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Monthly Archives: April 2008

Things have been pretty low key on thotmarket these last couple of weeks as a number of things have been happening behind the scenes. First of all, development continues on some new features that I think will start to address some of the larger problems with the site (more below). Secondly, several projects have commenced that will bear directly on traffic to the site. But most importantly, work has begun on the next phase in the thot-universe. While I can’t discuss exactly what that is, I plan to continue to use this blog to document information about all things thot. the new project builds on much of what thotmarket has done, and will support it in several interesting ways. 

So, my attention has been spread a little wider than in earlier weeks, resulting in a slowdown on thotmarket development. That in combination with some persisting weaknesses in the site model have resulted in a slowdown of traffic, although we seem to have leveled off at a base amount of activity. This is way less activity than is needed to support a really great user experience since it exacerbates the liquidity problems that are the main problem in beta 2. 

So what’s happening now? Well, the discussion forum is going to be launched as soon as it is ready. I’ve been promising this thing for weeks, but it will happen. I’m about 90% done coding the thing. The delay has not been one of development complexity, I just haven’t dedicated the time that I need to get it out the door as quickly as I should. Some have asked, why write a proprietary forum app when there are plenty of off-the-shelf forums out there for the picking. The simple answer is that I want the forum to be fully integrated into the market application. That is, I want a seamless authentication process, I want people tobe able to embed thot tickers into their posts, etc. Most inportantly, I want to do something interesting with the forum that may address some of the problems on the rest of the site as well.

What does that mean? Well, a user sent me a messge a while back that I think describes one of the main problems in beta 2. That is, the site consists of a bunch of unemployed people trading stocks. That is, since the only way to make money is to make a profit on trade, the analogy to the real world markets suffers, and so does the experience. It seems to me that the discussion forum is a perfect mechanism to allow people to ‘earn and income’. So, I’ve designed a system that will reward users for messages that they post to the forum. Hacking one of the off-the-shelf forum apps to do all this didn’t sound any fun, so I started from scratch. Granted the forum interface probably won’t be as feature-filled as those on many other sites, but that sort of polish will come with time. It is beta afterall. 

In many ways I’ve grown to view the forum as a significant component of the thotmarket ecosystem. I’ve even considered spinning it off as a separate sister site that works together with the stock market component. After all, thotmarket is all about using market systems to help distribute ideas and information and that is a bigger than just a stock market game. In any case we will launch the forum modestly and see how it goes.

In any case, I’m so grateful for all the feedback folks have been sending, and I’m excited to start rolling out the next phases of my plan for world domination. More on that later.

 

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as seen outside the rsa conference in san francisco

I saw this van on my way home from work yesterday and thought it was funny. So, why not offer it on Thotmarket? It was parked outside the RSA conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.