There were recently two launches of prediction markets that are worth writing about: HubDub and The Industry Standard.
Prediction Market with News Aggregator
Both of these sites take a "prediction market" and merge it together with a "news aggregator." Most people reading this probably know what prediction markets are - news aggregators are simply sites which pull together news articles from a bunch of different sites and try to make some sense out of them. Perhaps the biggest pure news aggregator is Google News. One benefit this gives is that it makes for interesting reading and helps inform traders in the market. People coming to the site may be interested in trading on a particular topic but not have the news story right at hand.
Major drawback - Information Homogeneity
From his overview of predciction markets Jed Christiansen talks about the need for diversity in the market.
But it does need diversity in traders’ sources of information and/or their analysis of that information. If everyone in a market is using the same data sources and the same analytical tools and processes, it will certainly affect the quality of the forecast.
Yeah. So, providing the news sources might actually make the markets less valuable. Bummer. So, if we assume that at least some of the traders are getting news on the topics from outside sources then that might make them better. It would be interesting to do experiments with markets in both styles - or to see if the traders on HubDub who get the highest returns are those who have unchecked the "Show news: " option on the listing pages (i.e. those who get their news from a different source).
So far, I really like the HubDub system. Their betting interface - you agree with a position and then tell them how much you agree with it - is awesome in its simplicity. You don't have to worry about buying/selling/prices/quantities or any of the usual junk that most "option-like" prediction markets bring forward. It's really great stuff. It seems like it's built on an automated market maker system (see David Pennock's great introduction to the topic) but I wonder which pricing rule they use...
I haven't really experimented with Industry Standard just yet. Fellow Drupal fan Jeff Whatcot discussed it (though it's not clear if he used/uses it...hmmm).
Congratulations to both teams on these launches. They should both help grow the love for prediction markets.