One of the problems with predictive market sites is the complexity of the economic model makes it difficult for the casual participant to get involved. Because the underlying dynamics of the market or methods of measurement are hard to grok, the markets never really scale to a number that filters out noise effectively enough to get a strong signal.
In order to gain mass adoption, you need to make the game drop dead easy. Digg has done a great job at this. Right from the results screen it’s immediately understood what’s going on and the wonderful little flash widgets give you immediate gratification when you add your “digg” to a story and it’s easy to see how you can make an impact. Flickr is the same with it’s “favoriting” feature. A simple click on the “Add to favs” star and you see the impact and know you’re feeding the interestingness machine.
BluBet is new service along the same lines. A wager is the simplest way to express your conviction and it’s a little more compelling than a digg-like vote because you’re putting your reputation on the line with your BluBucks so it’ll keep you coming back to see how you’re doing. I’m with Dave McClure, “this is going to be big.”
I’ve got a wager going right now. Do you think any of the top 100 newspapers in the US will cease to be available on newsstands by the end of 2007?