Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trading widget mimics the ease of polling online

Snap polls are ubiquitous across practically every content site on the web. "Should Apple launch a tablet PC?" "Who will win the football game?" "Should Kanye be banned from all future awards shows?"

People love these polls because they're quick, easy, and provide instant gratification in feedback to see what other people think.

Prediction market trading has a lot of these same attributes, and in many cases provides much more valuable data than a simple poll, but the act of "trading," whether as a trade or a bet or some other transactional mechanism is also a more complex concept for people to grasp.

In our continuing efforts to 1) keep things simple, and 2) bring trading to the casual/fickle user (we're talking about you, executives,) we've created a new trading widget that behaves exactly like a poll, but in the background, a prediction market trade is being made.

Here's how it works:

Once you've logged in to an Inkling public marketplace (or are signed in as an administrator of a private marketplace) you'll see a link called "Trade from your site:"

When you click on that you'll see a sample of the widget you can put on your own site:

Looks a lot like a plain ol' poll, right? That's the point! But there's a slight twist. When you click on an answer, you have to take one more step - you have to quantify your opinion and this is where the behind the scenes trading comes in. Just like trading in Inkling where we've equated English words with shares being bought or sold, we're doing that here too but not even telling you about it:

Once you select how strongly you feel about your answer, you get to the gratification part and see what everyone else is thinking. If you're logged in to the Inkling site the widget originated from, the trade will be recorded on your dashboard just like any other trade. If you're not logged in or not a member of the marketplace, you will be given an opportunity to login or "claim" your opinion by registering.

We've purposely made the widget "plain" and given you the ability to customize the look and feel by importing your own .css stylesheet to make it look exactly like your own site:

We're really excited about this new widget and are already working with our partners in market research to think about how this could replace certain surveys and polls they run.

We're also working with our existing clients to help them think about how they can put this widget on their internal Sharepoint or Intranet sites to draw more attention to the questions they're asking. It could even be a way for clients to expose questions they're asking externally without having to engage someone in an entire prediction market experience.

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