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After weeks of behind-the-scenes work (and some great Google Doc formatting by Chris McNutt), I'm proud to announce the Prediction Tracker is live and ready for use! This is the only tool of its kind in existence and it's something that will really give Insiders a leg up on the competition.
We talk a lot about the benefits of having a team of finance writers on here, and nothing demonstrates that advantage more than the Prediction Tracker. Opinions on cards can vary, and not everyone is right every time. With the Prediction Tracker, you have everyone's opinions aggregated into one easy-to-read spreadsheet. Think of it as your own personal trading cheat sheet.
The Tracker is broken down into three separate sections - the Hot List, Watch List, and Ditch List. The Hot List tells what cards to pick up, with the price you want to buy in at, as well as the priced each writer has targeted for the card to rise to. There also is an average buy and target price based on the predictions made by the team. The Watch List includes cards like Etched Champion that are underpriced but currently lacking a deck to push their price up. And finally, the Ditch List tells you what cards to unload now before they come down in price, either because their price has peaked (I'm looking at you, Splinter Twin), or because of rotation, reprints, etc...
There also is a comments section for each of the cards mentioned. It appears separate from the collective results, and aggregates all the comments from each writer into a column for every individual card. This allows for each contributor to explain their reasoning for why they recommended buying or selling a particular card.
One of the best features of the Tracker is that it updates in real-time! That means that as soon as a writer makes a call on a card (say, buying up Spellskites after it's spoiled), they'll enter it into the Tracker and it will be available for you to view whenever you want! No more waiting until Tuesday or Wednesday for a column to discuss last week's news. No more scouring the Twitter feed of every financial writer to find card tips. A simple trip to the Quiet Speculation homepage and onto the Prediction Tracker will put all this information at your fingertips.
Every Friday, I'll be writing an (additional) column detailing the changes and trends from week to week. Cards go from great buys to great sells at a moment's notice, and I'll do my best to disseminate the most important Tracker data to you every week. The Tracker will be archived each week so that anyone can look back and see what Tracker contributors were saying about Consecrated Sphinx two months ago. A common theme of my articles is accountability, and the Tracker goes a long way toward making that easier to track than ever.
Before we get to the first edition of the Tracker, I want to introduce the team of writers contributing. The QS team will be the regular contributors, but we have plans to bring in experts from outside websites to contribute as well, so keep an eye out for that. And remember, if you want access to the Tracker after this week, remember to sign up for an Insider account!
Renowned MTG financial expert and Quiet Speculation founder, Kelly is a practiced veteran of the prediction scene. Running his own hobby shop, Kelly has a close read on the MTG community and gives financial advice accordingly.
Stephen does a great job getting breaking news onto the site, often posting updates from the weekend's events at 12:01 Monday mornings, giving readers a huge heads up when it comes to the cards likely to be discussed that week. Stephen keeps a close handle on seemingly every online MTG store and provides that insight to readers.
A savvy trading veteran, Ryan interacts with more traders in a weekend's time than most people do in a year. He has a ton of experience interacting with dealers and knows exactly how much you can expect to sell your cards for.
Not only did Chad do some pioneering work on a post-Besieged Pyromancer Ascension list, he knows his way around the trade tables as well. A solid addition to any financial team.
Our resident pro, Josh brings a player's perspective to the team, a crucial angle that allows him to spot cards or decks that are under-the-radar. Not only can Josh tell you that Phyrexian Revoker is going to rise in price, he can also tell you exactly why it's going to do so.
That's me! I fall somewhere in between a player and a full-time trader. Some of my recent called shots include Stoneforge Mystic, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas and Spellskite. Hopefully I'll continue the hot streak!
Legacy expert Doug Linn has been playing Magic for a long time, and has seen a lot of cards come and go. His weekly financial reviews of older sets are invaluable to newer players and he brings that knowledge to the table for the Prediction Tracker!
As you can see, that's a pretty solid resume for everyone contributing to the Tracker, and I promise you will make money based on the advice of this team. With that, let's get to the first edition of the Tracker!
(Editor's Note - Google is experiencing intermittent availability issues. Spreadsheets may be unavailable until Google corrects the issue.)
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[iframe https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0AukC5EWiTvOpdGtvb0c3YmFRRmZLZEhTWVFwRjczeFE&single=true&gid=10&output=html 925px 700px]
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As you can see, one of the most agreed-upon cards to pick up from the current list is Consecrated Sphinx. The card has risen about 50% in the last two weeks, and figures to continue to do so. If the Titan cycle isn't reprinted, then the Sphinx stands to become a go-to finisher post-rotation. As a Mythic, this card has a lot of room to grow.
Another card that has received a lot of attention is Jace, the Mind Sculptor. He appears on both the Hot List and the Ditch List for a reason, which spelled out in the comments. To quote Josh Justice, "Pick up from Standard-only players when the rotation hits, hold for half a year or so, then flip for profit to Extended PTQ players (if that season exists next spring) and Legacy players. See Tarmogoyf for price comparisons. Dropped from ~65 to <40 when it got suddenly rotated out of Extended, and is back up there now. Legacy alone could keep Jace that high. Blue control won't get a card this good for years, if ever again." Seems true.
The Ravnica cycle of Shocklands, including Hallowed Fountain and friends, also are a popular subject. These things are a great pickup right now. With Commander decks coming out this summer, the possibility of the creation of a Paper Modern or Overextended format, and prices of dual lands rising out of control, demand for these lands is only going to grow. Pick them up now in trades from people who still value them at $5.
There also seems to be some consensus that now is the best time to move your Spellskite and Splinter Twins. Why are we suggesting to ditch two of the hottest cards in Standard? In short, the Law of Mythics, which state that very few Standard Rares can hold a price tag above $10. Looking at BlackLotusProject.com, which tracks Ebay prices, it's easy to see that Splinter Twin has peaked. Therefore, there is nothing left to do but clean out your stock for a profit.
That's all I've got for this week. Everyone here is really excited about the creation of the Prediction Tracker, and I hope you are as well. This is very much an dynamic project, and your feedback is welcome and appreciated. Let us know what you think!
The live and permanent location for the Prediction Tracker can be found in the sub-menu for "Finance" in the top menu bar under "Articles" or at the following link.
[Prediction Tracker Discussion on QS Forums, Insiders Only]
@Chosler88 on Twitter
28 thoughts on “The Prediction Tracker Arrives!”
Why not put the google docs in seperate windows? Now they are not easy to read (at least not on my screen).
Will the Prediction Tracker be kept in google docs for the future or will this be somehow integrated in the QQ website? I assume it should not be that hard to create an admin page for writers to leave their feedback about cards and the readers can access some kind of tool to filter cards, read latest news, check history, … of all predictions done by writers.
My opinion is that the current usage is not really user-friendly and feels too much like just a spreadsheet…
Although it'll work for now, it doesn't feel very future proof.
My 2 cents
I'm planning on writing a "real" web app to do this stuff soon. The problem is just one of time, what with the fact that I've got the SCG Invitational and the Pro Tour coming up…
It feels like a spreadsheet because it IS a spreadsheet, Sven.
The formatting makes the prediction/ditch/card notes very difficult to read. I wouldn't mind the spreadsheet format, but only if I can take advantage of ALL of my monitor space to see everything, not just a sliver on the site.
Yeah, I'm having viewing issues as well on Safari and Chrome on a Mac. Perhaps splitting up the windows would work. Otherwise, the information is worthing scrolling left, scrolling right, going back up and down.
Everything looks fine in my firefox 4… what is the issue you're having?
I've fixed the screen formatting issues. I'm sorry for not getting to this last night. there were some stability problems with the main sheet and I literally fell asleep working on them.
There were bound to be some bumps. this is a new project, and we were very excited to get it launched. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
I have also added a link to this article where you can find the prediction tracker. I'm not sure why it was omitted from the article originally (another sleepy over site I imagine), but the tracker can be found at any time from the menus at the top of the page under Articles > Finance > Prediction Tracker.
And to address the other comments….
@sven – we aren't putting the doc in a separate window right now because the Google docs don't have the user control that the site does. We would be unable to restrict it to insiders only at this time. We may eventually have this running in something other then Google Docs, but for now, this is what we are using. and yes, this is a spreadsheet.
@yesterd4y – the formatting of the sheet was designed to be almost 1000px wide, which is the width of a full page QS site (which is where the tracker is held outside this article). the standard article width is smaller, because it accommodates the side bar. for now at least, I have removed the sidebar from this article to make it more readable. this may not be the permanent solution. This article and those to follow are to serve as a sort of snap shot in time, where as the data on the live page is ever changing.
@Stric9 – I'm using chrome, and with the changes it looks good. your scrolling should now be at a minimum.
The tracker looks awesome now. I can see everything!
These predictions need to be dated. We need to know what called shots are fresh and which ones have been up for a while.
We aren't dating them for a few reasons. one is screen real estate, another is that it's extra work, the last is it's not needed. We might not have explained it well enough above, but this article and those to follow are snap shots in time. the date of this article is the date of that snap shot. the live tracker (www.quietspeculation.com/predictions/) will always be current and updated. these articles will be windows into the past.
I know that "in theory" saying everyone needs to keep all their predictions updated will work, but I've never seen this actually work in practice. Ever.
By the way… I mean put the date on the notes. Then the notes can be referenced for comments that need to be updated. I assume every note has an associated price.
Then I'm glad you weren't in charge of the project. This is a worthwhile thing for people to have and use, and it's worthwhile for us to provide it. if it crashes and burns, then it does, but we need to try to give this kind of thing to our Insiders.
as you'll see in the coming weeks, I've built in a color coding system that will let you know when any items have been updated from the week before, also, I took the extra time to build in a control panel of sorts that gives Corbin (the project runner) a quick snapshot of who has and hasn't updated their entries. I can assure you that everyone at QS is behind this project and we'll crack some heads if people start falling behind.
Perfect. That's exactly what I'm asking for. Making sure someone's tracking the dates on the data. Your original post made it sound like no one was tracking when predictions were being put in.
First off, this is super cool. It's the first step toward an incredible resource for all of us – and a great reason to have QS premium. I know how hard you guys worked on it, too.
There are a couple of things I'd suggest for the future, though.
First, I'd love to see what the other writers think of each prediction – some kind of "heat index" for them. For example, I'd like to know if only one writer thinks Spikeshot Elder is a great pickup, or if all of them do. Not everyone needs to give buy/sell numbers, but some kind of thumbs up/lukewarm/thumbs down system, with the hottest pickups trending toward the top.
Right now, the list just feels like a bunch of into synthesized from articles. It's nice, but it's not new info.
The second long-term thing is that this NEEDS to be an iPhone app! This document is at its most useful in the field, and having immediate access to it would rule. Also, push notifications for Buy, Hold, and Sell would rock my world. Imagine getting them in the middle of FNM and then adjusting your trading for the rest of the night?
Good stuff overall, though! Love this place!
(First) to some degree it is information form articles, though the contributors are encouraged to look at what others are posting and comment. Everyone can see everyone else's data, and if someone sees a card that someone else has called out, and chooses not to call out as well, then that is a comment on it. not all writers have the same focus on cards. right now, we're not requiring them to comment on the other cards because of the increased work and coordination that would cause. plus, people will probably gravitate toward the contributors they like better, or find some way of personally interpreting the information. I know I do.
(Second) preaching to the choir. the iphone programmers I know charge about $500 a day to work on projects… we can't really afford that right now, but that wasn't a reason to not provide what we could. More Insiders means more money which means more and better projects. this is an important step in adding value to the insider subscriptions.
I'm just trying to get my head around what this document actually provides.
If it's just a synthesis of articles, it's not that impressive to me. Of course the initial data comes from articles since that's where people make predictions, but if that's where it stops, what's the point? I can get the same info from reading QS and having a reasonable memory.
Where you have a chance to be special is to make this a living document that synthesizes the opinions of writers/traders from all over the country. If a writer in Utah thinks Mirran Crusader is a strong pickup because a couple people asked him for them at an FNM and they've shown up in a couple decks, I'll get that in the article. If, however, he says that and then five other writers also note that the card is heating up in their areas, showing up in more decks, well, that's VERY useful information.
I'm not saying I don't like this, because I do. I just want it to be a truly impressive resource. As far as taking time away from your writers, every single one of your financial contributors probably has an opinion on every single card on the list. Having them say Buy/Hold/Sell once a week is like 10 minutes and turns your spreadsheet from information I already have to information I don't.
Re: the iPhone app, just hope for the future is all =)
Some of the information will come from articles, because these contributors are also writing articles. however, if you like the email blasts, then this should also be exciting.
the information on this page is static and a snap shot. the information in the live tracker is live. meaning that anytime a contributor has an idea about a card, during a tournament, middle of the night, scheduled update session, they can go in and add it with notes to the tracker. everyone can immediately see all the information that any of the contributors enter without having to wait for an article or publishing cycle.
also, not everything here (not even most) comes from articles. it's a separate forum, and a way for people to quickly see what the writers think is going on or will go on soon.
I considered adding a calculation that would be a weighted number to indicate how popular a call was. in the end we decided not to use it because the information would be unusable or misguided unless every writer commented on all the card. that may be something we end up doing later, but we're going to see how this goes based on feedback. any one of these calls is going to be good and can be taken on it's own. consensus does not increase validity.
all that said, it's a first step. there will be more.
I have to disagree with you on this one. I do not have the time to compile all information from the many articles into one cohesive spreadsheet. I've done it in the past, but it's a tiresome, time consuming project for one person and then it's only good for a week or two at most. My work and family consume the better part of my day and my time is valuable. I enjoy letting QS take this burden and spreading the workload evenly and efficiently. I do agree, though, that there are certainly many areas for improvement and that this product certainly has the potential to evolve in a truly impressive beast, as you say.
Push notifications would be tricky for us to do, but perhaps we could set up a twitter account and piggyback on twitter's infrastructure. It'd be a pain to manage the followers to maintain Insider-only status, though.
If we had an app we could just charge for it and give insiders all one time download keys.
Yeah, that'd require the iPhone app. I just LOVE the email blasts, my favorite insider perk BY FAR, and would love to see more like that!
Looks great! 🙂
We're with ya. this is step 1.
I do believe that this is indeed a major (first) step to a great tracking mechanism, unlike any other.
This might be the number one thing getting you more subscribers and with that helping you to improve it even further.
Wishing you all the best!
10/10 for the first step from me 😉
This is a great help and "in the field" I can log in to QS and look at the article bookmark it, whatever. I am really happy to have this, it will definitely make life easier and as always appreciate the emails that everyone forgets to mention, pretty freaking awesome too. I would love an Android app and a way for us to access stuff also. It would be pretty sweet if we could have the cards in some kind of top picks order too, like a top 10 buy/sell/trade list. This is a lot and we are all asking for a lot and personally I don't want to ever come across unappreciative. You guys are great and I LOVE all the content you guys hook us up with. Thanks guys you kick @$$.
Are your dump prices trade value or cash value? I'm not sure how many of your readers out there are like me, but I do love the game but because of work I really only get to play during things like pre-releases. When I dump a card it is most always for cash on eBay and that introduces market friction for me as a seller. Sometimes it's worth going long on a card because the friction to sell it eats up all the profit to be made. It would be nice if your dump prices can make the distinction between a cash out price vs a frictionless trade price.
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