A core tension in the Manifold community is "power users" vs. "normies". Manifold is trying to appeal to normal people who don't spend much time interacting with forecasting or markets, and as such often neglects features that the power users would find useful. Two of these features that have been frequently requested are a robust search function and improved trading dashboard. So, I built one. Right now it's pretty bare-bones, but I'd like to make it better.
I think this is an ideal division of responsibility; Manifold focuses on its core business model of appealing to a broad audience and not confusing them with complex feature sets, and the power users can design their own more sophisticated tools to cater to their needs. For example, I've been watching the feature suggestion channel on the Manifold Discord for any features relating to search/dashboard functionality, and any that are not implemented by Manifold I plan to add to my tool.
Immediate goals: Fix the lag and other small frustrations that make the site annoying to use, and add a more user-friendly interface. (This is almost done already on my dev copy, I just need to work out the last few kinks before pushing it live.)
Medium-term goals: Expand the features to include more things that power users would find useful and aren't easily available elsewhere, such as visually-compact sparklines on a list of markets, concise indicators of recent trends like movement direction and trader count, automatic Kelly bet sizing, automatic arbitrage across multiple-choice answers, etc. For a longer list of features I'm considering, see here.
Long-term goals: Turn this into fully-featured prediction market trading and discovery software, adding integration with other prediction markets like Polymarket, letting users manage a global portfolio and transfer funds between different platforms, create their own trading bots without needing to interface directly with each platform's API, etc.
I don't have a traditional day job, my income comes from various forms of gig work and self-employment. Any money I get from this project is time that I don't have to spend making that money some other way, and is therefore additional time I can put into Manifold.
If this project is fully-funded, I believe I can complete at least 80% of my short and medium-term goals within 3 months.
Primarily me, following suggestions from the community. Ernie has expressed interest in helping out on the UI and designed their own visual wrapper for my underlying code; we may end up collaborating on it.
Track record: My existing search engine already works well enough that several Manifold users choose to use it over the native Manifold one for various tasks. I have previously completed much larger software projects, the biggest being this one.
Manifold chooses to improve their own search function and dashboards to the point where mine becomes redundant. (If Manifold plans to do this, I'd have no objections whatsoever, and just ask that they inform me before I put a bunch of work into mine.)
Technical challenges preventing me from adding things as quickly as I hope. If this occurs, I will just add them more slowly. (I enjoy programming and want this to be a thing that exists.)
9 days ago
I've created a market on what features will result in this project receiving a Community Fund payout.
15 days ago
I have found Isaac's work on the search function to make my time on manifold much more valuable (I've even paypaled him for it prior to this). Discoverability for older markets is so much better with it than without, allowing us to have accurate probabilities for lower interest questions while still taking less new user attention for them. It gives a much more information dense view than the normal Manifold search, which is beautiful. I have faith the further improvements he makes will be wonderful!