1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
My name is Nigel Eccles and I’m Chief News Junkie at Hubdub.
Hubdub is a news forecaster that allows users to compete in predicting how news stories will turn out.
The system takes all the users predictions and generates a forecast of how that story will conclude. Users that are successful in predicting news outcomes gain more influence resulting in the system getting more accurate over time.
2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
Hubdub is a great way to follow a news story. Want to know if David Cameron will be the next Prime Minister? (60% no) Or, whether JK Rowling will announce another Harry Potter by the end of 2008? (90% no).
Or even, who will win Best Actor at the Oscars? (Johnny Depp 24%). Hubdub not only forecasts how running news stories will turn out but lets you track them over time. For example, when another government mishandling of data incident comes up, how does that impact David Cameron’s chances?
Additionally, as users can create questions around the news stories they are following Hubdub is a great resource to find out what news people are really interested in at the moment.
3) Is this it, or is there more to come?
This is just the very start! We are working on a range of widgets to allow journalists and bloggers to include Hubdub’s forecasts in their stories. This makes the story richer and enables you to more closely engage with your readers. Additionally, we are working on a range of features to let users connect with other users who have similar (or opposing) outlooks and opinions on the site.
4) Why are you doing this?
I really designed the product for myself. I’ve always been a very heavy news consumer but often I felt that the news just lacked a degree of excitement. I want to make following the news to be as exciting as betting on sports or playing fantasy leagues.
5) What does it cost to use it?
Nada, nothing, zero, zilch
6) How will you make it pay?
We are currently focused on getting the product out to as many people as possible. Once we have sufficient scale we expect to selectively carry advertising. Additionally, we are considering two other revenue streams, a premium offering similar to fantasy sports leagues and partnerships with publishers and media companies. We have already received interest in both these areas.