Monday, July 16, 2007

New Features Roundup

We've been pretty busy doing customizations for new clients and since all our marketplaces run off a single codebase, these customizations are finding their way in to our own public marketplace, a few of which I wanted to highlight:

  • Price tracking - when you go to a market you now see the ability to create a custom rss feed with upper and lower bounds for price "alerts." A notice will come immediately to your rss reader if the particular stock you are tracking crosses the threshold you have defined.
  • Graph widget - we've created a second widget to show a 7-day graph of any market. We've left it vanilla so you can put links to the market, etc. around it in your blog/website, but this was an often requested feature so hopefully people enjoy using it.
  • Anonymity - This is more applicable to our corporate customers, but we've given administrators of marketplaces the ability to make the marketplace even more anonymous by being able to turn profiles on and off, eliminating the only possibility of a user saying who they are, especially if their usernames are being pre-defined.
  • Reporting - Again this is more applicable to our corporate customers, but we've created several new marketplace reports that can easily be imported in to Excel or whatever enterprise analytics tool is available.
  • REST API Enhancements - As more people start to utilize our API we continue to make improvements, adding new services and enhancing the ones that exist.

As always thank you to our thousands of users and clients, many of whom send us suggestions for improvements on a daily basis. We certainly wouldn't have made the progress we have without your valuable input.

Monday, July 02, 2007

James Surowiecki writes about MediaPredict in the New Yorker

James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Çrowds focuses on Inkling client MediaPredict in this week's New Yorker.

Here's a snippet:

...Many people argue that it’s foolish to expect otherwise, and that no science of success is possible. In the famous words of the screenwriter William Goldman, “Nobody knows anything.” The fate of a book or a movie, the argument goes, is determined by too many factors to be predictable—advertising, reviews, word of mouth, luck, and, in the case of big hits, a simple desire to see what all the fuss is about. De Vany, for instance, says that the box-office performance of Hollywood films is “chaotic” in the mathematical sense of the term. Three Columbia sociologists recently found something similar in a series of online experiments in which people were divided into eight groups, asked to listen to songs by unknown artists, rate them, and then decide which ones they’d like to download—after being told how often others had downloaded the songs. The highest-rated songs, it turned out, were not always the most frequently downloaded. And in each group a different song ended up topping the charts. In the laboratory, at least, success appeared to be essentially random.

MediaPredict, however, is wagering that in the real world success is, at least in part, predictable, and it follows a model that, over the past decade, has proved surprisingly effective in forecasting a wide range of events: the prediction market...