Yahoo! Finance introduces Community Sentiment

Fascinating concept I came across on Yahoo Finance — Community Sentiment. The site wants to look at increases in message board content to identify when sentiment has shifted.

This has the potential to be a very interesting tool — albeit with a lot of caveats.

According to Yahoo:

"Community Sentiment shows the stock message boards with significant
increases in bearish and bullish message board activity in the last 24
hours when compared to the board’s 30-day average."

How is this accomplished? Is Yahoo using AJAX to pull keywords off of posts? Is it merely a function of relying on the reported bullish/bearishness of the poster to develop ratings?

This has a lot of potential to be an interesting sentiment tool for individual stocks. But it also is fraught with the potential for abuse.

How easily can this be gamed by touts and scammers? While Yahoo! was asleep at the wheel, the Yahoo Message Boards were essentially rendered unusable by spammers. How long will it be before someone figures out how to "play" this ?


UPDATE: September 9, 2007  9:55am

Marketwatch (appears to be) working with Yahoo!, and is offering this version:





Yahoo Finance

Category: Markets, Psychology, Trading

September Linkfest Week-in-Review

Category: Financial Press

The Big Stall

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Quote of the Day: iPhone

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iPod Update

Between the office move and the markets lately, I didn’t get a chance to address the new iPods/iPhone. Let’s do that now.

Back in January,
I noted why I did not think the iPhone would cannibalize the iPod:  Apple would migrate the touchscreen downstream to the smaller
and non iPhone "pods." Nine months ago, I noted it was only a matter of time before Apple would bring out a touchscreen (non-phone) iPod.

Well, that came to pass.

As to the rest, I got some of the new products, prices and capacities right. I got some aspects wrong. Back in January, I estimated what Apple’s products and price points might look like.

Here is a comparison with those forecast and the actual products:


  Product Pricepoint Actual Product Actual Pricepoint
Apple iPhone
10/5 GB
$499/439 16 GB $399
iPod touchscreen*
100/60 GB
  $379/329 iPod touch
16/8 GB
iPod "Classic"
80/30 GB
$279/229 iPod Classic
160/80 GB
  iPod Nano
10/5 GB
$199/139   iPod Video Nano
8/4 GB
Shuffle 1 GB $59 Shuffle 1 GB $79


First, it turns out that my estimates of 12-18 months was off — it only took nine months. Second, I wildly under-estimated the capacity of the classic iPods. Third, I wildly over-estimated the capacity of all the flash based iPods and iPhones.

But I did get many of the products, names and pricing pretty darned close. 



The WSJ has an interesting history of all the iPods, and Apple’s stock price:
click for larger graphic


BTW, if you want to have a laugh, go to Amazon and search for the the existing iPods — an 80 Gig iPod is $349 . . .


UPDATE:  September 6, 2007 7:32pm
To Amazon’s credit, any search for iPod also includes this result: New iPods



Category: Digital Media, Music, Technology, Video

Media Appearance: Kudlow & Company (9/6/07)

Category: Media

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Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Retail