Trendio - A marketplace for words

I confess to have a fascination with markets; how they operate; what makes them successful; the types that exist and where they are applied. It was probably inevitable I would work in the City which has the the clearest manifestation of markets in action (and there are many versions that operate to suit different products/instruments).

Indeed, most of my new venture ideas (origination) tends to have a "marketplace" element to it. This will become readily apparent in the coming months as some of the ventures coming out of our sandbox hit the street.

Hence, I was taken with Trendio for no other reason than their creation of markets in "words" linked to their appearance in the media.

Trendio claims it is the first current events stock exchange, where words from the news are the stocks. The value of the words is calculated according to their presence in the media.

On the Trendio current events stock exchange, you can buy and sell words. Buying a word is making a bet that this word will be increasingly present in the media: if this is the case then the price will increase and will make the value of your portfolio increase.

Quite simply, Trendio are tracking many newswires and identifying the frequency that a word is used. Users then "trade" their forecasts of how often the word will appear in the media versus the current market expectation or price. If you think a word/person/place will appear more in the near term than the current market forecast you will buy the "stock". Conversely if you think the word will be edged out from the news and appear less frequently than the current forecast you will sell.

However, in this market, you are not trading against others but against the "bank" and the value is calculated according to the presence of the word in the media - not easily influenced.

You are using a play currency, but it's still competitive - increase your currency in absolute terms; compete against others (fantasy football style) you know or in competitions run by the site. The only limit to the number of words you can have in your portfolio is the currency balance you've got to spend to buy/sell things.

If you are familiar with spread betting, this will be very familiar. If not, its a great way to learn in a safe environment.

Its actually very similar to inklingmarkets, the main difference being that with inkling you can make markets in anything with a future outcome such as stock prices, goals, project success likelihood!. This is gaining increasing traction with companies as a means of getting insight into employee sentiment - if staff are "selling" the likelihood of a project succeeding from its current likelihood price of 80%, it's a good indication there seem to be some serious doubts out there that you should look at. Why do staff dare to contradict the party line that everything is fine; because they are rewarded for trading in the market and correctly predicting outcomes.

It doesn't matter if staff can materially influence the outcome individually (near impossible in Trendio, unless you are Paris Hilton deciding to streak) since they will be signalling their intentions eg Project Sponsor bets on the likelihood of the project being cancelled and sells!

Obviously, the rewards from trading shouldn't be large in real world money/goods so as not to make it worthwhile to derail things deliberately (converse is true that some people might be motivated to work harder because they "bought" because they think the current expectation of success is too low). But you do want to motivate people to participate. If the developers start betting something is going to be later than the current "market" forecast, that's a pretty good sign they probably know something is wrong.

Go on, give it a try. My tip is Beckham is a buy given the uncertainty over his contract with real madrid and the likely speculation on where he will turn up.

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posted by John Wilson @ 12:06 AM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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