Monday, November 3, 2014

CNBC for EVE?

I'm of two minds about the response/feedback I've received about the Prosper Market Show over the last month.  On the one hand, I'm floored with a lot of the successes.  Those that are vocally supporting the show really mean a lot.  And this week's show was the best stream I've had by far.

  • New peak live viewer count: >45 (EP002)
  • almost 200 youtube subscribers (thanks delonewolf)
  • almost 200 Twitch subscribers
On the other hand, I've been annoyed the traction hasn't been as high as I was expecting.  For years I've heard from a lot of friends things like "We get great war reports, and news reports... but where is the market reporting?"  The response from /r/eve was particularly anemic.

When I wrote for TMC, market/industrial analysis was my niche.  Unfortunately the truth behind that style of analysis is it's a metric butt-load of work try and roll that analysis for every investigation or report.  Every major article I wrote for TMC took weeks to fetch, crunch, build charts, and publish.  And despite all that work, I was always outclassed for pageviews/comments by editorial work, or ALOD content.  I never received a best-of-the-month bonus on any article I produced (though I always ranked in the top 5 articles for months I wrote for them).

Now, I'm sure the issue has to do with the reactionary nature this level of analysis requires.  It's a serious undertaking to try and strike while the iron is hot on news like Burn Jita when the goal is serious analysis.  People want to know about the future, and really don't care about the past, when it comes to market analysis (no matter how periodic EVE data tends to be).

The part that has me riled up is the "Why isn't there a Jim Cramer of EVE?" question.  I find this frustrating because I don't think the people asking it realize the true depth of analysis that is run on the IRL markets versus the EVE ones.  Though I'll gloss over the part about EVE != IRL because of things like lack of credit, and no derivatives/futures markets, and our trade is purely in commodities.  Instead, I don't think people understand the difference between the level of spreadsheet-jockeying that is commonplace in EVE versus what it really takes to run a show like Mad Money.  No one is doing indicator analysis, no one has rolled up machine learning algorithms to suss out interplay between items, no one is plugging RSS news feeds into a bot to automate predictions.  Instead, any serious analysis either requires painstaking time investment, or years of "gut tuning" to be able to play any truly speculative market game.

I know what the bulk of EVE actually wants out of a market show: Push-Button Receive-Bacon trading advice.  They want to be able to tune in, and within 15-30mins be told which secret item du juor will make them space rich.  The reality is that quality of tool does not remotely exist in EVE today.  And though developing tools for this Prosper Show will probably get us to a place like the high-frequency robot traders of IRL, the journey there is going to take quite a lot of development and time.

To those providing critical feedback, I do hear you.  I will be working to tighten up the show to add more value for the time frame I'm committed to (~40min/wk).  I will be adding and removing segments to better serve up the info that is most important, and try to dig into the gross trends so everyone can get what they want out of it.  But know that unless others join me in a market analysis arms race, the breadth and quality of information will never be able to deliver "CNBC for EVE".

Presented without context: