Thursday, May 31, 2007

Inkling Client Media Predict Featured in the Economist

Media Predict has been generating quite a bit of attention lately for its disruptive business model in the book publishing industry specifically and the media industry in general. The latest major news outlet to take notice is the Economist:

From the article:
GUT instinct plays too large a part in the publishing industry's decisions, says Mark Gompertz, vice-president of Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, a publisher based in New York. So Touchstone is trying a new approach: a service concocted by Media Predict, a start-up based in New York. It uses the internet to obtain editorial feedback from a large number of volunteers in order to help executives decide which manuscripts should become books.

Read more here:

(thanks to Midas Oracle for spotting this first)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

More RSS feeds

A couple weeks ago we introduced an RSS feed to track new markets being published on Inkling. We've continued to add more feeds and now give our traders the ability to track markets that are closing soon and markets that are the most active.

Soon you'll also be able to track the activity in an individual market, i.e. comments made in the discussion threads, stocks closing, etc.

There are still plenty of people who have no clue how RSS even works, but it's such a cleaner/easier process than email alerts, we will continue to go in this direction.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Suroweicki podcast

For fans of James Surowiecki, BNet's latest podcast features the author talking about the wisdom of crowds and how they apply in a business setting.

You can listen to it here.

Inkling Discussed by BNet

CNet recently launched BNet - an absolutely gorgeous e-zine for business. Nate was recently interviewed by one of their reporters and we were mentioned in a special feature about How to use Web 2.0 inside your company

One of our clients, Erickson Retirement Communities, a billion dollar privately held company that has retirement communities around the United States, was also interviewed. Mark Erickson, the CEO, discussed how Inkling has given them insights in to issues that wouldn't have normally come to the forefront which helps them make better management decisions and breaks down organizational silos.

Here's the snippet:

At Erickson Retirement Communities, which builds and manages senior housing and healthcare facilities, one recurring headache is choosing sites for new facilities. In addition to housing, each of the company's campuses offers restaurants, medical services, insurance, and transportation, so the site-selection process can take years. "It's a challenge to access all the necessary data because of information silos in our organization," CEO Mark Erickson says.

Now, Erickson uses a Web 2.0 prediction tool called Inkling that lets his planning staffers bet on the probability of each potential site to reach completion. Inkling works like a stock market, but each stock is a proposition, such as, "The facility in Madison, Wisconsin, will be completed in May 2009." Employees working on the project use virtual currency to buy and sell shares in the idea anonymously; if no one's putting their money behind the Madison project, it's probably a loser. Inkling didn't fundamentally change any business forecasts, Erickson says, but it has helped the company focus attention on specific questions. "We struggle with having more information than we can use, categorize, or process," he says. "This not only gave people access to information they may not have been looking at, it provided a context for why it was important."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The ever popular American Idol market

The American Idol market is quickly turning in to one of our highest traded markets and so far the crowd has done quite well picking those who are going to get dropped.

Currently it looks like the Justin Timberlake wannabe Chris Richardson is in danger of getting dropped tonight along with Lakisha Jones. Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks have been dueling it out for first place the past few days.

For comparison, we took a look at another usually reliable predictor of American Idol, which says this about itself:

  • DialIdol is free & safe software you can use to speed dial votes for your favorite contestants.
  • DialIdol measures the busy signal to predict who will be voted off.
  • DialIdol was 87% accurate for season 5 of American Idol.
  • DialIdol has accurately predicted the winner of every show it has covered.
  • DialIdol works with many major shows that allow phone voting.

Currently dialidol has Jordin winning so we'll just have to see how things turn out. Interestingly, a few of our corporate clients are running American Idol markets internally as a little workday diversion and also have either Melinda or Jordin winning.

I have a pretty sizable long position in Jordin so I'm hoping she pulls it out. I think the Melinda humble pie act is just not what America has in mind for their next Idol. :)

Anyways, back to work...