San Diego’s Stock Twits Aims its Social Media Tweets at the Wall Street People Who Matter

8/17/11Follow @bvbigelow

After more than 20 years of experience as a Wall Street investor and entrepreneur, Howard Lindzon has become a connoisseur of stock culture.

He says his disdain for CNBC was the reason he created WallStrip, an offbeat videoblog mix of finance, markets, and humor, in 2007. Eight months later, CBS acquired WallStrip for an undisclosed amount, which was reported by some sources as a $5 million deal.

Lindzon, who runs a small hedge fund called Lindzon Capital Partners, also has made a number of investments in a variety of Internet and new media startups, including Rent.com, Lifelock, Assistly, bitly, Klout, and TweetDeck. In 2008, Lindzon founded StockTwits, a new media startup in the San Diego area as a micro-blogging website that resembles a TweetDeck for traders. The concept enables investors to share their investing ideas, stock tips, comments, charts, and other information in 140-character tweets. In a statement today, StockTwits says it is setting a record for usage in the current earnings period—with a 200 percent increase in the number of tweets over the same earnings season last year.

Howard Lindzon

“If I’m running an institutional trade desk, and following real-time streaming of news, then Twitter is going to rule the world,” Lindzon says. “We’re taking the social Web, which is the greatest thing in the history of the Internet, and applying it to this one little vertical.”

With more than 100,000 registered users, StockTwits distributes its content through the usual social media suspects, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Francis Costello, StockTwits’ chief operating officer, says the company also has arranged to provide its real-time streaming comments to financial news sources like Yahoo Finance, CNN Money, Reuters, and Bloomberg as a way of monitoring “market sentiment.” Through its overall distribution network, StockTwits estimates that its content reaches a total of 50 million people.

In addition, Costello says StockTwits created the hashtag-like symbol for publicly traded stocks, $(ticker), which has been widely popularized and enables investors to aggregate … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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