Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why did you trade that way?

In any Inkling market, traders express their opinions through their trades and in the discussion threads associated with each market.

Now there is an opportunity to capture feedback (optional of course) about why someone traded the way they did for each specific trade. This input is especially helpful to those who are trying to use the prediction market outcome as input to resource allocation decisions, understanding risk probabilities, or simply as input towards strategic decisions.

This new source of free-form information may also help to more easily identify outliers - now both the trade data and anonymous explanations are at a marketplace owner's disposal. Let's say a question is asked about the probability of a quality assurance issue arising in a product about to go on the market. If the market says the probability is low but there are a few people giving specific explanations as to why they feel the opposite, minimally the market owner can begin asking questions and gather more information.

In capturing this information we've tried not to interrupt the simple trading experience. It's just an optional field on the final confirmation screen (click to enlarge):

Monday, July 21, 2008

Better onsite alerts

We've put in a new system to show better onsite notifications and errors.  We used to show them as color bars in the bottom of the browser window, but people commented they didn't always notice them. Now you'll see them in the top right of your browser window. These notifications alert you to successful actions like completing a trade:

or warnings that something didn't go quite right, like an unsuccessful login:

We hope they'll be easier for people to spot and at the same time not be intrusive. They were of course inspired by the wonderful Growl notifications software for the Mac and were made possible by Stan Lemon's excellent jGrowl library, a javascript implementation of Growl.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Startup Ideas yCombinator is Looking to Fund

We're an early graduate of yCombinator, the seed fund started by Paul Graham. Today Paul outlined 30 areas they would like to invest in.

If you're looking to start a company, take a look - the breadth of the ideas is far and wide, including an area near and dear to our own hearts, Enterprise 2.0.