Many journalists may like to think they can predict the news, but a new website run by a former regional newspaper executive is giving them the chance to put their theories to the test.
Nigel Eccles, former group business development manager at Johnston Press, has founded hubdub.com, a website where people can bet imaginary ‘Hubdub dollars’on the outcome of news stories.
Users of the site, which launched on Monday, post yes or no questions such as ‘Will Barack Obama be the next President?”, and then people can bet $20, $100 or any amount depending on how certain they are.
Successful betters are propelled up the Hubdub leaderboard, like a fantasy football league.
While there is no financial return, Eccles hopes that people will be willing to gamble on their reputations.
Though Eccles and his staff of four are based in Edinburgh, the site’s stories are US-only at the moment, but the team is hoping for a separate UK-only site by the end of the year.
Speaking from a technology conference in Palm Springs, California, he said the site was as much about news aggregation as a gaming site.
Eccles said: ‘I had always been a news consumer and I always thought there must be a better way to cover news stories.
‘Whether it’s an election or Pop Idol, I had always used betting odds as a guide to who’s going to win.
‘I also wanted to make technology and political news more exciting, so I thought of doing a fantasy game.
‘We are trying to have big-running news stories and we’d love for people to use it as a hub.”