Can Stockr Bring Transparency and Democracy to Stock Trading?
As niche social networks proliferate, digital citizens are increasingly compartmentalizing their media streams and filtering out the unwanted noise. The tribes are gathering in far smaller tents than Facebook. On the idealist end of the spectrum, there's wiser.org, a growing international network of people committed to working towards sustainability, and on the more frivolous end there's untapped.com, a place to brag about how much you drank last night.
Vinny Jindal, a biologist- turned-biotech research analyst- turned Fortune 500 money manager saw a niche still yet to be filled and created Stockr, a social network for real time financial market information sharing. "His learnings inspired him and his partners to create a platform for breaking down the walls of financial information sharing," writes Lori Kozlowski in Forbes. "Essentially, it's Bloomberg for the masses."
The tool allows users to watch and discuss markets in real time, publicly and in direct messages—both democratizing and demistifying the market. An algorithm helps you connect with other users in the network with whom you share trading affinities. No anonymous message board tipsters on Stockr, explains Jindal:
Social networks where participants use their real identity tend to either reduce spamming and dishonesty, or to hold the person spreading falsehoods accountable. Unlike the existing, anonymous message boards, we force the use of real identity so people will have to stand by their words. And if you don’t like what someone is saying or don’t believe that they’re being honest, you simply don’t have to follow them.
"Financial markets reflect global hopes, fears, failures, and big wins," writes Kozlowski. Indeed, social networks do the same, so perhaps marrying the two is a natural fit. Another similar venture though, Cake Financial, met with limited success and was eventually shut down in 2010. And of course, following the financial wisdom of the crowd has proven not to be the best path in the past. Jindal's been tinkering with the product since 2010 and will release it out of private beta in July.