Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Political Market Prediction Section of CNN Supports OpenID

Via David Recordon's Blog- a pointer to a new site that supports OpenID- the first one i have seen on a main stream media site (please correct me if i am wrong) it is on a specific short term Prediction Market US Presidential Campaign feature on the Politics site called CNN Political Markets.

The Service was built by Inkling Markets a provider of a prediction market platform and i suspect that they are also handling the OpenID because their own prediction markets allows OpenID login- so i am not entirely convinced that CNN made a conscious decision on this - yet still find it interesting and hope enough OpenID users sign up so it is successful (yes that means you!).

Prediction Markets 'online games' have been around for a while especially in the financial markets online sector but some companies are also starting to use internally- Inkling provides some examples in their FAQs. Checking the Wikipedia reference also informed me that betting on elections is nothing new "Betting on elections was common in the U.S. until at least the 1940s, with formal markets existing on Wall Street in the months leading up to the race. Newspapers reported market conditions to give a sense of the closeness of the contest in this period prior to widespread polling. The markets involved thousands of participants, had millions of dollars in volume in current terms, and had remarkable predictive accuracy."

But i digress...

I looked at the OpenID site directory that lists known sites that support OpenID and i did not see any other 'main stream' media sites. Looking around the CNN properties i also didn't find additional features like signing up for alerts that supported OpenID.

Last month, Scott Karp at Publishing 2.o wrote a post titled 'What Is The ROI Of Requiring User Registration To Access Online Content? Which takes you through some of his own personal experiences of using the NYT site and questions the ROI of doing so. Will we see OpenId supported by Media sites in the future? The sites would hypothetically still be able to track and target you specifically based on what you do on the site and if your OpenID is tied to for example to your Attention Profile (APML) they can probably even do a better job of targeting not only Advertising but important news that is not on the front page of the site.

The issue of user logins is certainly something i have dealt with over the years. Since i have worked for a content aggregator that provides access to over 10,00 news properties to corporate users for the last 8 years, i know that there is huge value of 'one ID access' (and there are certainly other benefits such as consistent categorization, format and search). From tying into companies corporate single sign-on directories (still don't understand why that is still so hard) to working with clients to build their own systems, like market research portals that 'handle' user seat management the issue is a big one- saving users time, to increase productivity and yes...make more money.

*Warning*- i amongst many others think that usability for 'regular' users for sites that support OpenIP (and CNN is no exception) needs to be addressed- so explore at your own risk of crunched eyebrows! A good pro and con of using OpenId can be found on Lifehacker and if you want a quick tutorial of why and how to use OpenId see Simon Willison's Screencast.

Oh yeah one more thing- i don't speak on behalf of Dow Jones per the statement clearly presented on my site- so just in case you are thinking it, i especially don't speak for i am pretty sure those folks have no clue i even exist.

UPDATE: January 17th 8amPST- Via Techmeme - Yahoo! Has annouced support for OpenID.