Times Internet (Indiatimes*) has launched ET Speed, a community sourced open information sharing forum, which is essentially a social network focusing on financial markets, incorporating a micro-blogging format, similar to Twitter. The platform intends to offer real-time market information and latest news updates from within ET, and from other news sources, in addition to posts from analysts, reporters and potential or existing investors.
Updates & Posts: After signing up for the service or logging in via Facebook or Twitter credentials, users can create their own profile, and choose to browse all updates or selective updates based on a customised stream. They can further filter down the stream on the basis of what kind of post it is or who is posting it.
For example, one can choose between or get all the updates that are news updates, announcements, analyst posts, reporter posts or community posts. The updates can be further filtered on the basis of whether they’re latest, most popular, most discussed or most shared. Similarly, the user can curate his own stream on the basis of companies, industries, and people (ala Twitter). The site also offers profiles complete with the list of following/followers and posts, similar to Twitter.
Personalised Streams & Trending Updates: Users can also follow lists comprising of updates on their stock portfolio and watchlist of stocks, which they can build on the Economic Times website, which is integrated with ET Speed. Users can like the updates, mark them as offensive, comment on them and share on social networks and e-mail. In addition to posts, the site also offers lists of trending companies and industries to track updates related to them, lists of losers, gainers and movers in the stock market, and intra-day charts of stock indices. Trending companies or industries offer detailed updates on the same, complete with the most popular posts.
We feel that the platform takes the right approach by incorporating a social model with a highly personalised offering, giving users control over what they’d like to track. Of course there are pros and cons to a crowd sourcing model, and the onus ultimately falls on the investor, since investment advice has to be followed with caution.
Badges for verification: In a way the site uses badges to verify sources to inform users. The site has flagged its own (ET/ET Now) reporters with a reporter badge. We didn’t find many analysts abut there was one with an analyst badge. Similarly, news and updates handles (Twitter taxonomy!) bear respective badges.
Aggregation: The implementation of lists and personalised streams is one of major features of ET Speed, since aggregating the latest updates in a personalised format, on a single page eliminates the need to search different sources for investors and other users who keep track of the financial markets.
Issues: We found that there were some minor problems in the update curation algorithm, at the time of writing this post. For example, if I have Idea Cellular in my portfolio, all posts containing the word ‘idea’ would get featured.
The success of the site would depend on the number of analysts, experts, and news sources it adds, in addition to more users, who would ultimately make it an interactive, two-way exchange platform.
* Disclosure: Indiatimes is an advertiser with MediaNama