I think that whatever your strategy is when it comes to trading. It will almost certainly be driven by data collection of one type or another.
Whether that is pure data as displayed in the betfair ladder columns, such as the historical amounts of money previously traded, or understanding the nuances and variations that make up the reasons why the market is moving in a particular direction. We need accurate and reliable data to make our informed decision.
I have had a great deal of success by collecting data using social media. This is a very powerful tool IF you understand it, and know how to use it. I don’t intend to drone on too much about it. But let me give you a nudge in the right direction and my own thoughts on how you can use it.
Let’s focus particularly on Twitter. Now Twitter is the arsehole of the world. It’s the most negative, vile platform that the masses frequent. it is an anonymous platform that enables the weak and angry to vent their own frustrations about their pathetic lives. It really does bring out the worst in people. You can see I am no fan.
My Twitter use has become less and less, and nowadays I just cannot be arsed to post.
BUT, it can be useful to gauge the mood of people about any given topic. This “mood” is data, and we can use that.
Now, you may say that the actual money traded in any given market is the best data. I would agree to some extent. However, what drives that data? Opinion. Plus only a fraction of the people expressing an opinion on Twitter to Facebook would take a position on the betting exchanges. So it may be used as an “early warning” system.
So, how can we use it? There are a couple of ways.
First. Factual information. Let’s imagine that Liverpool are playing Man City in a crucial game that may decide the Premier League. Both teams are expected to play full strength teams. The market has factored this in. But then Tweets start to appear.
“Just watched the Liverpool team board the coach at the team hotel. Salah and Mane were not on the bus, but saw them in the hotel foyer on crutches”
Now that may be a wind up. But if it gets confirmed and you can get into the market before it becomes mainstream confirmed common knowledge, you have an incredible opportunity.
So substantiated rumours can be gold dust .
Another way is about public opinion. Markets such as I’m a celebrity, Big Brother etc. Where the public vote for the contestants. Even the political events are good examples.
People are more and more getting their news from Social media. Everything from current affairs, sport and celebrity gossip. Even the newspapers get much of their own news from Twitter and Instagram. they trawl though and then create stories based on things people post. Like an article about a Road Rage incident. Taken from a Facebook post that someone who videoed it posted. Or some dash cam footage.
So it would be easy to form opinions about what is happening in the world, based on what you read on Social Media. Can you see how this may be called “data collection”? You will be reading Tweets and then use that information to form an opinion. If you keep reading similar views by different individuals. Then that may influence you too.
But there is a huge flaw with this. There is a huge negative bias at play here. We are making a massive assumption. We are assuming that Twitter is a balanced snapshot of society. It really isn’t. The recent General Election shows that perfectly, let me explain.
If I had posted a Tweet that said.
“I think Boris is a top bloke, and Corbyn is a marxist, jew hating, silly old man”
I may get a few likes. I would without doubt have 100’s of nasty, vile and intimidating replies from the Left wing digital rentamob.
is it true to say it’s far easier to be negative and angry than say something less popular? Twitter is a hotbed of anger. So if I had said
“Fuck Boris! Fuck the Government !”
Like Stormzy and Harry Styles did on stage yesterday. (2 very wealthy young men)> That would have had so many more likes, and a few brave soles may have had negative comments.
Twitter is about getting noticed, you want people to like you and agree with you. So why say anything that may get you abused? Better to keep it to yourself?
So when there is an overwhelming consensus, remember that few people would want to go against that.
The bias of Twitter users is under 40 and male (mirrored by YouTube).
So if you are seeking data about what others are thinking. Twitter may point you in a certain direction. The populist view. You may be think that this data is representative. It is not.
The popularity on Twitter of Corbyn, saw the Conservative majority odds drift from 1.25 to over 1.5 on the morning of the election. People reading Twitter I am sure took this data, saw the Betfair odds and saw the possibility of an upset.
We are told what to think by the media, most are wise to this and ignore it. But Twitter is harder to manipulate isn’t it? People are easily influenced and want to have their opinions confirmed by others.
So in conclusion. When using data from Social media. take what you read with a large inch of salt. use it to your advantage.