The eLab eXchange has just opened “-The Web of Misery,”- a competitive forecasting tournament hosted by Newsfutures, with 10 markets that reflect new online indicators of economic distress. Come and give it your best shot – forecast just how bad you think the economy is going to get in the next few months! One of the markets is reproduced above.
During periods of economic hardship, conventional wisdom suggests that some people tend to increase their level of certain behaviors, for example, they may “-cling to guns or religion,”- or perhaps turn to alcohol or gambling in an attempt to relieve any pressures they may be feeling about a “-rough patch.”- Additionally, the skyrocketing costs of food, health care and gas, not to mention the real estate downturn, suggest that, in general, many consumers will become more careful about how they spend their hard-earned dollars.
The Web of Misery captures 10 of these behaviors and let’-s consumers forecast their impact. You can try your hand at judging the impact of the economic slowdown at eLab eXchange today!
Previous blog posts by Donna Hoffman:
- The eLab eXchange Has Some Fun With Online Shopping This Holiday Season.
- The Consumer Behavior of Prediction Markets
This 10-questions forecasting game is a good idea, in the current economic climate.
I’m less sure about targeting one website only, each time —as opposed to a group of websites in the same category. If a big blogger of Yahoo! decides, out of the blue, to link to one site, its traffic could jump out of curiosity, for a while. But that’s an unlikely event, I admit.
This tool is fun to use – more fun than yet another market-auction, but unless I have really bad information, most forecasts are quite high. In only 3 of 10 questions is the average within my range and in every case it’s higher. If forecasters are saying that the forecasting exercise itself will increase traffic, then it’s all pretty flawed in addition to the natural “basis risk”. I don’t think that’s what they’re saying though, although it might be true for a low traffic site like SAMHSA. Instead of providing a link to each site, why not have a link to a page describing the site and containing historical estimates of the relevant values? That would provide more realistic anchors for predictions.
Thanks for the comment. If you register, you can click “full info” and find some analysis and historical data.