World Blogging Month (WoBloMo)

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Our fearless conductor Chris Masse has mastered the art of blogging, including the key ingredient of consistent daily posts. He knows what Stephen King knows: quantity and quality can be friends.

For a pseudo-blogger like me intimidated by those seven letters &#8220-P u b l i s h&#8221-, I could use some prodding from ludicrous and arbitrary deadlines. Sixteen of them, in fact.

Enter World Blogging Month (WoBloMo), coming in March. The goal is simple: Blog every other day from March 1 to March 31 and you win.

I&#8217-m in. So far as I can tell so are two other people.

One of them, Mark Reid, summed up his reason for joining nicely: &#8220-By forcing regular posts I’m hoping to not indulge myself as much in my writing, find the main thing I want to say in each post and just say it.&#8221-

March is a good month to write since it happens to be a popular month to surf.

So join us and &#8220-just say it&#8221- on every odd day of March. See you on the other side.

Full disclosure.

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

On other blogs than Midas Oracle, the Askimet anti-spam technology actually blocks legitimate comments from honorable people, and, hence, blocks free speech on the Internet.

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I am one of those &#8220-honorable people&#8221- who get caught in Askimet&#8217-s net. Any blog running Askimet will refuse any of my comments. I have never submitted any illegitimate comment, though.

It&#8217-s a big scandal.

Askimet = Shit.

The one thing I enjoy every Monday morning

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As a prediction market aficionado, what lights me up are stories about&#8230- (of course)&#8230- how the prediction markets are assessing important news. The HubDub blog publishes, every Monday morning, a post that rounds up the 5 most prominent (that&#8217-s subjective) news stories of the week, with the prediction market charts, so we can spot which outcome is the more likely, for each issue.

I find this weekly newsletter addictive. I read it with attention each Monday. It is simple, short, but well done and effective.

I wish InTrade, BetFair, and NewsFutures would publish such a prediction market blog.

Midas Oracle thanks these guys for participating (by publishing posts and/or comments) in our ongoing discussion about the social utility of the prediction markets.

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Tom W. Bell – Tom Bell – Post Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Professor – Law (Chapman University) – Blog: Agoraphilia – California, U.S.A.

Caveat Bettor [pseudonym] – Post Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Event Derivative Trader – Blog: Caveat Bettor – North America

Bo CowgillPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Quantitative Marketing Manager – Google – Blog: Bo Cowgill – California, U.S.A.

Nigel EcclesPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – CEO – HubDub – Blog: HubDub – Scotland, United Kingdom, E.U.

Michael Giberson – Mike Giberson – Post Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Energy Economist (Center for Energy Commerce, Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University) – Site: Michael Giberson – Blog: Knowledge Problem – Texas, U.S.A.

Robin HansonPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Professor – Economics (George Mason University) – Blogs: Overcoming Bias – Virginia, U.S.A.

Chris HibbertPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Software Architect (Zocalo) – Site: My Druthers – Blog: PanCrit – California, U.S.A.

Alex KirtlandPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Internet Usability Expert – Blog: Usable Markets – New York, U.S.A.

Mike LinksvayerPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Vice-President of Creative Commons – Blog: Mike Linksvayer – California, U.S.A.

David PennockPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo! – Yahoo! Research – Blog: Odd Head – New York, U.S.A.

Jason RuspiniPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Financial Research Analyst, Vice President at Conquest Capital Group – Blog: Risk Markets &amp- Politics – New York, U.S.A.

Emile Servan-SchreiberPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – CEO – NewsFutures – Blog: NewsFutures – Maryland, U.S.A. &amp- France, E.U.

Adam SiegelPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – CEO – Inkling Markets – Illinois, U.S.A.

Koleman StrumpfPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Professor – Economics (University of Kansas) – Kansas, U.S.A.

George TziralisPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Doctoral Researcher – National Technical University of Athens – George Tziralis&#8217-s Home Page – Site: Ask Markets – Greece, E.U.

Eric ZitzewitzPost Archive at Midas Oracle – (Post Feed) – Professor – Economics (Dartmouth College) – Site: – California, U.S.A.

Pssttt&#8230- Let me know if I should make a change in a label, or add a link, or else.

BetFair Predicts = a new WordPress-powered website concocted out of San Francisco, California… -whose informational value is close to zero.

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BetFair Predicts

UPDATE: The guy in charge says in the comment area that this is just an early beta website, which is going to be much improved soon.


  1. BetFair Predicts is a (clumsy) response to some of the (harsh) criticism I directed at them. So, it shows that they listen up.
  2. They chose WordPress as the content management system (CMS) for this project &#8212-it’s the right choice. (DruPal would have been OK for a more sophisticated project.)
  3. They are web-hosted on an independent domain name (as opposed to a sub domain on the website.) It’s good because it gives them freedom to use whatever information technology they want. (For security reason, they get limitations on their main website. That’s why the BetFair blog had to be run on MovableType, and not on WordPress.) – [UPDATE: The website now redirects to]
  4. The architecture of this new website is well done. It’s standard. (Unlike the BetFair blog, which is a price of crap, technically.)
  5. They created a new compound chart on the 2008 US presidential elections. (I have hot-linked to it, just below.)


  1. It was an error to call this project BetFair Predicts“, singular. “BetFair Predict”, plural, would have been better, because the wisdom of crowds requires both a collective judgment mechanism (here, a predition exchange named BetFair) and the event derivative traders associated with that prediction exchange. By using the singular, BetFair appropriates a predictive power that should be credited to a community (lead by BetFair).
  2. Overall, it’s a very thin website. It does not bring much to the kitchen table. (That new compound chart above is really the novelty at this time. But it’s not Earth shattering, since the BetFair Politics Zone already displays compound charts, which are dynamic, and which can be hot-linked to.)
  3. That compound chart is probably not a dynamic one (that is, a chart that will update itself in the future). This compound chart is just an image that has been uploaded from the BetFair exchange to this new BetFair Predicts blog, I doubt that that image will be updated in the future.
  4. And they seem light-years behind when it comes to embeddable chart widgets. (They claim on the frontpage that you can “embed” their charts in your blog, but what they offer is just static charts. Those idiots don’t know what they are talking about.)
  5. Their explainer on prediction markets is&#8230- so-so.
  6. Their blog is written by a “Joe Seither”, whose background is not disclosed. The writings (well, only 2 posts, as of today) are typical of any copy-writer who would have been instructed about the mechanism of the prediction markets the day prior to undertaking this project. You won’t find any insights- just banalities. What I see is worthless.
  7. They can’t spell “RSS”. (See below. :-D )


  1. BetFair is still struggling with the web publishing technologies.
  2. BetFair is still struggling with the prediction market approach, embodied by InTrade.
  3. BetFair has a hiring problem: they pick up incompetents on the job market and put them in charge too quickly. The result is the disaster detailed above, and chronicled in the Midas Oracle archives since 2006.