P2 = a revolution in blogging

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As I told you the other day, I am very impressed by P2, a new interactive WordPress theme. I have not selected it for Midas Oracle (I chose WP FrameWork), but I think that P2 will influence a lot of other themes.

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What prediction markets can learn from Twitter – REDUX

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S-I-M-P-L-I-C-I-T-Y + C-U-S-T-O-M-I-Z-A-T-I-O-N

Twitter is a very simplistic core. Around that core is a whole ecosystem that adds value to Twitter. You have a large choice of &#8220-Twitter clients&#8221-, and there are plenty of websites out there that complement the basic Twitter service.

It is the anti-BetFair case. The future prediction exchanges will be built around a simplistic core, and there will be plenty of add-ons and complimentary services &#8212-all of which will be optional, so as not to scare off the newbies.

Enterprise prediction markets: Usability innovation is the answer.

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This past week, The Economist wrote on the yet-unfulfilled promise of prediction markets. At CrowdCast (ex-Xpree), we believe prediction markets are not yet mainstream because the current solutions are built on mechanisms designed for the stock market, not for the enterprise.

The stock trading metaphor works for a large, liquid stock market, but is unsuitable for enterprise forecasting. The concept of shorting and covered calls is far from intuitive for your average employee, and the stock mechanism makes it hard to ask the simplest of questions relevant for corporate forecasters. For example, buying or selling a collection of virtual stocks representing probabilities of sales falling in particular ranges is an incredibly obtuse way of asking for a single sales forecast. Finally, the stock mechanism relies on copious liquidity to ensure meaningful metrics, which is often not available with the limited crowds available in the enterprise.

However, innovation moves on and we question the assumption that prediction markets have to rely on the stock market analogy. At CrowdCast, we have been working on a new mechanism, that takes into account participant behavior and aptitude as much as market efficiency. The product we are launching in April will deliver easy, engaging, and expressive information exchanges, without the limitations of traditional notions of stock markets.

When you get the questions, incentives, and mechanism right, a prediction market can be an incredibly powerful management tool. Employees share insights anonymously and are measured and rewarded for their intelligence. Widely deployed, this has the potential to fundamentally change the nature of the organizational contract, moving from information flow based on hierarchy and silos, to enterprise-wide direct communication.

A whole new take on prediction markets- available from CrowdCast in April 2009.

Mat Fogarty

CrowdCast CEO

Cross-posted from the Xpree blog

Previously: Are collective intelligence solutions being oversold?

Why Sean Glass is no Nigel Eccles

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One simple word:



When I first tried Pikum, last year, I spent 10 minutes looking around, trying to figure out how to use their betting website. At the 11th minute, I gave up. For good.

Sean Glass is an amazing serial entrepreneur and he&#8217-ll hatch many successful ventures in the future. I am sure many angel investors will back him up, again. However, the takeaway from the Pikum failure is that your user interface should not be too original. Users are spending most of their time on other websites &#8212-so, do have a user interface that resembles what is found outside.

Let&#8217-s hope Jason Trost got that one right.

I am going to switch from MicroSoft Windows to Apple Macintosh OS.

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The biggest mistake I made in my life was to stick for too long to MicroSoft Windows. I should have switched to Apple Macintosh OS (or, alternatively, Linux Ubuntu) long ago. I am going to buy a MacBook Pro 17&#8243-, next month.

  1. Bill Gates and Steve Balmer are 2 idiotic bullies, who never cared about usability, but about expanding their monopoly, rather.
  2. Steve Jobs is a little dictator, granted, but he has been focusing solely on user experience.
  3. I have researched the Apple Macintosh for one week, and I found out only positive reviews. (George Tziralis told me that the MacBook Pro batteries might be a weak point, though.)
  4. Now that the Internet (and &#8220-cloud computing&#8221-) is the center of the Universe, we don&#8217-t need PC standards anymore. The PC is just a client &#8212-so that PC could well be a Mac or a Linux.
  5. I know that Windows 7 is coming, and I know that it is going to be better than Windows Vista (which is a calamity), but I am never going back to MicroSoft again. N-E-V-E-R. Period.
  6. I have suffered 2 terrible crashes this past month, with lost of fresh data. I see that Apple Macintosh has developed a &#8220-Time Machine&#8221- and a &#8220-Time Capsule&#8221- to back up data. I am going to use that.
  7. ADDENDUM (following Jed&#8217-s comment): Most of the open-source software packages which I work on are also available for the Mac OS platform.

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You, the Midas Oracle readers, are a bunch of lazy bastards…!!!… – Take that, loafers…!!!…

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The provocative title of this post ( :-D ) refers to the fact that Internet citizens don&#8217-t read on the Web.

They scan.

How Little Do Users Read?

I&#8217-ve just read a Slate article that recaps Jakob Nielsen&#8217-s teachings &#8212-I highly recommend it to you.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Justin Wolfers [*] is the most cited prediction market economist
  • The Orb @ Texas Tech University
  • VIDEO: The financial markets hacker who will impress Jason Ruspini
  • VIDEO: WeatherBill caught on tape

To build their Next Mayor of London chart widget, the smart asses at BetFair-TradeFair chose to use the most hated web technology -Flash.

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Homer's brain

Deluxe Corp.

Flash + Usability @ Google Search

Jakob Nielsen (world&#8217-s #1 Internet usability expert)

  • Flash: 99% Bad (Jakob Nielsen&#8217-s Alertbox)
  • In usability tests of 46 Flash applications, we identified several basic issues related to Web-based functionality&#8217-s ephemeral nature. (Jakob Nielsen&#8217-s Alertbox)
  • Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005 – #3 = Flash (Jakob Nielsen&#8217-s Alertbox)

Previously: How BetFair screw up the “Next Mayor Of London” embeddable, enriched, compound chart widget —BIG TIME