Bo Cowgills boss = Hal Varian

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UPDATE: Bo tells us: &#8220-Actually, that’s my desk right behind him, in the top picture.&#8221-

Using Prediction Markets to Track Information Flows: Evidence from Google – (PDF file – PDF file) – by Bo Cowgill, Justin Wolfers, and Eric Zitwewitz – 2008-01-06


Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • POLLS VERSUS PREDICTION MARKETS: Justin Wolfers retorts to Bob Erikson.
  • Based on market data from a tiny prediction exchange (IEM, which is much smaller than InTrade-TradeSports or BetFair), a couple of researchers claim that prediction markets do not have superior predictive power. — And, adding salt to injury, they call our prediction market luminaries (Robin Hanson, Justin Wolfers, etc.)… “naive”.
  • Do the media avoid reporting the bad omens that is sometimes reflected in the prediction markets?
  • BetFair’s brand-new bet matching logic
  • Quizz Of The Day — Monday Morning Edition
  • BEWARE THE BLOGGING ACADEMICS: They are not blogging to inform us —they are blogging to promote themselves.
  • Did Jason Ruspini and friends cash in on huge moves in prices of oil, natural gas, coal and other parts of the energy patch, this semester?

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.

InTrade-TradeSports and BetFair-TradeFair are barred from advertising on Google, Yahoo! and MicroSofts networks of websites.

Via Jason Ruspini and Daniel Horowitz, The Associated Press &amp- Reuters.

But I will remark that Google Ads serve both InTrade and TradeSports. [I don&#8217-t mind. Just a remark.]

Author Profile&nbsp-Editor and Publisher of Midas Oracle .ORG .NET .COM &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s mugshot &#8212- Contact Chris Masse &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s LinkedIn profile &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s FaceBook profile &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s Google profile &#8212- Sophia-Antipolis, France, E.U. Read more from this author&#8230-

Read the previous blog posts by Chris. F. Masse:

  • Comments are now completely open on Midas Oracle.
  • Albert Einstein, Chairman of the Midas Oracle Advisory Board
  • Erratic –but not Stochastic– Charts
  • Barack Obama is the 44th US president.
  • We already have prediction markets in future tax rates. It’s called the municipal bond yield curve.
  • O’Reilly – Money-Tech Conference

ads, auctions and markets: a proposal

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Ads make the web go round. US internet advertisement expenditure is expected to surpass $21 billions in 2007, while the share of web ads in the UK is already bigger than ad spending in radio and newspapers. More specifically, adwords (+adsense) is maybe the single reason behind growth and sustainability of the biggest business fairytale in our times, returning for example $2.6 (+$1.0) billions in 2006Q3 alone.

Textual ads are auction powered. Speaking of Google, let me repeat the well-known process (which is valid with some variations also in Yahoo&#8217-s Search Engine Marketing and Microsoft&#8217-s ad center -forgive my partial knowledge). Each time you view or click on an ad link, the advertiser rewards the site owner for the use of her screen real estate and the redirection of your attention span. More accessible real estate costs a lot, as the more the advertisers pay the higher their ad is ranked and exposing their message to more visitors. Ad ranking occurs mainly from a dynamic Vickrey auction model, namely cost-per-click bids is the most influential factor defining your ads rank. But, to my eyes, the system&#8217-s current status seems sub-optimal. From the ad platform engine&#8217-s perspective, earnings aren&#8217-t maximized, as the advertiser pays only for actual clicks and not for impressions. From the advertiser&#8217-s view, the ad&#8217-s impact is also sub-optimal, as high rank doesn&#8217-t guarantee more visitors, in the case of low ad relevancy to the user&#8217-s query and actual interests. Finally, and most importantly, the auction-based fundamental model doesn&#8217-t accumulate the collective intelligence of the previous visitors&#8217- behavior and probably results in a poor user experience. (Well, in practice, clickthrough rates are also evaluated and the adrank algorithm is much more complicated, but this doesn&#8217-t reduce the validity of comments on the fundamental choice of an auction model).

While the auction-based approach apparently works, let me propose a more simple, direct and transparent market-based variation. In such a case, the ad-space of the universe of all potential keywords combination consists a gigantic marketplace, while each keywords&#8217- combination will form a market in this marketplace. In each market, an advertiser&#8217-s submission triggers the creation of a stock, which is initially traded at the defined cost-per-click price. But this price is nothing but constant- it goes up each time a user clicks on the ad, or down each time a user clicks on a different ad (this second action could even be omitted). As a result, stock prices, therefore ad ranking, evolves dynamically to enhance previous visitors&#8217- choices and leverage the wisdom of crowds in forming an elegant user experience. Moreover, it maximizes engine&#8217-s gainings and advertisers&#8217- impact, while enables a fully trackable procedure for advantage of both the platform and its users.

I would like to stress my lack of extended or insiders&#8217- knowledge on the topic, but I&#8217-m more than eager to discover relevant attempts, or -even better- participate in some attempt to put this idea into reality.

cross-posted from my blog