From Eric Nagel, friend and colleague (from an IM conversation, so apologize for the brevity and not backing up the sources of these numbers):
I heard an unbelievable fact… 50% of all US stocks are held by 1% of all the shareholders in the world and 90% of all stock is held by like 10% of the shareholders of the world. So 90% of the shareholders in the world only own 10% of the stock out there.
The Idea: Use social media to provide some additional data/feedback regarding stocks. How many times is a company’s name [or ticker] mentioned in the press? Mentioned on blogs? (Possibly create a Techmeme site for stocks). Does this at all correlate to the actual stock price of a stock? When news hits from one of the primary press sources (CNBC, MarketWatch, WSJ, etc) — what typically happens to the stock? Who are the competitors of a stock — what’s their P/E compared to the others and are they all trending in any direction? How does one sector influence another (are any dependent on another — or do any shift when another sector shifts)?
The application would likely need to know how to parse out key information from an article — such as information on an earnings announcement, or whether bloggers are hyped (or loathing) about something.
What other data / analysis could be found (or derived) from the web or blogosphere?