‘Blue Horseshoe’ Loves the Activity Streams

The world of inside information is under attack again from the FBI and SEC.

I believe they are only about 10 years behind. While they catch a few wrongdoers, the age of ‘social signal’ is upon us. There will be no damning phone calls or paper trails in the new age of inside information. There will be hard work, intuition and the application of ‘social signal’.

In the last week, I have talked to managers of about $10 billion in long/short strategies. They are asking questions about how to use Stocktwits, how to filter etc…. NONE of the managers I talked to are using Bloomberg, a few of course are paying. Few of these managers are using the social web including Linked In, Twitter and Facebook and if they do, it is not to do their ‘work’.

I have seen many start-up companies started to aggregate the messages and figure out sentiment. I have not invested in any. I believe Facebook DOES have a ‘happiness index’, but they can keep it. I want to know if the salesforce at F5 or Atmel is happy. I want to know how miserable the floor employees at Best Buy are and who Microsoft may be buying. Some of this signal is easy to find, some is being caught by the likes of TechCrunch, and the big money will come to those that can pull proprietary signal. At Stocktwits‘, we have our ideas and have been coding and mapping them out. All legal :) .

All this signal is in today’s activity streams and the hedge funds are going to figure this out.

If you hire a head of sales that does not know how to work these streams, you are behind. I know, because Ben is a magician at Stocktwits and I am blown away at the signal he pulls. It is not so much about how good he is at reading it yet (sorry Ben), but how bad those participating are at using it.

It is exciting and interesting to be in the middle of this trend.


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  2. deancollins says:

    hmm not sure how easy this will be to parse from spam. i’d liek to as we have something similar in mind (not financial vertical) but the effort on return is….dissapointing.

    • Therapy online says:

      Great link, thanks for sharing it to us. As for Howard yet another interesting post! I love stopping by your blog. Thanks! Keep up the good work.

  3. Cheapsuits says:

    We have +/- $1B AUM plus about equal in prop and the stakeholders both loathe and fear any application of social signals despite my standing on their desks and screaming at them. They need hard data and most importantly an aha moment. Everything else is just noise.

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  6. RacerRick says:

    It would be cool to find a way to group individuals into a collective unit where the words they post could be monitored and filtered and easily viewed.

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  8. Steve Poland says:

    This reminds me of that company Mark Cuban started a few years ago with a kid that was going to discover insider corruption at public firms, short them, then leak the discovery, watch the stock plummet, and collect his cheese.

    This is different, but equally as fascinating.

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  12. znmeb says:

    Last week, Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, allegedly posted the infamous “burning platform” memo on an “internal” blog. Of course, Twitter and Blogosphere erupted. $NOK peaked at 11.56 on 2011-02-09. It is now sitting at 8.84. In case you don’t have a calculator handy, that’s a 31 percent drop in shareholder value. I plotted the chart in detail at http://www.investorguide.com/stock-charts.php?ticker=NOK – do a ten-day chart to see the detail. That’s one *hell* of a price signal. Somebody made 31 percent if they decoded the social signal from the likes of @scobleizer @tomiahonen

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