Created by
Carson Gale

I joined Manifold in August 2022 and have since been very active on the platform - I check Manifold most days, make loads of predictions, and have made 250+ markets (#36 on the creator leaderboard as of today!)

I wanted to share a few suggestions for the team and community; they're not all very novel, so I wouldn't be surprised if many of them are already on the roadmap or are in development or have already been suggested by other users.

Please take these suggestions with the caveat that I (obviously) absolutely love the product and am super impressed by the Manifold team with what you all have been able to create in such a short period of time with so few people. You all rock and I'm excited to potentially invite y'all and the platform users to a party in the Bay Area in 2023!

One theme of my suggestions is that, as the number of markets increases and the platform grows, it is increasingly easy for markets to "die" after initially passing through the notifications of your followers. I think the ability for traders to find / follow markets they are interested in and filter out the rest will be a key issue for Manifold to make progress on in 2023.

Another theme is that I think groups are super important for Manifold in the long term. The right incentives need to be in place for groups, and I'm excited about the possibilities there.

On to the suggestions!

Ability to "Boost" Markets

  • As a market creator, there are often markets that I would like more eyes on, but there's not an easy way to achieve that other than word-of-mouth groundroots link-sharing. You can subsidize markets, but that doesn't strictly get more eyes on it

  • Market creators (and other users, with the permission of the market creator) should be able to pay mana to "boost" the prominence of a given market and get more impressions than the status quo

  • Two methods come to mind for me:

    • 1. A promoted section on the home page, showing the boosted markets

      • This could be optional or not, but I think it's good form to make it optional so that users that really don't like it can customize it away; that said, I wouldn't be surprised if there would end up being lots of users that like seeing the boosted markets. I would be far more interested in a market if I know that the creator is paying mana for it to be boosted!

    • 2. Showing boosted markets with increased regularity in ManaSwipe

  • Mana pricing to boost a market could either be fixed or dynamic, but I personally think auction pricing makes a lot of sense. It solves the problem of users just boosting their markets to farm engagement bonuses, as the market-driven price would likely end up high enough so that it's only worthwhile to boost the truly engaging markets (or if the booster has another motive)

    • High-value boosting times (e.g., election, year-end resolution season, weekends etc.) would naturally receive a higher auction price

  • Additional traders I get on a boosted market are "sticky", since many of them continue to receive notifications for my market after making an initial bet (and they pay more attention to their portfolio)

  • Manifold benefits as well since users are really paying Manifold for this service (and Mana is "exiting" the system)

Greater Focus on Group Manager/Moderator ("GM&M) Capabilities/Structure

  • GM&M Incentives: GM&M incentives should be aligned with fostering active and useful group communities. There needs to be both sufficient incentive to BE a great GM&M, and an incentive (and ability) to NOT be a GM&M if you are not active/interested/the right fit

    • My initial thought is that any group should either be moderated or non-moderated (users can apply to become GM&Ms of existing non-moderated groups).

      • To be clear, I think one should still be able to make a group w/o taking any responsibilities for that Group (i.e., it is non-moderated)

    • There should be a cost to become/stay a GM&M. Maybe a monthly mana cost that is a % of the total Group follower-base? Or a tax if you are accepting suggestions for new markets to include / responding to questions with a time delay? IDK

    • There should be a benefit for being a really good GM&M. Maybe mana for each new follower to the group? Or mana for activity (e.g., trades, new markets, etc. in the group) IDK

  • Seamless In-Group Competitions: Similar to my Term Sheet competition or my Gale Family Vacation competition, it should be organic and easy to run a competition within a group.

    • The format here may ultimately end up being different than a simple group, with additional detail on the leaderboard and UI on the prize amounts

    • It would be fantastic to have the ability to fund & transfer USD prize money directly via Manifold for these tournaments (to provide credible promise of payment)

    • Should have the ability to post Mana as a prize

    • Could potentially have the ability to crowdsource Mana prizes from users or require Mana payment as an entrance fee into the tournament/competition that funds the prize money

  • GM&Ms should have the ability to customize the look & feel of the Group, such as the background image and sidebars

  • Similar to Reddit, GM&Ms should have the ability to set and enforce the rules of the group. GM&Ms should have the ability to block users from interacting with the group.

  • GM&Ms should have ultimate authority regarding which markets are added or taken away from their group. They should be able to choose whether other users can directly add markets to their groups, if other users can request to add markets to their groups, or if no other users can add markets to their groups. If a GM&M wants to add a market from another user to their group, the user should either have to provide permission first (X GM&M has requested to add your market to their group) or at least be notified & have the ability to remove it if they would like

    • In general, I think the ultimate authority for where any group or market is housed/posted should be up to the group GM&M and market creator (and that should be taken more seriously than it is now)

    • It should be possible to seamlessly create new markets from within a group that are automatically tagged for that group (with permission from the GM&M, where applicable)

  • GM&Ms should have the ability to link other groups to their own (with the permission of the GM&M from the other group), such that any markets linked to the sub-group are also shown in the main group

    • This is super important for me. I manage the Private Markets group and consider various other markets (see here, here, and here) to be sub-groups, where each market should be tagged as both the sub-group AND the broader group (i.e., Private Markets). Right now, this is a VERY manual and annoying exercise (and is subject to manual error).

  • It should be possible to have multiple GM&Ms per group (important for large groups)

  • Group followers should be able to choose to be notified for any new markets that are tagged within a given group

  • Over time, the general leaderboard will become less important and group-specific leaderboards will become more important

    • General leaderboard page should reflect this, showcasing top traders from select large groups or otherwise finding ways to showcase group-level achievements (maybe GM&M general leaderboard as well)

Option for Creators to Pin Markets on Profile

  • As a market creator, some markets are meaningfully more important to me than others. As such, it would be nice to be able to pin certain markets to the top of my profile.

Notification Flexibility

  • The notification settings for Web are great, but I'd like the ability to get push notifications to my mobile device on whatever I want (right now the selection is very limited)

Ability to Create Markets Where Creator Cannot Bet

  • There have been multiple markets where the creator has incorrectly resolved their market for profit - most infamously Mr Stone and most recently Alex

  • In addition, it is difficult to ignore the profit incentive for even the most honorable market creators. Your judgment is simply less trustworthy

  • As such, it is totally rational to distrust markets where there is a profit incentive for the creator

  • As a market creator, I'd like the ability to increase my credibility by selecting a toggle in my market regarding whether I can bet in it - and for it to be clear to traders whether I can or not

    • This also eliminates the need for a lot of caveats that I and other market creators will sometimes provide

    • FWIW, I feel strongly that market creators should always have the option to bet on their own markets

One-Click Liking

  • Often there are markets I would like to follow but not bet on. Similar to 1-click betting, I'd like the ability to 1-click like a market w/o having to click into it

Market & Comment Tipping

  • This feature used to exist and I really liked it. Would be great to have it back in some form again.

  • Biggest problem in previous iteration was when you would go to "like" a comment and it would instead tip - it wasn't very clear & caused some consternation

Ability to View USD Spent on Mana

  • Maybe this feature already exists and I can't find it, but I need a place to view all of my transactions in purchasing Mana

Ability to "Draft" Posts / Markets

  • This post took a good amount of time to create! :) And oftentimes so do markets with longer descriptions / resolution criteria

  • Similar to Twitter, it would be good to have a drafts capability so that I don't have to create a market / post in one sitting, hoping I don't lose all my work!

Native Functionality for Market Dashboards

  • I will often create sets of markets that are "linked" together - the same markets with different timelines (e.g., here, here, and here)

  • It would be helpful if Manifold could permit functionality that would allow for creating multiple binary markets at varying timelines simultaneously (e.g., create 3 markets that each end 1 year apart) and would also show them to traders in tandem to limit friction

Thank you to anyone that has read this far. Huge thanks to the Manifold team for creating a product where I feel motivated to actually write all this out.

Happy trading / creating!