The best way to raise awareness for your prediction market startup is to create a long-term relationship with the Midas Oracle blogger and other web acquaintances (a.k.a. online friends).

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Loic Le Meur:


#2 – Do not pick a PR person, be the spokesperson of the company.

The best person to represent the company is not a PR person and even less an external one. It is YOU. You, the founder, you the CEO. Look at Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, they are the PR machines. Does Michael Arrington himself need a PR person to represent himself get TechCrunch known? If you launch your startup, you need to be the one representing it because you have the vision and the passion. If you are shy, get over it. Get training. Try a daily video for example :)

#3 – Participation is NOT marketing.

The most important asset that a startup CEO has or should build is his community. It has nothing to do with marketing. [It] took me 8 years since I started blogging in 2003 to have a community and it is no marketing. It is about sharing every day thoughts, tips, advise, learnings with the community. It is about a continuous dialog with thousands of friends that will gladly help you building the company if you do not consider it as marketing. Of course, you can talk about your products and it may be good marketing at times but it should not be artificial. Marketing fails in communities.


#6 – Do not see bloggers and journalists as target either, they will ignore you.

Make sure that the PR team DOES NOT RESEARCH individual preferences for contact before they reach out, they will tell you what everybody knows about them and you will contact them in the most boring way possible. Take bloggers. Everybody tries to pitch Scoble and Arrington. They are tired of the same formatted boring pitches that come to them exactly the same. They are my friends and if I had tried to pitch them like hell they would have never have. Relationships with journalists and bloggers are the same as real life. They take years. Approaching them artificially with a strong sales pitch is the best way to make sure these relationships will never happen.

#7 – Do not measure success and traffic from PR.

It&#8217-s like if you tried to measure your relationships with your friends! Build strong links with your community, learn from them everyday, enhance your product. If you get coverage from the smallest blogger go and comment to thank him. Do not be obsessed by numbers and results, it is long term relationships that matter.


When I read Loic Le Meurs post, I thought to myself, &#8220-Nigel Eccles read that post months before I did.&#8221- :-D

The 2009 economic recession is perfect timing for creating your prediction market company.

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Michael Arrington:

[T]he tremendous opportunities that arise in down markets. Engineers are much easier to hire. The press have fewer startups and stories to divide their attention. The pond certainly gets smaller, but there are far fewer people fishing, too. For most startups, this is a time to blossom.

Prediction markets = the future of journalism -said, from day one, Emile Servan-Schreiber of NewsFutures. Emile, if you have balls, lets do it -all together.

My yesterday&#8217-s post about the Obama&#8211-Clinton prediction markets was the most popular Midas Oracle story of that Monday. Hummmm&#8230- No idea why&#8230- I was not helped by Google Search or by an external blogger. Sounds like our Midas Oracle web readers and feed subscribers liked it &#8230- for some reasons I have yet to discover fully.


  1. I&#8217-m minding a grand &#8220-Midas Oracle Project&#8220-, and you can join it.
  2. Emile believes that prediction markets represent &#8220-the future of journalism&#8220-. I am trying to mind, specifically, what form could take the &#8220-prediction market journalism&#8220-.
  3. The idea is this: We need to put the charts of prediction markets inside news stories, and those stories should incorporate the meaning of the probability fluctuations (a la Justin Wolfers).
  4. If we stay in our armchairs, nothing will happen, because most of the old-school journalists and bloggers don&#8217-t think much of the prediction markets. The prediction market infiltration in the Mediasphere and the Blogosphere is like a weak stream, right now. I don&#8217-t have the patience to wait until &#8220-2020&#8243-.
  5. I don&#8217-t think that much will come out of the prediction exchanges. The BetFair blog and the InTrade newsletter are 2 pieces of crap &#8212-they compete in content quality with the Mongolian edition of the News Of The World.
  6. If you look at the evolution of the media, you see that the old-school, dead-tree publications are slowly dying, and are replaced by professional blog networks &#8212-look especially in the IT industry, with TechCrunch, etc. What you have is writers who publish only for the Web, and who fill a vertical niche. (And, the Washington Post is now publishing content from&#8230- guess who.)
  7. Needless to say, prediction market journalism is costly. Now, go directly to point #8, because that&#8217-s where the beef is.
  8. Yes, I have &#8220-heard of Christmas&#8221- :-D , and I understand Robin Hanson&#8217-s reasoning. [*] That&#8217-s where my funding idea lays. The idea is to think hard about who &#8220-might actually be willing to pay&#8221-. I am thinking of a class or organizations that &#8220-might actually be willing to pay&#8221-, provided 2 things. Number one, that I operate a certain twist on my form of prediction market journalism. Number two, that this project becomes the project of many prediction market people, or, better, of the whole prediction market industry &#8212-not just Chris Masse&#8217-s one. Those 2 things are essential.
  9. So, Emile, wanna join the &#8220-Midas Oracle Project&#8220-?


The &#8220-high IQ&#8221- Robin Hanson:

Chris, you’ve heard of Christmas I presume. Many people circulate lists of items they might like for Christmas. If you did, would you circulate a list of million franc/dollar gift ideas for people to give you? Would you consider that list more honest/logical than a list of gifts of roughly the price you think others might actually be willing to pay?

HubDubs Nigel Eccles is the man.

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Nigel Eccles

  1. He didn&#8217-t sign Bob&#8217-s petitions. :-D
  2. He is experienced.
  3. He is well versed into prediction markets and journalism.
  4. Just after HubDub&#8217-s inception, he realized they fucked up their chart widgets. Five months later, they managed to correct that birth defect.
  5. He is a guy humble enough to ask for pointers and feedback &#8212-and he does listen up (see the point #4).
  6. He is quite friendly.
  7. HubDub is already a success.
  8. HubDub serves a purpose for people: it mixes news and prediction markets in a novel way, which should give ideas to InTrade, TradeSports, BetFair, TradeFair, NewsFutures, etc.
  9. In some kind of small ways, Nigel Eccles is pioneering &#8220-the future of journalism&#8220-.
  10. If newspaper and magazine websites were to be interested in prediction markets, HubDub should be in the short list.

Three things that Scottish guy hasn&#8217-t computed yet, though:

  1. You have to look down into the small prints, towards the bottom of their frontpage, to get the info that they have a blog. (((They master well mass e-mailing, on the other hand.)))
  2. He hasn&#8217-t cracked open prediction market journalism (a la Justin Wolfers), yet &#8212-but I&#8217-m confident that is coming.
  3. He looks like a baby-face schmuck on that pic. :-D

Time magazine interview the 2 BetFair-Tradefair co-founders, and not a single time do they pronounce the magic words, prediction markets.

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Betting on a Market

Edward Wray:

We&#8217-re one of the very, very few Internet betting companies that have never taken a bet out of the U.S., and that&#8217-s because our view has always been it is illegal, which it clearly is now, and so long as it&#8217-s illegal, we&#8217-re not going to do it. That&#8217-s a long-term strategy. Clearly some people made good money out of taking bets out of the U.S. in the short term, [and] have now found themselves in trouble with the authorities. Gambling should be regulated, we&#8217-re very comfortable with that. There are things that need to be safeguarded — how you look after vulnerable people, how you make sure it&#8217-s a clean, above board business, etc. — you don&#8217-t achieve that by prohibiting business. You achieve it by regulating it. The U.S. has tried prohibition once before and it wasn&#8217-t a roaring success. And I think they&#8217-ll find the same thing here. I don&#8217-t know how long it will take, but I&#8217-m more confident than ever that the U.S. market will open up, and when it does, we will be right at the hub of it. It&#8217-s frustrating to us that people in the U.S. can&#8217-t access Betfair. But we go out of our way to make sure they can&#8217-t because the law is the law and we will always respect that.

Launch a prediction market startup for free thanks to Google App Engine.

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Run your web applications on Google&#8217-s infrastructure.

Matt Cutts:

Google launched App Engine, which lets you write code for a web application, then Google takes care of the scaling/failover/logistics-type issues. You can store your data in a Google Bigtable using the Google File System (GFS). There’s a bunch of App Engine APIs to simplify things like sending email and fetching urls. Your application can authenticate users that are using Google Accounts, so you can avoid the whole “ask your users to create a new account” issue if you want.

O&#8217-Reilly Radar

Google App Engine

[Competitor: Amazon AWS]

YouTube Video

Bo Cowgill, this is completely crazy.

UPDATE: Raves from TechCrunch and Silicon Alley Insider.

UPDATE: Google AppEngine – A Second Look


Whose side are you on?

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Mike Arrington

Michael Arrington refers to this blog post, which I have already linked to.

I&#8217-m rather in the Mike Arrington camp, but I&#8217-m not necessarily proud of it. (Ducan Riley would tell me to &#8220-get fu****&#8220-. :-D )

I would be interested to have Adam Siegel or David Perry&#8217-s opinion on all that. Or Mat Fogarty&#8230- Or Emile Servan-Schreiber. Or John Delaney. Or else.


No GravatarMax Keiser in a comment here:

As far as a PM-based TV show… Watch this space. I should have some news on that front by the first week of Feb.


Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • NUCLEAR SCANDAL: HubDub allow their traders to bet on celebrities’ death.
  • APRIL FOOL’S DAY: This year, again, CNET makes fun of the wisdom of crowds.
  • Play-money prediction exchange HubDub is a phenomenal success.
  • BetFair Australia’s spin doctor tells all about their payments to the horse race industry.
  • Meet Jeffrey Ma (at right on the photo), the ProTrade co-founder, and whose gambling life is the basis of the upcoming movie, 21.

Some prediction exchanges should follow the model.

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Says the all-excited Mike Linksvayer &#8211-(I&#8217-ve never seen him that excited, apart from the perspective of a George W. Bush impeachment):

Great idea! A PM should do this, right now, taking care to create real money incentives and not encourage risky bets. I’ve thought of the possibility of a no-downside-risk PM that only shared advertising revenue with players proportionately to their performance, but the money involved would be too little to be meaningful, or so I guessed. However, if BetZip is right[,] the money could be made “real” by permitting arbitrarily large subscription fees.

On the front, just a follow-up note. Its founders (Nick Jenkins) has 4 or 5 counter-arguments to Tom Bell&#8217-s take, but won&#8217-t share them publicly (i.e., with his competitors). &#8220-He&#8217-ll share them with the judge&#8221-, replied the ironic Deep Throat. :) We wish Nick Jenkins the very best.