The HHS-Sebelius prediction market might be (yet) another case-in-point for documenting velocity.

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It is only today (February 19) that the New York Times emerges out of hibernation and headlines:

Kansas Governor Seen as Top Choice in Health Post. &#8212- Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is emerging as President Obama’s top choice for secretary of health and human services.

Now, look at the red line in the HubDub chart below: the prediction markets nailed her since the beginning of February 2009.

Of course, a scientific comparison would have scrutinized more closely than I did all the news articles from the New York Times (and from other mass media). That&#8217-s what we are going to do with the &#8220-Open Institute Of Prediction Markets&#8220-. To this end, I will set up a portable and distributed &#8220-Prediction Markets Consortium&#8221- in the coming days. Then, I will try to anchor it in an institution of higher education, and, after that, I will try to gather support from think tanks and foundations. Not an easy task, but I know now that I can count on many prediction market people and companies. It should be an industry endeavor &#8212-and it should deliver results, in the end (demonstrating the social utility of the prediction markets by documenting velocity, and, from there, following a logical thread which I will talk you about later on).

PS: About velocity&#8230- Remember that we are about the prediction markets versus the mass media (The New York Times, The Times of London, NBC News, BBC News, etc.) &#8212-as opposed to the vertical media (, Nate Silver&#8217-s blog,, etc.). The distinction is very important to keep in mind.

UPDATE: The only stuff I can find about Sebelius for HHS is that February 9 piece from the Associated Press (which didn&#8217-t get a mass audience since it was not-republished in the New York Times or other mass media), saying that she was &#8220-near the top&#8221- for the job. Well, &#8220-near the top&#8221- is not like saying she was &#8220-on top&#8221-.

UPDATE #2: The Sebelius story is picking steam in the mass media. See Nate Silver&#8217-s take.

ADDENDUM: Andrew Gelman tells me that he thinks that &#8220-the Associated Press is a mass medium. It is a cooperative organized by a bunch of newspapers.&#8221- I think that the AP news articles do indeed reach a big audience when they are re-published or cited in the mass media. But in the Sebelius case above, it was not the case.

Previously: The truth about prediction markets

Who will be the next nominee of the HHS, now that Daschle has withdrawn from consideration?

No HHS contract on InTrade, BetFair or NewsFutures. :(

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