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.
WHAT I LIKE IN BETFAIR PREDICTS
- BetFair Predicts is a (clumsy) response to some of the (harsh) criticism I directed at them. So, it shows that they listen up.
- They chose WordPress as the content management system (CMS) for this project —-it’s the right choice. (DruPal would have been OK for a more sophisticated project.)
- 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/.]
- The architecture of this new website is well done. It’s standard. (Unlike the BetFair blog, which is a price of crap, technically.)
- They created a new compound chart on the 2008 US presidential elections. (I have hot-linked to it, just below.)
WHAT I DISLIKE IN BETFAIR PREDICTS
- 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).
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.)
- Their explainer on prediction markets is…- so-so.
- 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.
- They can’t spell “RSS”. (See below. )
- BetFair is still struggling with the web publishing technologies.
- BetFair is still struggling with the prediction market approach, embodied by InTrade.
- 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.