inkling Markets 1 Week Later

The inkling markets I started last week have been making progress. While I can’t speak authoritatively about why the participants are investing the way they are, I can always make some wild-assed-guesses.

In the OpenID market, the biggest gainers are Wikipedia and Yahoo!. Wikipedia announced that they’re working on OpenID, which sounds like it’s a lock. But you’ll notice that talk was given at the end of April 2006, and since they haven’t done it yet, it’s possible that they won’t make the August 26th deadline of the market.

Another big winner is Yahoo!. They have been pretty aggressive about opening things up lately, they are offering lots of APIs to web developers and I think the feeling is that OpenID is right up their alley. Note that doesn’t count as a “win” for Yahoo! since the market is looking at these web sites consuming OpenID.

One stock that surprised me was that has the lowest stock price of the bunch. I realize that Microsoft has cultivated the exact opposite appearance as Yahoo! in that people believe that Microsoft refuses to interoperate with anyone else, which is probably driving the stock price down. It’s still surprising to me because Microsoft has announced that they will be supporting OpenID. I wonder if the stock price is so low because of the perception of Microsoft as closed or if people believe that Microsoft will be pushing OpenID as an enterprisey technology but not something for consumers.

The Jabber market has some things that surprised me as well. While Yahoo! is doing well and MSN is not–which I attribute to the same things as their performance in OpenID–Skype is currently the highest price stock. That’s surprising to me because Skype has not been very open. Of the 5 IM networks in the market, only Skype doesn’t work with Adium. In August 2005 Skype announced SkypeNet API which sounds like it might allow Jabber interoperability, but apparently it’s been abandoned. I wonder if the SkypeNet API is driving up the stock price or if it’s just wishful thinking.

My final observation is that AIM and ICQ (both of which are owned by AOL and interoperable) haven’t moved very much at all. This is notable because AOL and Google Talk (which runs on Jabber) announced interoperability in December 2005 but nothing has come from it yet. Since Google Talk runs on Jabber the path of least resistance for interoperability would be for AOL to support it as well, even if they only federate with Google at the start.

inkling predictions for OpenId and Jabber

I got the inkling bug. inkling is a site for prediction markets; basically you buy and sell stocks with funny money based on what you think will happen. Wisdom of the crowds, power of many, all that jazz. First Ed Vielmetti got bit, then Brian Kerr started trading, and now I’m doing it.

The two questions I’m trying to answer both relate to technology adoption. I want to know if Jabber and OpenID will make it big in the next six months. So I created these two markets:

I like this over O’reilly’s Buzz Game since, as Ed pointed out, with inkling anyone can ask a question. Of course, the more people who participate in inkling the more accurate the predictions, so go sign up and put your money where your mouth is.

AIM Down

AOL IM was down today for a bit. I found out because I got an instant message saying “Is AIM down for you?” IMs to friends confirmed that AIM went down for a while this afternoon.

In addition to AIM, I use Jabber, an open standard IM protocol that lets anyone run a server. That means there’s no centralized server to go down. It’s something to consider, especially if you use your IM for business.

Want to get started with Jabber? If you have your own domain name, ask your hosting provider if they do Jabber hosting too. I know Dreamhost and Zettai both provide free Jabber hosting (I am not currently a customer of either, but have been happy with both for web hosting).

If you don’t have your own domain name, you can download a Jabber client (iChat in OS X 10.4 supports Jabber out of the box, I prefer Adium
and I hear good things about GAIM from Windows users) and sign up for an account on or another open server.

Or if you already have a Gmail account, go download Google Talk and you’re all set. (Thank you for opening up, Google.)

The point is, you can be self-sufficient with your instant messaging and it isn’t difficult. Go on and try something new.

If you’ve tried Jabber in the past and decided it wasn’t for you, go on and add all the people to your contact list. Imagine how surprised they’ll be to see your Jabber ID show up, it might just convince them that they don’t need to be locked into a single company’s IM network.

Thus concludes today’s commons propaganda.