized leader in a field, an acknowledged and influential advocate of a movement or idea. Rick Salomon is the man best known for appearing as “-him”- in the first Paris Hilton sex tape. He is not a poker guru. He is just someone who plays poker, sometimes…-

Don’-t be a Rick, play online…- [link to the BetFair Poker site]

The posting is anonymous, as always, on that crappy blog.

No external link to the original news source —-of course.

Pointless content, as usual. Why thinking before writing, when a vomit can do the trick?

As for rhetoric quality, my 6-year-old nephew could do better, if encouraged by a Hershey kiss.

Is there any adult in Hammersmith monitoring what the kids are doing on their computers?

Is professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams wise to write for that crappy blog? Justin Wolfers’- association with the Wall Street Journal seems more adequate for a university professor.


Author Profile&nbsp-Editor and Publisher of Midas Oracle .ORG .NET .COM —- Chris Masse’-s mugshot —- Contact Chris Masse —- Chris Masse’-s LinkedIn profile —- Chris Masse’-s FaceBook profile —- Chris Masse’-s Google profile —- Sophia-Antipolis, France, E.U. Read more from this author…-


Read the previous blog posts by Chris. F. Masse:
  • A case of advertisement mistaken for content
  • Michael Shermer’s The Mind of The Market
  • A prediction market panel… where only 2 out of 5 are truly prediction market experts. What a nuclear joke. This poor line-up is the reflection of the poor state of the prediction market industry in the US… and the inherent mediocrity of the conference business.
  • VentureBeat makes it like established veterans NewsFutures, Consensus Point and Inkling Markets are contemporary of just-out-of-the-egg Xpree.
  • 13 lines for Justin Wolfers, but only 2 lines and one word for Eric Zitzewitz — Mat Fogarty, what were you thinking of?
  • Ducted Wind Turbines (DFWT)
  • The Betting King — The ATP Tour was his NASDAQ.

Did the BetFair blog use trading data from InTrade to hint at BetFairs accuracy??

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Latest update on the BetFair blog fiasco

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I am alerted today that the BetFair blog has updated its infamous Michigan story with a new compound chart bearing a clearer label. It reads now:

Republican nomination – The race so far

I’-ll have some comments, below the chart, but first a technical note. The new chart posted is a 527-KB BMP image. I have replaced it with a 32-KB JPG image. The BetFair blog is not run professionally. Any web publisher knows that images should be reduced to the max. That’-s the ABC of web publishing. (And to add insult to injury, I noted previously the technical bizarrery that the two professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams’-s stories never appeared in the BetFair blog feed.)

For you information, I have updated all my previous blog posts on the topic with an addendum re-publishing this new chart.

Compound chart - BetFair blog fiasco

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UPDATED ANALYSIS OF THE BETFAIR BLOG FIASCO:

  1. Professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams should have defined what he means by “-betting markets”-, in his story. In the past (see the addendum of that story), prof Leighton Vaughan-Williams used two types of cocktail —-one including all betting markets (traditional bookmaker odds and exchange odds), one including only the BetFair odds. He should publish an addendum to his story defining exactly what he means by “-betting markets”-, this time.
  2. The BetFair blog editor should not have pasted a BetFair compound chart behind the writer’-s back. It’-s a big no-no in editing. Again, another proof (in a long list) that the Betfair blog is not run professionally.
  3. If a chart were to be inserted on top of LVW’-s story (with his consent, we hope), it should have been the expired chart(s) of the Michigan primary, since that’-s the heart of LVW’-s story.
  4. The fact that the BetFair blog editor pasted (behind LVW’-s back) a BetFair chart lead the readers (like Niall Or’-Connor and me) to conclude that professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams means “-the BetFair betting markets”- when he writes about “-the betting markets”-. This is probably not the case, but nobody knows for sure —-see my point #1 for the need of an explainer on this.
  5. Now, if professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams means “-the BetFair betting market”- (I assign a low probability on this scenario), then the story looks bad. The story is bullish on the fact that the Mitt Romney event derivative (for the Michigan primary) was predictive. The election-day chart that I published yesterday evening (and republished below) shows Mitt Romney being the favorite starting at 3:00 PM EST on election day…- Kind of a stretch to claim victory for the BetFair betting markets. I’-m still waiting for BetFair to send me the full, historical chart on the Michigan primary.
  6. BetFair should publish all expired charts —-just like InTrade-TradeSports are doing. See my new page, re-publishing some important expired prediction market charts. That way, any controversy could be settled more quickly.
  7. With all due respect to him, it looks bad on professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams for giving his writings to a corporate blog where the publisher and editor’-s names are not listed anywhere, and whose overall content quality is feeble —-to say the least. Especially since we read the testimony of a furious Betair blog writer, who described the BetFair blog editor as anonymous, incompetent and tyrannical.
  8. Besides Niall O’-Connor’-s critical comments, professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams’-s story on the BetFair blog has attracted a negative comment, calling his argument “-questionable to say the least“-, and asking (as I am doing on this current post) for more data to be published in an addendum.
  9. It looks bad on the BetFair management for publishing completely crappy stories like that. It damages the BetFair brand. I should tell my readers, though, that the BetFair-TradeFair managers (like Michel Robb, Tony Clare, Mark Davies, David Jack, Robin Marks, etc.) are highly professional, efficient, law-abiding, forward-looking, helpful, ethical, polite, and respectful. It is a real pity that the BetFair blog tarnishes BetFair’-s reputation.
  10. Betair should focus on being a prediction market resource for journalists and bloggers. As of today, they still don’-t provide on their website dynamic charts and expired charts.
  11. As I repeated many times on Midas Oracle, prediction market journalism is hard, complex and costly. It can’-t be done by any living organism (hermaphrodite or not :-D ) simply equipped with a computer and an Internet connection.

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As an addendum, I re-publish here the election-day Michigan chart (on the Republican side). As I said, I’-m still waiting for BetFair to send me the full, historical chart. You can see, on this Republican-side chart, Mitt Romney (in red) as the Comeback Kid —-starting at 3:00PM EST on election day (that’-s 8:00 PM, British time, on the chart).

Rep Michigan BetFair

For your information, here’-s what professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams wrote. As I said, an explainer from him is needed to determine whether he means the “-betting markets”- in general (with, or without, BetFair included?) or the “-BetFair betting markets”-.

Professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams on the official BetFair blog:

[...] Those taking the same advice on Tuesday evening [2008-01-15 = date of the Michigan primary] were similarly well rewarded as well-backed Mitt Romney stormed into clear favouritism in the markets and a comfortable victory at the polls. After a blip in the New Hampshire Democratic primary the old certainties – that election favourites tend to win elections – was re-established.

As in the Republican New Hampshire primary, the polls and pundits had declared the race between Senator McCain and Governor Romney as a toss-up while the betting markets pointed to a comfortable victory in both cases for the eventual winners. Once again, in the battle of the polls, pundits and markets, the power of the betting markets to assimilate the collective knowledge and wisdom of the crowd had prevailed. [...]

As for the InTrade “-betting markets”-, if that’-s what professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams means (solely, or among others), they show a strong support for Mitt Romney in the last 2 days (which includes election day). Kind of a stretch to claim a victory for the “-betting markets”-. Also, it would be funny to have the (anynomized) InTrade data interpreted on the blog of another exchange (BetFair, a competitor of InTrade-TradeSports) to hint about the alleged strength and accuracy of the BetFair “-betting markets”-. That would be the last drop that breaks the water bucket. Another reason why professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams should come forward to explain what he means by “-betting markets”- in his story. Does he mean the “-InTrade betting markets”-???

(FYI, the Mitt Romney event derivative was expired to 100.)

MI Rep Romney

Psstt…- Sounds like a vertical line is lacking on this chart…- Look at the right end…- Bizarre.

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NEXT: No more anonymized trading data, please. State your source(s).

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