Prediction markets are fascinating. They exploit the wisdom of crowds to predict what may happen next.
And often, they work scarily well, predicting such things as presidential elections and movie hits.
I ran into Donna Hoffman and Tom Novak at the Shop.org opening reception last night.
We had a really interesting conversation about their newest project at the eLab at UC Riverside: the eLab eXchange, which just launched. They got some nice coverage in yesterday's NY Times.
Donna and Tom hope the wisdom of crowds can predict where online retail is heading.
You can set up a free account at eLab eXchange and then offer your opinions on (among other things) Holiday '07 sales, popular Holiday '07 online promotions, and the future of YouTube.
If your predictions are good, you win "bragging rights" and maybe even cash and "cool prizes".
Myself, I put all my tokens on "free shipping" as the big promotion this holiday.