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September 10, 2008 / Toby Dayton

HubDub’s Take On One Of My Predictions For 2008

On December 31st of 2007, I made 10 predictions for the coming year. The #1 prediction was that a major metro market in the U.S. would lose its daily newspaper in 2008. While some smaller newspapers have folded and other larger ones have been put up for sale without any serious takers, the prediction at this point has not yet proven accurate. And while only a few months remain, I remain positive in the possibility that the prognostication will ultimately prove prescient (nice alliteration, huh?). Apparently, the readers of HubDub agree with me.

HubDub poses various questions to its readers and attempts to predict the future by tapping into the collective wisdom of its audience. There is some pretty compelling evidence that a sufficiently large group of people can lend insight to future events, but that ability usually relates to events such as elections, where those same audience members have a direct impact on influencing those events (i.e., voting for their preferred candidate that they previously predicted would win). While HubDub’s audience can certainly have an impact on the future of the dailies by choosing not to read the daily newspaper or not visit newspaper web sites, that impact is indirect at best. Nevertheless, 65% of HubDub’s readers predict that a major metro daily with a circulation greater than 50,000 will fold before the end of the year. I’d call that a landslide.