BAD KARMA FOR PREDICTION MARKET JOURNALISM: Almost nodoby has linked to Justin Wolfers articles at the Wall Street Journal.

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Considering that he is the #2 researcher in our field, that he issued bold statements on the use of market-generated predictions by journalists (&#8221-2020&#8243-), that the WSJ is the premier business publication, then that&#8217-s bad omen for prediction market journalism &#8212-well, at least, for the version that he has put out. The feedback of the Blogosphere is clear: WE COULDN&#8217-T CARE LESS.


NOTE TO SELF: Set up customized e-mail alerts for brand-new, hot Midas Oracle stuff.

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Felix Salmon:

And while Barry might not like the overall quality of the writers at Seeking Alpha, the quality of the readers (as opposed to the commenters, who are an unrepresentative sample) is pretty high, for one big reason: Seeking Alpha&#8217-s email alerts. Most executives simply have no time to surf the web for content, which is one reason why it took a long time for econoblogs to take off. But a lot of them have signed up for SA&#8217-s email service, which sends them a bunch of posts on their particular company or industry on a regular basis. And I&#8217-m often very surprised at the number of times that high-powered people get in touch with me after I end up in one of those emails.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • 50% of our prediction market luminaries have a MacBook.
  • Ron Paul (R) and Barney Frank (D) ally together to attack “the practical hurdles of the federal law, known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, rather than its legitimacy”.
  • Clicking on the “SPHERE: RELATED CONTENT” button, at the bottom of each Midas Oracle post, will bring you a list of external webspots.
  • FRIGHTENING: Jed Christiansen’s prediction market blog was briefly overtaken by web spammers, who inserted invisible links to their commercial sites so as to game the Google PageRank system.
  • InTrade ditch market-leader Bloomberg for low-cost, second-tier data provider eSignal.
  • Drawing a parallel between our reluctance to seek advice and the experts’ reluctance to take the market-generated probabilistic predictions in an un-discriminating, un-critical fashion

Information that is shared, but not sought, is now perceived as natural.

No GravatarThe New York Times

Implications for the field of prediction markets (InTrade-TradeFair, BetFair-TradeFair, Betdaq, HSX, NewsFutures, Inkling Markets, etc.):

  1. Publish the &#8220-Share This&#8220- widget on each of your prediction market page, to make it easier for your customers to recommend that web spot to their friends (via e-mail or via social content aggregators)-
  2. Offer feed-compatible chart widgets that any specialized bloggers (who are opinion leaders on their vertical) can embed easily in their blog posts, so that they can tell their little community about your prediction markets.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Would be fun to have the equivalent for event derivatives.
  • “We’ll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow.” “Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals,” said Turner, 69. “Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state —like Somalia or Sudan— and living conditions will be intolerable.”
  • QUESTION TO THE READERS: Could anyone guess what Nassim Nicholas Taleb would think of the prediction markets?
  • YouTube Videos on Prediction Markets
  • The Prime Minister of Ireland has just said he will resign, but neither InTrade nor BetFair would give the first fig.

Did you know that Real Clear Politics (a political news aggregator in bed with InTrade) is now owned by Forbes?

No GravatarI didn&#8217-t know that. (They also own Investopedia.)

And now Forbes are selling ad spaces for Real Clear Politics and 400 other politics blogs, thru their &#8220-Forbes Audience Network&#8221-. They sent me an e-mail, last year, to get us in their network. But a close look at their proposed contract showed that they would offer only 40% for Midas Oracle &#8212-whereas the other ad networks would offer 60%.

By the way, I&#8217-ll tell you later about my master plan to develop Midas Oracle&#8230-

UPDATE: More info from Paid Content and Silicon Alley Insider (Ad Networks Are For Losers)&#8230-


Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Last year’s best April Fool’s Day Joke had something to do with the Wisdom Of Crowds.
  • Will HedgeStreet USA, the hypothetical InTrade USA, and the hypothetical TradeFair USA, be regulated in the future by a merged SEC+CFTC regulatory structure?
  • WORST THAN ELIOT SPITZER (if it were possible): Formula One boss, Max Mosley, had sado-masochist sex with 5 prostitutes, for 5 hours (!!), reenacting a concentration camp scene (!!) in which he played the role of both Nazi guard and inmate.
  • Is BetFair Poker a booby trap for the gullible novices? Does The Sporting Exchange (the operator of the BetFair brands) help gangs plucking down innocent recreational poker players?? To get an inkling, don’t read The Guardian, seeded by the BetFair spin doctor- read Midas Oracle.
  • The video that the technologically retarded BetFair spin doctor should watch.

Why blogs on prediction markets are lively and interesting to read, while conferences on prediction markets are as dull as German sausages and suck like GoldFish.

No GravatarGoldFish

Signal Vs. Noise:

Web Conferences: Where&#8217-s the outrage?

Over the past 7 years I’ve probably been to almost every major web industry conference at least once. I can’t remember the last time I saw a good honest disagreeable debate on stage. There’s too much “yeah, totally” and “I definitely agree” and “Absolutely” going around.

Panels of friends

Part of why this happens is that the web design industry as a whole is pretty chummy when it gets together. That’s not a bad thing, but it amplifies the echo chamber. Another reason why this happens is that when people put panels together they usually put their friends on them. Friends can disagree, but it doesn’t happen in public very often. Finally, most of the panels I’ve seen aren’t assembled to present three different points of view — they are assembled to present the same point of view in three different ways.

Conferences are meek, Blogs are strong

There’s plenty of debates going on over the web. Take the recent Calcanis vs. Hansson round. And then the recent Norman vs. 37signals exchange. And then there are the savvy provocateurs such as Michael Arrington that suggested 37signals drove a company to the deadpool because we encourage people charge for their products. We didn’t respond on the web, but it would be fun in person. These back and forths are wonderful. They are passionate, interesting, and heated. People are forced to sharpen their position and everyone learns a thing or two. They expose important discussions and spawn new ones. They also generate a lot of traffic for those involved. So why does the web have all the good debates? Where are the web conferences pitting two opposing viewpoints on stage? Hearing two passionate points is a great way to reevaluate what you believe. Where’s the web conference called Web Fight Night? I see a big market opportunity. [&#8230-]

Conference speakers should be more bombastic. :-D


Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Eliot Spitzer has simply demonstrated once again that those who rise to the top of organizations are very often the most demented, conflicted individuals in any group.
  • Business Risks & Prediction Markets
  • Brand-new BetFair bet-matching logic proves to be very controversial with some event derivative traders.
  • Jimmy Wales accused of editing Wikipedia for donations.
  • What the prediction market experts said on Predictify
  • Are you a MSR addict like Mike Giberson? Have nothing to do this week-end? Wanna trade on a play-money prediction exchange instead of watching cable TV? Wanna win an i-Phone?
  • The secret Google document that Bo Cowgill doesn’t want you to see

Chris Masse is a total and complete fake -thats what Niall OConnor seems to think.

No GravatarNiall O’Connor

Niall, my good Lord,

Firstly, thanks for your constant scrutiny of my web activities. I&#8217-m so honored &#8212-and you should be too, because I&#8217-m one of your feed subscribers.

As you point out, that post was not an instance of &#8220-prediction market journalism&#8221- &#8212-and was never branded as such. I have made a long-time policy on all the Midas Oracle blogs that their content is not about prediction markets only. That post was about US politics, and it consisted in a link to a story explaining why Oprah Winfrey is not able to help Barack Obama, because of demos and else. I thought my readers would like to read that story.

Niall, if you want an instance of &#8220-prediction market journalism&#8221- (not in its richest form, though, as we are just started experimenting and researching it), try that &#8212-and you&#8217-re welcome to criticize it and improve it on your own blog&#8230- if you can. (And if you want material for your next damning critique, try that.)

Your impulse to eviscerate the field of prediction markets (most of the times, with phony arguments, and at other times, with valid arguments) should be kept in check with both science and common sense &#8212-or you risk losing your credibility totally.

Best regards, my good Lord.

Chris Masse

Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Never talk when you can nod, and never nod when you can wink, and never write an e-mail because it’s death. You’re giving prosecutors all the evidence we need.
  • Is Justin Wolfers a libertarian? Probably not.
  • The information technology that caught Eliot Spitzer
  • Eric Zitzewitz’s 10 minutes of fame
  • Fun with conditional probabilities
  • Wrongly Crafted Headlines Of The Day
  • an American, petite, very pretty brunette, 5 feet 5 inches, and 105 pounds

Why Midas Oracle (and not TV news shows or print newspapers) will dominate the future.

No GravatarLizard

Henry Blodget:

We still occasionally encounter people who argue that physical newspapers and TV news shows have a vital roll to play in the dissemination of news. These folks usually work for physical newspapers and TV networks, of course. [&#8230-]

Ha! ha! ha! :-D

48% said their primary source of news is the Internet (up 20% from only a year ago).
86% of Americans regard web sites as an important source of news.
36% regard &#8220-blogs&#8221- as an important source of news.
87% of Americans think &#8220-professional journalism&#8221- will remain vitally important.
77% think &#8220-citizen journalism&#8221- will be important
59% think &#8220-blogs&#8221- will be important.

More at Zogby.

BetFair-TradeFair, Betdaq, TradeSports-InTrade, MatchBook, NewsFutures, HSX, et al., should begin to take prediction market blogs seriously.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Red Herring’s list of the top 100 North-American high-tech startups includes Inkling Markets —but not NewsFutures, Consensus Point, or Xpree.
  • Professor Koleman Strumpf explains the prediction markets to the countryland people.
  • Professor Koleman Strumpf tells CNN that a prediction market, by essence, can’t predict an upset.
  • Time magazine interview the 2 BetFair-Tradefair co-founders, and not a single time do they pronounce the magic words, “prediction markets”.
  • One Deep Throat told me that this VC firm might have been connected with the Irish prediction exchange, at inception.
  • BetFair Rapid = BetFair’s standalone, local, PC-based, order-entry software for prediction markets
  • Michael Moore tells the Democratic people to go Barack Obama in Pennsylvania (a two-tier state), but the polls and the prediction markets tell us that that won’t do the trick.