Prediction Market Journalism

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Here&#8217-s a new application of prediction markets now under review for a grant: Prediction Market Journalism.

Here&#8217-s how it works: a journalist in London wants to investigate government plans to fund long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) in schools.

The journalist opens an either/or real-money, public prediction market question: Will the government fund LARC for girls in school clinics?

The journalist is interested in questions like: How safe is LARC? What companies make LARC? Which company would supply school clinics with LARC, and why that particular company? Who would profit from LARC distribution in school clinics? What other contraceptives are currently government funded in schools? Both the journalist AND prediction market traders want these questions answered. The former, to publish. The later, to make better market predictions from.

So, in Prediction Market Journalism, traders can help answer these questions. Traders contribute documents, video, photos, tips, links- whatever helps the journalist do the burdensome investigative research. With sufficient vetting, User Generated Content (UGC) is posted for public viewing, thus helping everyone to make better predictions.

In short, PM traders can indirectly effect the market on which they make predictions. Journalists get both crowdsourced investigative research and a percentage of trading commissions.

That&#8217-s a new application of prediction markets.

InTrade has surpassed BetFair and TradeSports (and the Iowa Electronic Markets, too).

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InTrade&#8217-s PageRank is now 7 / 10 &#8212-while all the other major prediction market firms are at 6 / 10.

  1. It shows that the prediction market approach is paying off. Do provide journalist-friendly objective probabilistic predictions (expressed in percentages &#8211-not those fucking decimal odds), and the media will link to you, thanks to all the free-market economists who love your model and act as unpaid publicists for you. Make sure your website can resist under heavy traffic loads on Election Day, and during the occasional days where important news break. Then, milk out all this free publicity. Run registration ads allover your exchange website to attract new traders. Make money. Invest in IT &#8212-but don&#8217-t let the IT maniacs complicate your prediction exchange too much (as BetFair did).
  2. Long-term, the InTrade model (based on the prediction market approach) should be more profitable, in theory. Because of legal impediment, InTrade is not as profitable as it should be, alas.

Reuters partner with HubDub.

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Once again, we out-scoop Freakonomics and Overcoming Whatever.


Reuters partners with Hubdub to put a presence on the prediction market site.

Reuters is pleased to announce their new presence on Hubdub, the virtual prediction market site.

Hubdub allows users to trade predictions with virtual money on the outcomes of breaking news stories and future events, with approximately 2 million Hubdub dollars traded daily. As part of a new, dedicated Reuters section within the site Reuters generates questions for users to trade on based on the latest breaking news and ranging in topics from the current credit crunch to the 2008 presidential election. Reuters questions are already among the most popular on Hubdub.

Additional tools and resources are also included to help build a Reuters community within the site, including a &#8220-friends&#8221- application, comment capabilities, links to the top Reuters stories of the day and Reuters market widgets, found at

Finally, because Hubdub prediction markets aggregate thousands of trades, the site often produces accurate forecasts on the likelihood of future events. Beyond weighing in on the outcome, users are able to reference the site for up-to-the-minute information on the public&#8217-s predictions about breaking news from Reuters.

HubDub partnership program:

Become a Partner

Partner with Hubdub to engage and grow your community. Enrich your content for your users by adding forecasts, and drive traffic by creating a branded presence on Hubdub.

As a partner you can:
* Create branded questions on Hubdub for anyone to predict, with links back to your relevant content
* Sponsor and link to particular questions and get links back to your relevant content
* Get a branded profile page to highlight your questions and display a relevant news feed from your site or blog
* Post questions, graphs and forecasts as widgets alongside your content to engage users
* It&#8217-s all completely free!

– News sites – engage your readers with forecasts they return to
Bloggers – get novel content to enrich your posts and drive relevant traffic
– Special interest sites – give your community informative forecasts and attract new users

Become a partner – it&#8217-s free!

Create an account on Hubdub and drop us an email asking to become a partner. Once we review your application we&#8217-ll upgrade your account to a partner one. Easy!


Putting the prediction markets under the big crowdsourcing tent

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Via Keith Anderson (Senior Analyst at RNG)

Chapter 7 – What the Crowd Knows: Collective Intelligence in Action – by Jeff Howe

He is a Wired journalist.

I prefer stuff written by economists like Robin Hanson, Justin Wolfers, Eric Zitzewitz, Koleman Strumpf, David Pennock, etc.

What&#8217-s the point of having the mainstream media journalists writing their own stuff when we can cite the people listed above????

I believe in the &#8220-In His/Her Own Words&#8221- principle.

Enough with the journalists. I&#8217-m fed up by them.

The Internet enables us to access directly the people who know. Let&#8217-s bypass the journalists. Let&#8217-s bulldozer this unnecessary filter.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • A second look at HedgeStreet’s comment to the CFTC about “event markets”
  • Since YooPick opened their door, Midas Oracle has been getting, daily, 2 or 3 dozens referrals from FaceBook.
  • US presidential hopeful John McCain hates the Midas Oracle bloggers.
  • If you have tried to contact Chris Masse thru the Midas Oracle Contact Form, I’m terribly sorry to inform you that your message was not delivered to the recipient.
  • “Over a ten-year period commencing on January 1, 2008, and ending on December 31, 2017, the S & P 500 will outperform a portfolio of funds of hedge funds, when performance is measured on a basis net of fees, costs and expenses.”
  • Meet professor Thomas W. Malone (on the right), from the MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence.

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?

InTrade is not a bookie, and its traders are not gamblers.

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– Economic forecasters do pay attention to InTrade.

– Most InTrade traders are US citizens, or, at least, US residents &#8212-not &#8220-foreigners&#8221-.

I could go on. This post is riddled with inaccuracies.

It is the kind of stuff that explains InTrade to morons surfacing from their Afghan cave &#8212-as I told you 5 minutes ago. I&#8217-m fed up with that kind of superficial journalism. We all know what InTrade is. Let&#8217-s move on to real prediction market journalism.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Prediction Markets
  • Meet professor Justin Wolfers.
  • Become “friend” with me on Google E-Mail so as to share feed items with me within Google Reader.
  • Nigel Eccles’ flawed “vision” about HubDub shows that he hasn’t any.
  • How does InTrade deal with insider trading?
  • Modern Life
  • “The Beacon” is an excellent blog published by The Independent Institute.

Deep Throat on the journalists fatigue for reporting on prediction markets

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When we recently talked to a MSM reporter for a major article, he/she specifically said he/she didn&#8217-t want to write about public prediction exchanges because &#8220-there is nothing new there,&#8221- and was even hesitant to write about the activities of certain private, high-tech companies because they already have a reputation for &#8220-trying anything.&#8221- If that attitude is prevalent among other journalists, there may already be a fatigue setting in which is why you saw very little interest in the latest WSJ article on political prediction markets. Thinking about the readership of the major business press, through several feature articles there is already an awareness about the basics. There is limited return in writing yet another: &#8220-people are trading on everything from housing futures to political candidates, isn&#8217-t that amazing?&#8221-

There also seems to be very little innovation coming from the major public exchanges. When&#8217-s the last time any of the major prediction exchanges did anything truly noteworthy with their platform that was worth writing about? […]

The novelty of it all is wearing off, the &#8220-wisdom of crowds&#8221- stories have been done, and the public exchanges are going to need to come up with Act II, either through innovation, new content strategies, or partnerships.

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.

I am much more aligned with InTrade than you are, Chris.

No GravatarThat came from a margin trader [*] and prediction market blogger.

Well, if you practice (amateur or professional) journalism (which blogging is), then I don&#8217-t see how you can be interesting to your audience if you are &#8220-aligned&#8221- with one prediction exchange in particular &#8212-whether it&#8217-s InTrade-TradeSports or BetFair-TradeFair. Journalism should be independent. Caveat Bettor, who is a great amateur prediction market journalist, and who overall supports InTrade-TradeSports, is not &#8220-aligned&#8221- with them. He makes up his own mind, and would occasionally disapproves an InTrade or TradeSports policy he can&#8217-t stand. As a reader, I trust Cav. Mike Smithson is not &#8220-aligned&#8221- with BetFair. I trust Mike Smithson. In general, I trust any web editor and publisher who has an independent editorial line. (And if that blogger can foster diversity of opinion on his/her blog, that&#8217-s better.) &#8220-Aligned&#8221-??? A blogger should be out of line.

Bush Finger

[*] Margin traders and prediction market researchers are very much dependent from their prediction exchange, just like heroin addicts are from their dope dealer. They are at the mercy of the executive running the exchange. No trading data = no academic career in the field of prediction markets. Don&#8217-t expect the full truth from addicts. And when a scandal breaks out, those academics plunge under their bed. (Robin Hanson is one of the rare exceptions, because he does not specialize in meta analysis. He is more a new-institution designer, and thus less dependent from the InTrade trading data than the other researchers. That doesn&#8217-t make him a courageous white knight, though.)

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Robin Hanson wants to rule the world —just as CEOs and heads of states do for a living.
  • Predictify got funded… Great for those who will be hired… But is it a good thing, overall?
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb likens modern-day financial markets to medicine in the 1800s, when going to a hospital in London or Paris multiplied your risk of death by four times, he says. Similarly, quants increase risk by deploying flawed financial tools designed to reduce it, he argues.
  • TradeSports-InTrade — Check Deposits
  • BetFair Australia fought for free trade across Australian state boundaries… and won.