TV News Shows = Entertainment

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The awful French TV program on sports betting (where BetFair&#8217-s Mark Davies croaked in French) reminded me of what Robert Scoble said about TV news shows.

They do not intend to educate you..

Robert Scoble:

Last week I was on CNBC twice. Once on “Fast Money” and once on Donny Deutsch’s “The Big Idea.”

The Fast Money segment has been torn apart on the Internet but Roger Ehrenberg of the Information Arbitrage blog had the most intelligent analysis of it.

Here’s the key piece of the Donny Deutsch show, where we had a bunch of bloggers on the Microsoft Blogger Bus asking questions of Bug Labs’ CEO Peter Semmelhack. Bug Labs went onto win CNET’s “Best of CES” award for the emerging tech category.

Some things that are worth underlying about the difference between my video show and CNBC.

1. Expense. CNBC had dozens of people involved in the show, a huge booth, really expensive cameras, satellite time, etc. My show? Get a Nokia phone and go for it.
2. Makeup. Yeah, I wore it. There’s a video out there on the Internet somewhere. I’m not sure why Valleywag hasn’t found it yet.
3. You don’t get to say whatever you want. Donny’s show was tape delayed. If you try doing something wacky, they’ll just cut you out. But even if they keep you on, they have a director who is telling you what they want. She preps you for each segment, giving you “talking points.” If you don’t agree with those talking points you have to negotiate to have them changed. But if they don’t like your talking points they just won’t go with you. Second, she has a big sign and if she thinks you should make a point she makes it clear.
4. These shows are NOT about getting deep, or really getting a good understanding of CES. They were ALL about being entertaining! Hey, who knew? (I tried to pull a bunch of gadgets out and they said “we don’t care about the gadgets.”)
5. They filmed Bug Labs’ CEO for 10 hours for a two-minute segment. Now do you understand why so many CEOs let me come over and film them? I never take more than an hour with an executive, so it’s always easy to get onto someone’s schedule.
6. My show has very little editing, so it’s pretty rare that the context gets lost on an answer. On TV, though, things get cut up, sliced and diced, all for entertainment effect, not necessarily to tell the best story.

The Midas Oracle Project

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  1. the richer and most technically sophisticated form of prediction market journalism
  2. a very popular form of prediction market journalism

Sounds like a too lofty dual goal- your feeling is right. My idea is to find an adequation between this (too) lofty dual goal and the class of organizations that could fund that. I have had a crazy idea, which I submitted to MG and some others, and it might not be that crazy after all. In the coming days, I&#8217-ll reach out to more Midas Oracle people.

Besides informing you of my intention, the purpose of this post is to create the &#8220-Midas Oracle Project&#8221- category and tag. Stay tuned&#8230-

Ill make a $500 donation to the first think thank that makes an interesting, non-bogus use of real-money prediction markets before the end of 2007. Ill be the judge of bogosity and interestingness, but I can say that a paper about prediction markets counts as uninteresting.

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My Good Lord,

Mike Linksvayer

Would prediction market journalism (that is, showing to the normal people on the street that prediction markets can help understand better baseball games, or whatever else, on top of being fun and pure) fit your criteria of non-bogosity and interestingness?

How should prediction market firms (e.g., InTrade-TradeSports, BetFair-TradeFair) deal with Blogospheres criticism?

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I have just spent 20 minutes reading the comments on that post. (The post itself is to be forgotten- all the comments are outstanding, though.)

Insightful thoughts about Internet marketing. Required reading for Mark Davies, John Delaney, Emile Servan-Schreiber, and the rest of our little prediction market clique.

The BetFair blog is not a serious publication.

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I just got it that professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams&#8217-s story published on the official BetFair blog and the BetFair compound chart published on top of his story should be understood independently from each other, as the BetFair chart was pasted there by the BetFair blog editor.

(I have updated all my previous posts on the topic with the explainer above.)



  1. Professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams talked about &#8220-betting markets&#8221- in his story. Those &#8220-betting markets&#8221- were not defined precisely on that page.
  2. The BetFair compound chart, pasted by the BetFair blog editor on top of Professor Leighton Vaughan-Williams&#8217- story, has lead readers (like the ultra-vigilant Niall O&#8217-Connor) to believe that &#8220-betting markets&#8221- meant the BetFair betting markets.
  3. It was probably not the case, in the writer&#8217-s mind. To be sure, though, an explainer should be issued by the BetFair blog.
  4. The BetFair blog editor has an omelette on his/her face.
  5. I told you many times that the Betfair blog is a piece of crap.
  6. A writer for this blog told us so, too.
  7. As I said many times, web journalism is not for anybody. It&#8217-s a specialty trade. It requires vertical skills. And, more precisely, prediction market journalism, in our digital times, is difficult and complex. It&#8217-s sad to see that the BetFair-TradeFair executives haven&#8217-t computed that.


UPDATE: The BetFair blog has added a new label on the infamous compound chart&#8230-

Compound chart - BetFair blog fiasco


NEXT: Did the BetFair blog use trading data from InTrade to hint at BetFair&#8217-s accuracy??

That blog webmaster doesnt have the first clue about web publishing.

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  • The Top 6 Ways Not To Get Pulled Over
  • How to Handle Getting Pulled Over Without Losing Your Cool
  • Top Five Cop Tricks – How They Get You to Give Up Your Rights
  • Avoiding the Section 1001 Trap – Why You Always Need A Lawyer

Nowhere in those four excellent law articles can you spot the name of the smart author who penned them: STEVE &#8220-Mister Just&#8221- ROMAN.

The BetFair blog (Betting @ BetFair) and the InTrade &#8220-bulletin&#8221- suffer from the same flaw &#8212-and many others, alas.

On Midas Oracle, our blog authors are listed, counted, evaluated, and their damn name do appear in the signature line of their blog posts &#8212-including when the blog posts are viewed within a feed reader (like Google Reader or BlogLines). Plus, on Midas Oracle, copyright is retained by each author. And cross-posting (with a deep link to the original content) is accepted.

Once again, the BetFair legal department censors the traders.

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BetFair forum:

Postings in relation to ‘race-fixing’ trial
Betfair Customer Services 09 Oct 10:39

Whilst the criminal trial involving 3 jockeys and others is sub judice (i.e. being considered in court), comment on the case is inappropriate and could even be an offence in itself leading to contempt of court proceeding against those commenting. This is particularly true given the criminal charges being considered where publicly discussing such cases sub judice may constitute interference with due process (not least because jurors may be exposed to such public discussion).

As a consequence whilst this matter remains sub judice, forum postings discussing the matter will be removed as and when they come to Betfair’s attention. This also means we will have to revoke forum posting rights of customers who persist in commenting on the case on Betfair’s forums.

BetFair traders, come on Midas Oracle to post your comments on the Fallon case. Here, we do not censor anyone.

UPDATE: They talk about the Fallon case in the Chamber of Lords. (See next page.)

Blogging Software = Freedom to write in any form and shape you want

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Harvard University professor Edward Glaeser:

[…] Blogs and columns are quite different, and The Marginal Revolution illustrates what can make blogs exciting. Mr. Cowen and his collaborators post to the website with astonishing regularity. Their blog posts are often brief introductions to some external source of information. The best bloggers use an informal style that make the readers feel as if they are old friends. If you read the Freakonomics blog, you will be let into the private life of one of this age&#8217-s great economists. The chatty conversational style of blogs works well with the discussions that they facilitate among readers who react to an initial blog post and then to each other.

By contrast, an op-ed column is a somewhat formal 750 word art form that usually contains some sort of clear policy punch line. I am thinking of imitating Cato&#8217-s constant repetition of Delenda Est Carthago by ending each column with the mantra &#8220-Manhattan needs more construction and rent control must end.&#8221- Good columns are self-contained, since they should be accessible to readers who have never previously heard of the author. […]


  1. A blog post can be structured like a formal Op-Ed column &#8212-among other possibilities.
  2. It&#8217-s untrue to say that Marginal Revolution does only news aggregation. As Felix Salmon noted, their coverage of the 2007 Nobel Prize in economics was outstanding. It&#8217-s also untrue to say that Freakonomics only publishes about &#8220-the private life&#8221- of today&#8217-s economists.
  3. As newspaper and magazine readers move to the Internet, there will be a convergence between old media and new media.
  4. Don&#8217-t be obsessed by defining what a blog is &#8212-it can be so many things (modern writings, or formal writings). Instead, focus your attention on the blogging software, which is more and more the premier kind of web publishing tools &#8212-as opposed to the old-fashioned HTML editors, which produce classic websites. The New York Times uses WordPress to power its blogs, and so do plenty of other mainstream media companies. The reason for that is that the blogging software packages are the most advanced web publishing tools and fit very smoothly within the Web&#8217-s architecture.

I won&#8217-t read the column of mister Edward Glaeser in the New York Sun. He looks like an old schmuck to me.

Previously: Another way to measure the popularity of blogs: their number of feed subscribers