Do-it-yourself Prediction Markets

Michael Giberson

You have read about prediction markets, maybe you have even participated in one, and now you want to go to the next level. You have an idea for a market, but you donít know how to make one. Even if you have the technical know how to set up a market, if you build it will they come?

Inkling Markets logoInkling is coming to your rescue. The company has developed a prediction market system and offers a free-to-use play money version online. Current markets cover everything from World Cup predictions to the liklihood of U.S. airstrikes against Iran before the end of May to whether Ken Lay or Jeffrey Skilling will get jail time. Just announced, on their new blog, Inkling says they will soon take the wraps off their “do-it-yourself market manager.”

Soon you will be able to set up a prediction market of your own and make it public (or limit access to a select group, if that’s the way you want to do it). Will New Orleans flood again this summer? Will any Virginia wine from 2006 earn a 95+ rating from the Wine Advocate? Will Tony Blair still be Prime Minister in the U.K. on January 1, 2007? How many George Mason University economics professors will not have blogs as of August 31, 2006? Will they be sacked? The crowd has wisdom (maybe). You want it (certainly). Inkling wants to give you a shot at capturing it.

I’ve been playing in their markets for a few weeks, and I have a few quibbles with how they do things, but in taking this step they are trying to make it to their own “next level.” It might be fun, it will be messy, and Inkling stands to learn a ton about how to make their system better. What better way for them to discover how to do it?

UPDATE: Following the instruction in the Inklings blog post, I emailed them for permission to manage my own “do it yourself” prediction market. They emailed me back within a few minutes saying they had updated my account, and I was able to log on to their site immediately to discover I have “Create Market” and “Manage Markets” options.

I’m going to think about it for a day or two and then try it out. Send suggestions for my first prediction market via the comments. I will probably do a private market with a short, one- or two-week duration for my first attempt; email me (Mike) at the address on the KP sidebar if you want in. I’ll announce the market here when it goes live.


One thought on “Do-it-yourself Prediction Markets

  1. I actually forwarded to the site and did the same – I started up a test market about the 2006 NBA playoffs. Did it as public. Hopefully will all go well.

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