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?

??? charity-driven prediction markets OR social issue prediction markets ???

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But, contrary to what Lucy Berholtz thinks, the former will go further than the latter &#8212-in my view.

My thoughts about the Financial Times article on Bet2Give:

  1. I have said from day one that it&#8217-s a great idea.
  2. This is a &#8220-unique&#8221- concept&#8230- until InTrade-TradeSports, Betdaq and BetFair-TradeSports decide to create a charity wallet for their traders. Complex, sure, but that might come, one day.
  3. I have the highest esteem for Lucy Berholtz, generally, but I&#8217-m with Emile Servan-Schreiber on the idea that Bet2Give is not a simple marketing trick. All the money but a small percentage goes to the traders&#8217- selected foundations. If all US betting were organized that way, that would mean a huge windfall for US foundations.
  4. Tyler Cowen makes sense.
  5. As for LongBets, it&#8217-s a failed experiment in my judgment. Too many one-sided &#8220-predictions&#8221- for only a fistful of agreed &#8220-bets&#8221-.


Enterprise prediction markets give voice to serious, technology-minded professionals who really know their vertical (engineers, analysts and contractors) -and reveal how frivolous and unpertinent most horizontal managers are.

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Via prediction market pioneer Emile Servan-Schreiber of NewsFutures [*], the New York Times (2 pages):

At InterContinental Hotels, Zubin Dowlaty, vice president for emerging technologies, decided to create an online market last fall to “harvest and prioritize ideas” from within the hotel’s 1,000-person technology staff. “We wanted to tap the creative class that may not be able to voice their ideas,” Mr. Dowlaty said. With InterContinental’s prediction market, players were asked to submit ideas anonymously, with a description and the benefit to customers and company. The bettors were given virtual tokens, each receiving 10 green ones to be placed on the best ideas and three red for bad ideas. There were no limits on the number of times bettors could change their wagers as new ideas came to market, and the market was open for four weeks. The five top ideas (most green tokens), five bottom ideas (most red) and the top five bettors (most accurate, according to market consensus) were listed regularly. The winners got $500, while second- and third-place finishers received $250 each. The winners, Mr. Dowlaty said, were engineers, analysts and contractors, not managers. More than 200 people participated, submitting 85 ideas. One person proposed bringing back quarter-operated vibrating beds. “That one got beat down really fast,” Mr. Dowlaty said. The winning ideas were suggestions to improve searching the company’s Web site to find and book hotel rooms. Two projects have been started as a result of the market, Mr. Dowlaty said. Next, he said, prediction markets may be opened up to InterContinental’s customers, probably beginning with members of its Priority Club loyalty program. They could bet in markets for improving service and offerings, with points redeemed. “It’s the next frontier and the natural progression for this,” Mr. Dowlaty said.


InTrade-TradeSports, unlike BetFair-TradeFair, do manage internal, enterprise prediction markets.

Previously: Do Google’s enterprise prediction markets work?

La Sagesse Des Foules

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Good news this week for French-speaking Midas Oracle readers: The French version of Surowiecki&#8217-s book has at last been released. Here&#8217-s wishing it the success it deserves! Early reviews are very positive: One reviewer writes poetically about &#8220-crowds so wise that they become revolutionary.&#8221- Cute, and telling: As the country celebrates the student uprisings of April-May 1968, when Mao&#8217-s little red book was a must read, Surowiecki&#8217-s manifesto is indeed perfectly timed to launch a new cultural revolution.

La Sagesse des Foules

The pictures of NewsFutures Emile Servan-Schreiber in Hong Kong, China

No, no, no&#8230- &#8212-not that:

Bruce Lee

That, rather:


NewsFutures – NewsFutures blog

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

  • We regret to inform you of the passing of
  • Niall O’Connor, the one-data-point analyst
  • The best headline of the day –post Michigan
  • Enterprise prediction markets will be the next big thing when… hierarchies are flat.
  • Prediction Markets vs. Bookmakers — The Ultimate Argument
  • The Michigan primary as seen thru the prism of the InTrade prediction markets
  • BitGravity = video distribution network

NewsFutures Emile Servan-Schreiber has two lines of defense for the prediction markets.

And a slam at the InTrade fanboys:

[&#8230-] The classic first line of defense in these cases is to remind people that market “predictions” are really just probabilities [*], so any one outcome cannot invalidate the approach. The argument is sound and backed up by loads of data. But it would of course be much more convincing if we, as an industry, would remember to show at least as much humility when our market “predictions” appear correct instead. If you’re going to spread the idea that your market called all 50 states in the last U.S. presidential election because each correct outcome was predicted with over 50% chance, then you can’t hide behind probabilities when an 80% prediction comes to naught, as in Obama’s NH collapse. [&#8230-]

Excellent point, my Lord.

[*] Note that Midas Oracle is stuffed with phrases like &#8220-probabilistic predictions expressed in percentages&#8221-, and full of charts showing these probabilities.

Go reading his second point, now.

[&#8230-] capturing the consensus opinion in a much finer and dynamic way than all the amorphous media buzz [&#8230-]



Because NewsFutures is a strictly hierarchical company, I assume the piece is from EJSS, even though our smart man did not sign it. Bad Karma. Anonymous texts have no weight on the Internet.

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.

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:

  • Good news: The BetFair blog now features a prediction market column. — Bad news: Their columnist is an anonymous writer with long hair… and dubious skills.
  • Once again, a BetFair spin doctor misunderstands the prediction market approach.
  • Grandizer
  • Tss… Tss… Surely, you are joking Doctor Giberson.
  • Comments are still open on Midas Oracle.
  • “I am much more aligned with InTrade than you are, Chris.”
  • And the award for the most technology advanced software vendor goes to… the envelope, please…. QMARKETS in Israel. … [Cheers and applauses in the crowd.]