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December 15, 2004

Does everyone but me know about this stuff?
Posted by Teresa at 01:47 PM * 12 comments

What is Blogshares, who is Vijay Navaratnam, and why are people trading stock in Making Light?

Comments on Does everyone but me know about this stuff?:
#1 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2004, 02:15 PM:

It's a free game, sort of like a fantasy stock portfolio, only the "stocks" are imaginary shares in blogs. It's a couple of years old now; you can "claim" your blog as yours by registering it and copying a bit of javascript into your blog template.

You are then "given" 1000 shares of your blog (these shares are reserved for the blog owner). You can trade these to "purchase" shares of other blogs.

Links/popularity drive blog "value."

As the game grew, getting more and more popular, more rules and such were invented, largely in effort to emulate the way "real" markets worked. Artifacts may be "purchased" and they allow you to manipulate the statistics to drive up or lower the "value" of a particular blog. There can be hostile takeovers, for instance, "splits," and the like.

I had to tech edit a book about blogs that discusses Blogshares so I registered a year or two ago; I'm proud to note that, after not paying attention at all for over a year, I still "own" 14 shares of Making Light.

#2 ::: Ken Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2004, 02:17 PM:

Nope. "BlogShares is a fantasy stock market for weblogs. Players get to invest a fictional $500, and blogs are valued by inbound links."

I pinging "Crooked Timber" with the Obsidian Wings" URL and the system accepted it. Don't know if that means anything, since there is a subsequent vetting process.

#3 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2004, 02:30 PM:

Um, a very sophisticated popularity contest?

#4 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2004, 02:37 PM:

As someone who used to work for NASDAQ, I find it an interesting toy. It does work quite hard at emulating the equity markets, and does a fair to middling job.

#5 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2004, 03:42 PM:

Still not as fun as the old "Bullish on Babylon" game, which did stock trades based on a Christian site's listing for signs of impending apocolypse:

http://www.brunching.com/rapture.html

#6 ::: Jason Kuznicki ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2004, 05:42 PM:

I've written about it before. Interesting idea, lousy implementation:

http://www.positiveliberty.com/2004/04/selling-short-open-letter-to.html

They have fixed some of the problems by now, but it remains essentially impossible to lose money. Where's the fun if there's never a risk?

#7 ::: Sandra McDonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2004, 08:24 PM:

I bet it's a lot like the Hollywood stock exchange (http://www.hsx.com/) where you can buy and sell movies, actors, etc.

#8 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2004, 02:01 AM:

Well, by a very limited definition of popularity. It measures your "value" by, among other things, how many links you post v how many links to you are posted, and how valuable the people are who link to you.

That said, people seem to only pay a certain amount of attention to the PE ratio if you seem stable.

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2004, 10:18 AM:

The real reason for my links in/links out ratio is that I'd hate to be asked to explain why I've taken someone off my blogroll, a piece of cowardice that renders me excessively parsimonious about adding new links to it.

#10 ::: Chloe ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2004, 05:26 AM:

You just found out about this now? hehe.
I remember when I first found my blog being traded on Blogshares. And then I started playing myself eventually! haha.
If you play, you can claim your blog as your own, btw.

Anyway, that's a shame about the blogroll pressure peer pressure. It all seems very juvenile to me. I mean, the only time I can imagine someone legitimately getting a resentment about someone de-linking, is if the person is a friend or something. And there actually people I know in-person, who don't link me at their blogs... But I don't think it's because they hate me. haha.
I'm less likely to click on a lengthy list of links anyway. Some blogrolls, I just don't believe the person could possibly be reading that many blogs on anything like a regular basis.

#11 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2004, 03:30 AM:

One can lose money. I haven't lost much, but I have chosen some blogsstocks which then tanked.

And my LJ doesn't seem to be well tracked, because so far as I can tell they've missed a few dozen incoming links, and not noticed any outgoing links more recent than before the last time they admitted to my having any incoming links.

I ponder paying the $15 to have a premium account, but sort of like the 20 trade a say limit, and what it does to my ability to play the market.

TK

#12 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2004, 08:44 AM:

The same inhibitions about blogroll linking/delinking appear in even worse form on LiveJournal friends lists, because they are called "friends lists", an emotionally loaded term if there ever was one. Whole journals end up consumed by debate over the appropriateness of "defriending" somebody, even though, as I first heard Wednesday White point out, they're more accurately described as syndication aggregators with security whitelists attached.

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