Thursday, February 18, 2016

More efficient news reading

Nassim Taleb famously doesn't read the news. One of his reasons is that much of the news is inconsequential. This is both because news outlets need to publish even on slows days (the BBC has on only one day stated "[t]here is no news") and because it is difficult to tell at the time what will be important, especially from just headlines. Existing metrics to help determine if something of note actually happened include article view/share counts (e.g. RSS feeds of the "top 10" articles) and links (Google News), but these are insufficient. A better metric would be if a financial market (such as a prediction market) was available. Imagine a news service that tracked markets you cared about and if there was a large and non-temporary price change it would you send you the top stories from around that time period. One could imagine that the user could use a set of news search terms and the link to a market to setup and alert themselves. This could also be a platform for deciding about new prediction markets to set up. The target end-user would be general news readers, not traders as there'd obviously have a bit of a lag.

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