Our play-money prediction exchanges should partner with non-profits.

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CORRECTION: It&#8217-s Predictify who comes up with the $100k, not Rock The Vote.

Predictify (a prediction platform, not a prediction exchange) is partnering with Rock The Vote.

As I understand it (BEWARE: the Press release is not that clear about where the money comes from), Rock The Vote (a 501c, I suppose) forks over $100.000, which Predictify uses as a prize pool to be handed out between the winners of a 2008 US election forecasting game.

I don&#8217-t get what Rock The Vote gets out of this deal, but that&#8217-s their problem. Rock The Vote gets the free publicity.

I see it as a good idea, and I think that our prediction exchanges should be seeking out deals such as that one with non-profit organizations&#8230- or commercial sponsors. It would attract more traders to our prediction markets.

Predictify gets the X Groups concept right.

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#1. X Groups

Predictify is unveiling a two-way interaction between their prediction platform and the blogs out there.

  1. FROM THE BLOGS TO PREDICTIFY: Number one, there is now a customized prediction widget that bloggers can embed in their blog posts so that their readers can vote within each blog post &#8212-without leaving the blog.
  2. FROM PREDICTIFY TO THE BLOGS: Number two, there is now a trackback widget that bloggers can embed in their blog posts so that the blog readers can click and be connected to relevant questions on Predictify, based on the content in that particular post. As soon as one of the blog readers clicks a highlighted question, that question will have (on the Predicitif webpage) a trackback to the blog post &#8212-theoretically pulling traffic from Predictify to that blog. The first problem with this second feature is that only the most popular trackback will be published on the particular Predictify webpage, as I understand it. I don&#8217-t see how bloggers could be interested if there is no guarantee that their trackback will actually appear. The second problem is that we don&#8217-t know whether Predictify abides by the &#8220-do follow&#8221- policy, which is a way for a website to injects Google PageRank juice to the website it links to. (The opposite policy is called &#8220-no follow&#8221-.) Only the &#8220-do follow&#8221- approach would get bloggers interested in that scheme. Predictify should clarify that.
  3. UPDATE: All the trackbacks will appear. They will be sorted by popularity. And, yes, Predictify has a &#8220-do follow&#8221- policy. :-D

#2: Social Networking

I&#8217-m told that Predictify will soon unveil a FaceBook application. We will see whether it&#8217-s Predictify working on FaceBook or Predictify woking with FaceBook. See the difference? (YooPick works on FaceBook, not with FaceBook.)

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Each week, Predictify will ask a VIP to submit a question for the crowd to answer.

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Excellent idea.

I told the CFTC that inputs from external, vertical experts are important.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • 24 hours after the launch of the “Prediction Markets” group at LinkedIn, we have already 39 members —both prediction market luminaries and simple people (trading the event derivatives or collecting the market-generated probabilities).
  • That was ubber world star Barack Obama in Berlin, during his July 2008 speech at the Victory Column. Spot all the digital cameras pointing to the socialist Messiah. Snatching something to bring at home — “see, I was there”.
  • If you want your affiliation with the “Prediction Markets” group to appear on your LinkedIn profile, then click on “Edit Public Profile Settings”, and check the “Groups” option.
  • If you want to connect with InTrade CEO John Delaney on LinkedIn…
  • Do join the “Prediction Markets” group at LinkedIn, if you have a strong interest in the prediction markets or if you work in the prediction market industry. It’s free, and that’s a way for the LinkedIn visitors browsing stuff about prediction markets to stumble upon your resume / profile.
  • You can now join the LinkedIn group on Prediction Markets.
  • Nigel Eccles says that HubDub generates “data on peoples’ reputations for accurately analyzing and forecasting future events”.

Predictify is about building track records of human predictors.

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Robert Scoble interviews their CTO.


Predictify is not a prediction exchange. We think prediction markets are superior to polls and surveys, don&#8217-t we? :-D

With Predictify, the mechanism delivering the collective verdict is simplistic: it&#8217-s a poll &#8212-with possibility to get down to each individual answer.

Their conversation is very interesting, nevertheless &#8212-in great part due to Robert Scoble&#8217-s intense curiosity.

Technically, the video is awesome and plays well &#8212-even with my old computer and slow DSL line. Kudos to the Fast Company techies. :-D

UPDATE: I don&#8217-t like that their video starts off automatically, though. With YouTube, we decide to play the video &#8212-it is not imposed on us.

UPDATE: Alas, their embedded video does not go into the blog feed. :(

UPDATE: I e-mailed my remarks to Robert Scoble, and he&#8217-s asked to his techie to look into the issues. :-D

UPDATE: I see that the video does not start on its own, now. They managed to correct that. :-D Rest the fact that their videos don&#8217-t go into feeds.

Predictify got funded… Great for those who will be hired… But is it a good thing, overall?

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Via Nigel Eccles and Mat Fogarty, the Predictify blog, Mashable, and VentureBeat.

NewsFutures, Consensus Point and Inkling Markets were self-funded, are now profitable, and are continuing to address their customers&#8217- problems with a continually improved technology. These 3 prediction market software vendors are proving that you can create a sustainable business without the need to get &#8220-funded&#8221- by angel investors or VCs. With the money from those guys also comes the pressure to &#8220-monetize&#8221- every thing. It&#8217-s not always a good thing to have the suits running the show. NewsFutures, Consensus Point and Inkling Markets are still in the hands of their founders, and they are still free to execute their vision &#8212-the way they want.

What&#8217-s your view, folks?

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • A second look at HedgeStreet’s comment to the CFTC about “event markets”
  • Since YooPick opened their door, Midas Oracle has been getting, daily, 2 or 3 dozens referrals from FaceBook.
  • US presidential hopeful John McCain hates the Midas Oracle bloggers.
  • If you have tried to contact Chris Masse thru the Midas Oracle Contact Form, I’m terribly sorry to inform you that your message was not delivered to the recipient.
  • “Over a ten-year period commencing on January 1, 2008, and ending on December 31, 2017, the S & P 500 will outperform a portfolio of funds of hedge funds, when performance is measured on a basis net of fees, costs and expenses.”
  • Meet professor Thomas W. Malone (on the right), from the MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence.

What the prediction market experts said on Predictify

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Predictify may be a fine “for dummies” prediction game, but it certainly isn’t prediction “market”. It’s rather more like parimutuel betting. The distinction is important because prediction markets reward people not just for being right, but for being right before others. Prediction markets have demonstrated again and again their ability to aggregate information and produce accurate predictions, whereas prediction games like Predictify still have everything to prove.

It is deeply misleading to call any wisdom-of-crowds contraption a prediction market.

— Posted by Emile Servan-Schreiber

I agree with Emile here.

Predictify appears to me to be a more sophisticated polling site. In a market, there is an element of risk and consequent reward. I might be willing to risk $100 on my forecast of the presidential election, but only $10 on my forecast of the World Series. That is taken into account in a prediction market, or market of any type.

Most markets allow buying and selling, which could also “lock in” profits based on price movements. While you can change your vote on Predictify, that doesn’t make you any money, real or virtual. You’re just registered as changing your vote.

While polling certainly is an information aggregation mechanism, and fits into the “Wisdom of Crowds,” it doesn’t really appear to be a “market.”

— Posted by Jed Christiansen

Jed and EJSS, a prediction market consultant, and the CEO of a struggling prediction market company, make valid points, but WHO CARES? The general public certainly doesn’t. You can continue to quibble all you want and ride the high horse, but if Predictify works, it works, and that’s all anyone cares about. Let’s at least congratulate them on coming up with a unique model.

— Posted by Smack Fogarty


I think the “valid points” here are pretty important, because they are actually questioning whether Predictify works or not. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that it does – that’s the point.

— Posted by Matt

What Jed Christiansen did say about Predictify

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Enterprise prediction market consultant Jed Christiansen:

Predictify – Predictify has been in the mainstream blogs a bit recently with a couple of mentions on the Freakonomics blog. Unfortunately, Predictify really isn’t a prediction market… it’s a sophisticated polling and market research mechanism. That’s not to say it doesn’t use the “wisdom of crowds,” just that some of the assumptions that James Surowiecki talks about in his book don’t necessarily apply. The reason I say it’s not a market is that a user cannot express their confidence in their prediction. It makes it difficult to sort out the knowledgeable forecasts from the un-knowledgeable forecasts. Unique about Predictify is that companies can submit market research questions, and those that predict right can win the fees that the company pays to Predictify for the listing.

Previously: LongBets + Predictify