Valentin Golev


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Valentin Golev

3 months ago

1. How much money have you spent so far? Have you gotten more funding from other sources? Do you need more funding?

I spent a tiny bit on hosting. I don't need more funding.

2. How is the project going? (a few paragraphs)

I changed the aim to creation of the bot that allows to easily run private markets inside private group chats. One can add the bot now to any telegram group chat, and create/participate in the markets that are only available inside the group.

I'm very interested in the private use of private markets. MM is a bit of a social club at this point, with a lot of insider memes and personalities. I'd love it if other groups of people could have their own little private markets if they so choose. I think it would be a great way to get people interested in prediction markets. Hence the bot.

At this point I'm not sure if Telegram bot is the most accessible way to get introduced to prediction markets for the people. But I'm very interested in this topic. I'm also not sure if "private" markets are that interesting at all to any kind of wider audience. I know that some organizations have their own internal markets, and I wonder if marketing of this kind of software to firms could be an interesting experiment. Still, I haven't found a niche with much potential.

Currently the bot is used by people simply experimenting by creating random markets, or create them sporadically on specific topics, but there's also one group that uses it for some kinds of gaming predictions. I don't have numbers on the group size due to Telegram's privacy limitations, but I saw around a market created daily with 5-7 bets.

One can try the bot by adding it to a private chat group: @PredictionMarketsBot.

I'd love to try the bot on one of the huge groups (~1000 people) but I don't have a good pitch yet.

I abandoned the idea of integration with Manifold Markets. Such an integration wouldn't really work well with private markets, and to restrict the bot to public markets would be a waste of potential.

Since it's a big pivot with not much of a success, I'll likely buy-out the certificates to return the money to investors who were interested in a different project.

3. How well has your project gone compared to where you expected it to be at this point? (Score from 1-10, 10 = Better than expected)

I'm mostly satisfied with the technical progress, but I didn't succeed in finding a wide user base yet. So let's say 5.

4. Are there any remaining ways you need help, besides more funding?

If anyone is interested in running private markets, or trying to run them inside a large-ish group they could invite me to, I'd be very interested in that.

5. Any other thoughts or feedback?

Valentin Golev

4 months ago

@AntonMakiievskyi noted, please give me your telegram username so we can test this together

Valentin Golev

5 months ago

I have a prototype implementation for a bot that allows to create internal group-markets, but not for the Manifold integration. I'm not sure Manifold integration is going to be particularly useful, but a group-level bot, I can see people using. I have a bit of an executive paralysis about how to launch it.

Valentin Golev

9 months ago

Hey Austin,

How many users (either total or monthly) have your popular Telegram bots received? How many usages?

I don't think those numbers would be representative in any way. There's absolutely no inherent discoverability for the bots, it's all word of mouth. I'm lucky to author a small blog (~3k nominal subscribers, around ~1000 views per post) on Telegram so I get some users for free, and then a bit of a word-of-mouth.

So I expect, like:

  1. maybe some of the Manifold users will discover a link to the bot somewhere and try it

  2. maybe some features will be useful for them and they will add the bot to chats, or forward messages, or whatever

  3. there could be a Telegram channel (it's how they call blogs on Telegram) that posts interesting markets and uses this bot to allow the readers to immediately vote, and then this can be a great way to get more users (both for the Manifold and for the bots themselves)

Also, since the question sounds like being about the future of the bots:

  1. I personally love Telegram bots, I find them much more lightweight and convenient than apps.

  2. In Russia, there's a huge ecosystem of Telegram channels (essentially blogs, but on Telegram), and the people love to read them and forward them to their friends. I'm actually sad that this is not very popular in other places (apart from the meme-channels, somehow a lot of non-russians I know subscribe to some meme-channels on Telegram and have no idea there are any other kinds of channels)

  3. there're some bots with decent audience, like some people I know have bots with 100k-1m users

  4. So, is there a future? I kinda hope so, because it's a great place to publish an app to be easily available on devices, much better than the App Store or whatever. But do I see any emerging trend in the English-speaking world? No, not really

But anyway, why not share:

  • each of the GPT-based bots that I linked to received around a couple thousand users since their inception (they're like, a month old). the game was very exciting to many people and some of them played a lot

  • the grammar-correction one has ~50 people using it daily to fix their texts or lives

  • I think they both have much more potential, but I'm not pushing it too much, because I'm scared of overpaying for the OpenAI API :)

  • previous bots I've been making very more boring and had a smaller audience (I think the oldest one, a weird GIF emoji animator, is at around a couple of thousand users in ~8 years?)

What kind of Telegram channels or group chats do you expect to make use of the bot? What kind of questions would they ask?

We have a lot of huge group chats on Telegram. Some examples:

  • many, many ~1k-10k-sized group chats for, like, "Russians in Berlin", of various kinds (some helping each other, some for questions about freelancing or taxes etc, some for people with kids...)

  • there's a group (german-speaking, but full of foreigners) to help avoid ticket control in public transport of Berlin, also in the same ballpark ;-)

  • a lot of channels have their own group chats, basically like comment sections. so for a russian-speaker, there's a lot of a channels about e.g. philosophy or cooking or tech news or games or whatever, of 1k-50k audience, and then they have a group chat with 50-200 people, and some people also drop by temporarily to discuss a recent posting. Those channel-specific group chats often have slightly more identity than a comment session, e.g. there's a tech news channel called "Daily CTO" and then there's a whole group chat of CTOs and wannabe-CTOs discussing tech stuff in a particularly pompous way

Now for each of those you can imagine some fun markets:

  • for all those local group-chats, markets about upcoming laws, or maybe some local events, or "if i make a party, will 20 people come?"-type of thing

  • for the channel-specific groups-chat, well, whatever is relevant

  • for any group-chat, I can imagine markets for the intergroup governance like: "will we be very bored and disappointed next week if we ban this fun and seemingly good-intentional troll today?"

Now, I'm not sure how to integrate all of this with Manifold, as I'm not sure it should be polluted with all those group-specific internal markets. But maybe there's a future for Manifold as a platform too, with private markets.