A few people have been asking me whether Monitor110 is my “Bloomberg killer”. It is, after all, getting enthusiastic (verging on puffy) and uncritical coverage today on TechCrunch and in the Financial Times.
Well, it’s an interesting idea — investor-centric monitoring of online nattering, from drug trials discussion boards, to regulatory filings, to blogs — so I’ll give them credit for Big. You can almost imagine the meetings it came out of, one of those that starts with discussions of X, then Y, then Z, and then someone said … Why don’t we do everything?
So, will it work and/or be useful? Good question. It will be useful to some people, in particular cowboy traders who look for tiny newsmaking events that may become tradable nuggets, some short-term sturm and drang that allows them to trade in and out of stocks. And that’s a perfectly viable market, albeit one that most people (and investors) should avoid, if only because it tends to produce more yachts for brokers than for buyers.
It’s also likely to be useful to journalists, people who don’t necessarily care about materiality of something, but want to have a “hook” on which to hang a story. People are saying X about drug Y, so let’s write about it.
So is it a Bloomberg killer? Of course not. Is it useful? Sure, but there is a big market out there, and Monitor 110, while potentially useful, is only really a slight dial turn on many, many monitoring apps that have been around for ages.