Rub a Hubdub, What Will be News, Bub?

Hubdub.comI’ve been having a bit of fun playing Hubdub.com, “the news prediction game”. There’s no cost to play.

Hubdub lets you test your skill at predicting the outcomes of real running news questions

In the fall and early winter, I was refining an idea for a site based on predicting news. Hubdub has taken my idea further — and come up with something much more compelling — by turning the concept into a game. (That’s one of the troubles with the Internet: Someone almost always beats you to a good idea.)

Anyway, at Hubdub you compete against other players for play money — Hubdub dollars (H$). On each question on which you make a prediction, you wager as many or as few H$ as you want, limited only by your account balance. The more certain you are of the correctness of your prediction, the more you wager. Some questions are yes or no and the rest are multiple choice.

Hubdub gives you H$1,000 for registering. From that point on, to encourage you to come back, they give you an additional H$20 each day you log in — pretty smart.

Here’s a screen grab of the list of my open positions — wagers on predictions for which the outcome hasn’t been decided.

QC\'s open positions on HubDub.com

Hubdub is in Beta testing as you’ll note if you look closely at the logo at the top of this post. Beta sites tend to be buggy. Sure enough, for some reason my first prediction in the above list — on the question of whether Barack Obama (yay!) or Hillary Clinton (boo!) will have more PLEDGED delegates going into the convention — appears twice for some reason. This is the only bug I’ve seen so far in the hour or so I’ve spent there. UPDATE 4/28/08: This wasn’t a bug, as Hubdub’s Nigel Eccles points out in the first comment. I accidentally bet twice on this question; the bets were 24 minutes apart. “Operator error” as we say in the software biz.

Not to brag but so far I’ve been right on all three of the predictions I’ve made on questions that have settled — that is, the events in question have occurred.

QC\'s settled predictions on HubDub.com

You can also submit questions. I got brave this morning and submitted this one:

QC\'s question on HubDub.com

When you submit a question, you get to predict the chance, expressed as a percentage, of each possible outcome. This affects the odds for wagering purposes. I don’t understand how, though; the math seems pretty complicated. For my question, I set the percentage chance of a “yes” outcome at 10%, meaning I think there is a 10% chance the 76ers will advance to the second round.

So far players have wagered H$8,600 making predictions on my question. Since I set the chance of a “yes” outcome at 10%, naturally I’m going to wager a good chunk of H$ on “no”.

My Hubdub username is nitetalker in case we bump into each other there. Try it out if it sounds interesting. Don’t cost nothin’.

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2 comments so far

  1. nigeleccles on

    Great write up. Thanks!

    The ‘bug’ you noticed is actually two separate predictions, one made at 5:07am and a second made at 5:31am (you can actually see that in the grey text below ‘Barack Obama’). However, we are working on trying to make the site clearer so that is a good one for us to clarify.

    We are currently working on a set of widgets that you can publish your predictions on your blog. More soon!

  2. QC on

    @nigeleccles:
    You’re welcome, Nigel! I had fun writing it.

    Sorry for the unwarranted criticism. I’ve updated that paragraph. I know all about “operator error” from my day job. It didn’t occur to me that one could make multiple predictions on the same question, but I understand the reason for allowing it: Players can hedge their bets and (as I have done accidentally) “double down”.

    It’s cool to check the changes in the wagering on the question I submitted as the 76ers-Pistons playoff series progresses.

    Love the idea of the widgets.

    Thanks for stopping by and best wishes for success with Hubdub.


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