The Nobel Exchange

From Peter DuCharme
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The Nobel Exchange

NeedCreate a destination to expose Nautilus to a wider audience. Somehow encourage daily visits.
IdeaBuild a virtual stockmarket for trading shares of potential Nobel Prize winners.
Steps takenBuild[1] with Laravel as the backend for admin and page rendering. Manually load all possible winners for Chemistry, Economics, Literature, Medicine, and Physics in the database as contracts to trade. Incorporate data visualization with D3.js. Require player registration.
ResultA very large interest in new readers from China and a presence on Tencent Weibo. Analytics showed players to be checking their portfolios daily.

From the original article, The Nobel Exchange September 12, 2013.

We are a science magazine producing an entire issue on fame—so how could we ignore the Nobel Prize? It lifts a chosen few to scientific superstardom, giving wide publicity to their research, and motivating new generations of scientists. Of course it also, necessarily, redefines and skews the idea of scientific collaboration.

But for better or for worse, the Nobel Prize is a fixture in scientific culture. Speculation about who might win, why somebody did not win, and what it all means, builds gradually through the year. By early fall, the email threads can run to the multiple pages. Now you can do more than fire off an electronic missive. Place your (virtual) money where your mouth is, with our Nobel Exchange. Browse candidates. Pick winners. Watch the odds change in real time as bets are placed. Then, in mid-October, we announce our own winner: The player holding the most contracts in candidates that actually won. We even give out a prize: a year-long subscription to our quarterly, of course.

There are five contracts markets, for each of the Prizes except Peace. The price for each candidate is set by the number of contracts held in that candidate, divided by all contracts in that market. The house holds 10,000 contracts in each candidate.

Remember, it’s not the player with the highest-valued portfolio that wins. It’s the one holding the greatest number of contracts in candidates that actually win this October.

  1. Cached version of retired site.