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Predict the future of Internet

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday February 6, 2008 )

So goes the catch-cry of a re-launched online industry magazine; arising like a phoenix from the 7 year old ashes of the last Internet bubble bust.

Back in the late 90’s The Industry Standard was a magazine that covered emerging technologies and companies, venture funding, acquisitions, site launches, and other developments in the online world. The publication fizzled along with many of the companies it followed.

The revamped The Industry Standard is an interesting site, with a stack of engaging content already and aside from the common features of such sites such as leaving comments; the interesting twist is the “predictions” feature. Accompanying stories such as Microsoft’s acquisition offer of $44.6 bilion for Yahoo; is a “betting link” – part of The Industry Standards prediction market.

In the prediction market, you wager on the probability of future events in the tech industry occurring or not occurring, using “Standard Dollars”. When you register with the site, you get 100,000 Standard Dollars (S$). If your bet is correct, you’ll win more “Standard Dollars”. If you keep picking winners, you may also win prizes such as a Wii, MacBook Air or a Slingbox. If I understand it all correctly, as community consensus builds as to the outcome of an event, the odds are shortened and “payouts” adjusted accordingly.

There’s also a social networking aspect to the site where you can view other’s portfolios of predictions and compete directly against them; members can also submit prediction suggestions and stories for the site.

This looks like it could be a very addictive site for the geek/online biz crowd and while it’s meant to be fun as well as informative and networking; I can see some of the more competitive members getting quite aggressive and obsessive – employers should adjust their firewalls accordingly :).

Check it out before yours does


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