Here is an interesting thing I noticed:

RSS feeds have exploded — we went from 20k to an astounding 138,000. But as they happened, the blog traffics and comments have slipped. Unless its a provocative topic, comments are int he 20-40 range (as opposed to 80-100 from last year).

Does this matter much?

Right now, I do full RSS posts. Should I reduce those feeds (can you do 50% of a post?) to bring people to the site, and generate more discussions?

Or is this just the natural evolution of the web?

Category: Weblogs

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

141 Responses to “RSS Feeds vs Traffic, Blog Comments”

  1. Jerry 369 says:

    Catch 22 I think,you can have all sort’s of cool/interesting/valuable intel but just how much time to devote to each morsel?It is what it is, clock marches on,especially during the trading day. Do like I do,sleep late,play vampire and watch the overseas markets/intel. Just my 2 cents….
    Jerry

  2. flipspiceland says:

    There is a curve that describes this.

    Most humans can only absorb so much data. The sheer volume of information that we find on the web is massively overwhelming and as I read them in more detail further than the 20-30th comment, I can’t really add much more that has not already been written so I don’t bother to respond or simply give the poster a +1. The repetition within a stream is extensive.

    It’s also a factor of time. How long can anyone stay on line and stack that against what else must get done?

    And then there’s the ‘futile’ factor. Once you realize that you are not going to change things, that events, the behavior of the players, and circumstances are far beyond your ability to influence them even in the slightest, a ‘fail’ cycle begins and you taper off.

  3. torrie-amos says:

    fwiw, and this is just me, most sites are specific information and specialized, most folks who stay, and are regular readers know all the generic information of the main topic, thus, rss feeds, since they tend to be generic are by and large ignored, and when you see a site that pumps them to high heaven, most know it’s all done to generate clicks which generates ad money

    hate too say it, yeah my view on the web is totally, what’s in it for me?

    why here, because of you………..the voice who got it right, communicates in a way I undersstand, and you have a website that I find interesting, along with most comments

    I’ll tell you my evolution, for the most part I now only visit sites of one strong voice………..the ones that have multi-voices for the most part produce multiple highly average thoughts you can get anywhere

    now, the truth is I can get what I want for free, and do not have too pay for it, the reason being the strong voice is motivated by passion for the subject and finds it beneficial to them to communicate with others, or they are passionate about the subject, like to educate others…….mainly due to having been down the rotten road of pain to gain that knowledge and having discovered most of that road was rocky due to incorrect broad cliched believe systems, and loves sharing there knowledge plus discussing new discoveries, and also as a vein for getting new business, what use to be in the old days the slogging of having to take time effort energy and years to be viewed as an expert, on the net you are granted that expertise if you continue to prove it

    thatsa my feedback

  4. wunsacon says:

    Barry,

    I’m sure I’m projecting a bit. But, I think part of it is that we’re tapped out discussing some of these problems. The 2005-2007 tension over “what’s going to happen” is over. Talk of serious reform? Yawn. Not like the problems have gone away. But, I guess there’s less “new” to debate.

    It’s like the “scandal fatigue” during the Bush/Cheney administration. After a while, on many topics, all we frogs can do is look longingly at the top of the shiny steel wall that encircles us. (Wait…is the wall rising or is the water level sinking?? I heard someone croak a “meh”. Not sure how to interpret that.)

    Whereas before I was disappointed with your decision not to testify in front of Congress, boy, I sure understand now.

  5. wunsacon says:

    Wow…”what they said”…especially torrie’s comment about “strong” “single voices”.

  6. hgordon says:

    You can reduce a post size by splitting it and adding a link to “Read more ->”. My personal preference is to see the full story without having to “make the jump”, and most of the time, with blogs that use this technique with their RSS feed, I won’t bother to click on the continuation link.

    With regard to site organization, it might help if you were to add dates to the Recent Posts, Think Tank, Videos, Book Club, Digital Media lists on the right and add a section for Weekend. You have interesting posts in sections besides the blog, but it sometimes takes a lot of clicking around to notice them.

    ~~~

    BR: I already have the programmers working on a Weekend sidebar addition, along with category and calendar archives. Let me see i we can add a date to each sidebar update

  7. alfred e says:

    @wunsacon x2. Watching the same corruption and feeling increasingly cynical about the prospects of positive change does sap one’s energy.

    But I think the bloggers today are of a higher quality. Less said, but better said. And I suspect you have just as many lurkers if not more.

    There was lot more inter-blogger warfare and sniping and people looking for a fight last year.

    And a lot of the traffic last year was between traders discussing the status of the markets at the moment. (Karen, Andy, Cvienne) that seem to have migrated to another blogsite for their trading discussions.

    SO I would say when it comes to quality blogging, you’re on track in spite of the weariness of this never ending DC/WS drama and corruption.

  8. mhdoc says:

    The problem with WordPress comments on a site with as many posts as yours is anything you write is quickly left behind. So it is hard to have much of a discussion of substance when the best respondents may not happen to be around for any particular discussion. CalculatedRisk has the same problem and it can be really frustrating to have a discussion of substance suddenly cut off by the arrival of the “Pig” (New post).

    A forum format which readers could move to for more lengthy discussions would solve some of the problems. It would also create some. No one who has tried it would ever say forum moderation was easy.

  9. changnao says:

    The more comments there are, the less people read them and the less interesting the conversation points become. Its a tradeoff.

    Consider what you what: 200 people posting gibberishly or 30 people trying to have a point to point discussion.

  10. h00t22 says:

    It’s interesting you are mentioning now… I switched to RSS last week. Yes, I visit comments page less frequently but I also noticed I stopped going to blogs that don’t carry full RSS altogether. I think this is a natural evolution of the web. Also, I don’t think you have to worry about it – quality content is still king regardless of deliver methods or catchy headlines.

  11. I agree with Wunsacon about the fatigue thing. The fireworks portion of the scandals is pretty much over, now we’re just getting the confirming details of what we all figured out by discussing on blogs like this one.

    a lot of other finance/econ/market sites also seem to have less “participation”

    maybe we’re getting to numb when we should still be enraged

  12. Theodore D. says:

    Whats more beneficial to ad revenue? Whats your goal? What is the click through rate of commentators? Do multiple comments effect click through? Readership?

    You’ve kinda gone mainstream. I know ppl that read you that aren’t really into to economics or fiance. Increased readership either through rss or actually pageviews = more notoriety for BR, Fusion IQ and your book. Isn’t that the goal?

    Focusing on comments may put the cart before the horse. Not sure what your goal is, but your solution should revolve around that. Yes – this is the typical “what business are you in” analysis.

    I don’t presume to know what your blogs goal is – but, if I had your blog I would utilize it for maximum readership, be that rss or not. Not sure of the difference in ad revenue between your two decisions though.

    It’d be a damn interesting post if you were to give a little insight on blogging from a business perspective now that you’re big time. Who has what to gain from your success? Does the Ad reveue make it worth it? Cost Benefit of what else you could be doing vs. time and effort, and rev. from this. Anything along those lines would be cool. Just things this simple reader is curious about.

  13. call me ahab says:

    not a trader at heart- although I trade from time to time- but many of the original voices don’t come around like they use to who were talking the tape- which generated the lion’s share of comments-

    Andy T, Karen, Leftback, I-Man, Cvienne, Onlooker from Troy, Ben22, AmenRa,

    still see the occasional DL, MEH, Curmudgeon, mregan- I am sure I am forgetting some-

    and of course wunsacon who posted above has been around- some others-

    fatigue definitely a factor

  14. morton2002 says:

    Barry, I often check the comments for your posts because you usually engage your audience with questions or provocative insight. Your guest bloggers however write long, one-sided posts which read more like academic reference material than, say, the start of a community conversation. Shortening your RSS feeds will not change my habits much, since I’ll still come to your site for your full posts (and the comments they generate), but not for any of the other post authors.

  15. call me ahab says:

    . . .and CNBC Sucks use to leave some pretty good posts- satirical for sure- but alas- you scared him off-

    but he definitely generated conversation

  16. tradeking13 says:

    I think you should leave full posts in the RSS feeds. It’s real annoying when sites post a teaser and then make you follow to their sites. If I want to …

    Read more of my comment at: http://jdogg.posterous.com/re-rss-feeds-vs-traffic-blog-comments

  17. patient renter says:

    IMO, as an RSS reader of your site, 50% of a post in RSS defeats the purpose. As it is, I still load the full page for any topics I’m interested in (such as this) so that I can comment.

  18. Transor Z says:

    Content, content, content.

    WEEI-AM is the longtime sportstalk giant here in Boston that has come to epitomize everything that’s wrong with the talk radio genre. Generating faux controversy and screaming matches just to capture listeners. The common criticism among mainstream sports fans is that their content has creeped into political issues, especially morning drivetime. They made themselves vulnerable by straying from their roots and pandering and now, lo and behold, a new sportstalk station is stealing market share.

    Your roots are in macro technical analysis, with occasional fun like Friday Night Jazz, quirky things that interest you, things you wonder about and want to discuss. The tape chatter was its own parallel track of commentary when I first started frequenting the blog in summer 2008.

    When all is said and done, it may be that your blow-by-blow coverage of what happened in fall 2008 (as well as your book) will be your lasting legacy. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But it certainly ain’t over yet, either.

    Blog comments are like the way Woody Allen describes sex at the end of Love and Death:
    “It’s not the quantity; it’s the quality — but if your quantity drops below once every six months I’d definitely look into it.”

  19. Matt says:

    Barry,

    I use RSS because it is an efficient way to scan many sources. I don’t mind the partial posts. I’m happy to click a link and go to the web site if the post looks interesting. I do need to see enough to know whether I’m interested. Sites that only send a title or a sentence to RSS get deleted from my reader.

    I also rarely click on ads on the internet, so I don’t think your advertisers will benefit from my visits to your web site. My opinion of the ads here now: ING (I already have plenty of accounts), Kaplan (I may not write like it, but I graduated quite a while ago), and Hertz (I’m already a member of their club).

    I rarely comment on sites (I had to create an account to leave this comment) and I rarely read the comments.

    One feature I do find useful on blogs (and how I came to subscribe to yours) is the blog roll. The recommendation of a writer I follow is given a lot of weight.

    Maybe that’s the key to advertising on your site. Perhaps if you endorsed certain books, web sites, or TV shows, you could create a lot of value for advertisers while sharing opinions you already held anyway.

  20. MRegan says:

    I have curtailed my commenting to only those born of an irresistible desire to blurt out something, anything so that the LawnMower Man* knows I am still alive. You are all very welcome. Also, I got tired of being so prescient that Miss Cleo** was calling me for pointers.

    *http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104692/
    **http://www.slate.com/id/2063700/

    Rough rice up; soybeans down (causing Argentina to puke up control of Sierra Pintada)…I just can’t help myself.

  21. investorinpa says:

    My opinion…there are too many posts in any given day..its hard to keep up with the discussions when everyone has moved on to another post that just came along 5 mins ago.

  22. Hans Robert says:

    I implore you to please not go the way of many sites that limit their RSS feed content. I feel having access to a full post directly through my RSS feed reader adds the most value to my reading of said content.

    Now as to the decreasing comments, they may easily be attributed the fact that people no longer feel that their opinions are being read/heard when commenting on something that was posted hours/days ago. Maybe a Big Picture forum with discussion threads linked to the posts and other discussions as well might be the next logical step to make people more talkative of the post contents and other issues?

  23. Mind says:

    The market’s been going up for months. The original contrarian view before the crash was somewhat unique (along with Roubini, etc.) and was confirmed and there were a lot of fireworks and a lot of guessing about how low it was going to go, etc.

    Now the question is not how low we can go but how high we can go. But those unemployment numbers look bad. Maybe the “stock market” doesn’t care about those numbers.

    People are both smarter and more cynical now about the market. The Fed is discredited. Congress is discredited. Who will save us? Everyone seems to be bought.

  24. dead hobo says:

    You asked.

    I started writing here long ago because I learned the best way to learn about something is to write about it. Someone can quickly find out what they know, what they don’t know, and whether or not their ideas have promise or are just stupid. Early on, I had promise but some of my ideas were naive, to put it mildly. You provided a forum of smart people here. Your posts were the catalysts for the real value of this blog … the comments. Eventually I got smart and educated.

    Today, the blog seems to support the sell side, but in a somewhat subtle way. The honesty of the big impending fall a few years ago was the driving force here back then. Nobody knew when, just that it was coming. And coming big.

    Now it appears to be “I am smart and can make you money if you accept my parsing and stop out when I do”, rather than “make money while you can but some big shit uncertainties may create some problems if you buy and hold”. You are starting to come across as someone who has the pressure to meet a payroll, rather than an honest commentator.

    Hence, my snarkiness in many recent posts. It seems a little dishonest here, given that people have their savings involved and the market is in uncharted territory, and likely not too good.

  25. maynardGkeynes says:

    Not sure what to make of the number of comments as an indicator. Felix and Naked Cap get a lot less comments than some others, including BP, and maybe a few more than Brad DeLong, but I dare say that they are as influential and widely read as anybody. BP probably has more traffic from traders, as the trading BR strategies are valuable and perhaps market moving, which may explain the RSS explosion. However, the policy bloggers, for want of a better term, have a lot more places to comment now, which dilutes the take for any one blog.

  26. Tbrander says:

    As usual Your commenters make good points. I go to many blogs and too many as as well.. I also maintain a number of my own,,, on WP.com and on More advanced Django based platforms.. I am convinced that using Disqus helps a lot,,, A problem I have is that I don’t want to take the time to sign in to your particular blog,, I can never remember the Psw so I have to reset it every time.. I’ve mentioned this to you before,, but the protection that Disqus gives is quite robust. Since a spammer has to be signed into Disqus,, They get outed very quickly.. I like the fact that both you the web owner has the comment, and so do I as the contributor,, it is a bout a 11 click install on self hosted WP.. I have nothing to do with them,, merely offering it up as a suggestion.

    As a user I really like that it works across an increasing number of sites.
    You can see it on http://oswco.com (one of mine ,;-))

  27. Andy T says:

    I think your site traffic is mostly correlated to the S&P volatility. You’re traffic reached a zenith into the March lows and has been steadily trending down every month since. The tail end of the capital market rally brought in a lot of “investools” to the comments section that made the discussion wonting.

    Most of your articles are still pretty great and you’re obviously a very well read person in terms of keeping up with the universe of ideas and opinions. You do a splendid job of delivering the best of what you read to the blog, and I’ll continue to be a reader.

    In terms of commenting and being ‘active’ on this blog….

    a) the day you mass deleted hundreds of comments because of a ‘thread jacking’ that veered toward health care was a turn off. There was a ‘market related’ thread jacking occurring every morning, but it was usually contained to just one thread that was usually market/trading related. For whatever reason, you turned very upset that one morning and deleted a lot of work and thoughts.

    b) as has been alluded to up top, your book and ‘celebrity’ status probably became a little too much. Blog loyalists don’t want their idols to be too popular or their heads too big. So, it’s a trade off that you’ll probably take…the money/success vs. people being active on your site.

    c) some of your political views have become “conflicted.” You supported the idea that the Goldman bankers should get big bonuses because they ‘earned’ it, but then you also seemed OK with the idea of taxing them hard. One gets the sensation that you have been moving yourself further to the ‘left’ in terms of calling for more and more regulation as the “answer” to our problems. This diverges a bit from the libertarian stance towards capitalism and free markets. Also, while drive-by hit jobs on dead people (Ayn Rand) are cool for generating controversy/comments, it came off as “hackish” and “beneath” a serious thinker like yourself.

    d) some of you personal musings became a bit of a “turn off.” For instance, while I would fully encourage you to spend as you like, especially with the success you’ve had, it seemed a bit “gauche” to discuss how you like to visit yacht auction sites, to see what kind of great deals you can achieve off people who were forced to fire-sell their assets in this Depression/”recession.” Also, when you highlighted the Australian book review last year, your main commentary was about how great your publicity photos turned out?! Ugh. I can tell you’ve laid off such missives lately, but blog ‘loyalists’ like their leaders to remain humble.

    e) Declining the invite to Congress. I know you had plenty of other commitments at the time that were difficult to break, and that’s certainly a reasonable and understandable excuse. However, at that time, your main excuse was that you were scared about repercussions like perjury and that Congress was bought and paid for by special interests, so they wouldn’t listen to you anyway. Those excuses are non-excuses. Here’s the deal: When you put yourself out as some sort of ‘authority figure’ on everything that is wrong by writing a book and penning a regular blog with heavy readership, you should have given either written or verbal testimony to the U.S. Congress when asked to do so. Obviously, you’re under no obligation as ‘free’ citizen to do such a thing, but by ducking such testimony, you gave up some of your ‘authority’ to rail against everything that is wrong with the system.

    To end on a positive note, I’d like reiterate again that you’re a top notch blogger. Having done it for a few months, I cannot understand how you can put out so much good content and keep the “day job” going. It is definitely a “time suck” as you’ve mentioned before. So, I know that you put out a lot of time and effort into the Big Picture and I hope that you continue it for many years to come. Best, Andy.

  28. Andy T

    Thanks for the feedback — I find a lot of this thread’s comments surprising and fascinating.
    I tend not to edit myself — just free associate and see what happens. Sometimes, I leave myself open to misinterpretation.

    Some of the feedback surprises me. The Australian photos are a perfect example — I take TERRIBLE photos — my smile looks phony, I have squinty eyes, I just take awful photographs (always have) — face made for radio and allt hat.

    So the Aussie photos came out decent, and I said as much. Its weird to me that people think that means I-don’t-know-what, but it was just an honest “Hey, these don’t totally suck!” I am surprised it was interpreted differently than that.

    The thread jacking stuff is a real pet peeve. I do so many linkfests and open threads, that its really rude to blow off the post and go into the brush. What does it say when the first comment is some off topic, inane, purposefully flame baiting nonsnense? “Hey, you probably just spent an hour and a half researching and writing that, but fuck you, I don’t give a shit, I want to discuss something else entirely!” Gee, why would anyone be annoyed at that?

    The editor/interns have instructions to remove off topic or wildly inflammatory comments, and to “prosecute with extreme prejudice.” If you saw some of the really obnoxious garbage that gets deleted — my favorite one this week began “HeyJewBoyNiggerLover” — you’d have a better understanding of why I try to keep the comment stream On Topic, honest, and free from really ugly troll behavior.

    Anyway, thanks — it is refreshing and instructive

  29. flipspiceland says:

    As stated above, count the repeats in the above posts. Essentially there are maybe 5 points to be made
    and 35 people are making them. I think few actually read posts to find any that agree with their point and then go ahead and post it anyway.

  30. dead hobo says:

    Andy T,

    2nd much.

  31. DM RTA says:

    The evolution of radio ratings has brought us the personal people meter (PPM) in the last few years and is now operating in top metros. This more effective method of reporting content exposure has been a radical departure from paper diary based reporting (recall) of content exposure.

    The total number of different people exposed went up dramatically (lurkers)….as well did the percentage of time spent by the most loyal “customers”.

    This new insight to actual behavior means that DJs must make every word count and that a lot of talk fill in between songs is tune-out inducing waste. The way owners have reacted to this is appropriate. Not only have DJ’s been under pressure to really sharpen their game but the endless stop sets of commericals are now seen for what they are…..damaging to customer retention since the button is a reach away in the car.
    If you use any of this as a guide IMO it should tell you that your efforts are appreciated by a core audience more than by the passing lurkers. RSS only makes it easier to be a passing lurker.
    I have a Google reader page as well I have a Netvibes page. I also have 20-30 blogs listed in each and many more in my bookmarks in the browser. In fact when separated out between “markets” “marketing” & “blogs” I have well over 100 blogs and web site listed. I do not distinguish as I suspect most do not. I still surf the key sites most every day and that list is very short comparatively.
    Google reader and Netvibes treat every entry as equal. That’s not helpful in filtering mass daily information.
    Trusted sites get full attention. That list (by me) is just under 20 a day and that is only possible after years of practice. New trusted sites only come from existing trusted sites and rarely get in any other way.

    My take is that RSS is a good way to lose interactivity but that hanging onto it is much harder as PPM for radio has uncovered by simply watching carefully how people really behave as opposed to how they think they behave.
    Your afternoon reading lists might be adapted in the same way to your daily RSS sendout of all your posts. Let them choose but make them come and get it and experience your total environment. Change your environment in meaningful ways by getting feedback. A good Forrester marketer used to write about how many bloggers are into the “ego trap” of posting to their site. (work that list of posts if interested)
    http://www.beingpeterkim.com/search.html?cx=010482904616712117215%3Adayv0_tkzw0&cof=FORID%3A11&q=ego+trap&sa=Search&siteurl=beingpeterkim.com%2F#921

    All you have to do is look at Twitter and Facebook to see how it is basic a human phenomenon.

    One other thought…..out of 80-100 comments on one thread, how many were really adding to the discussion? The easiest way to lose your core is to give a few trolls a free hand. It’s easy enough to lose people on your own while working hard (radio’s example) so why turn your hard work over to jerks that need an outlet? Think about it.

  32. call me ahab says:

    damn Andy-

    I do remember that mass deletion- forgot about that- didn’t BR leave a shitty message as well telling us all we were pathetic losers- or something along those lines- and then blocked a few of our IP addresses-

    and we almost had the health care issue resolved- lol
    new job treating you good?

    ~~~

    BR: No shitty message, just the entire thread hijack deleted. It was mostly 2 or 3 people going back and forth for 8 hours and 200 comments.

    As noted many times, everyone is free to GYOFB

  33. fatelephant says:

    OMG, Please do not do this teaser RSS feed thing. The amount of news/opinion on the web, it’s impossible to follow outside of an RSS reader (I use google). Even when it is of as high a quality as yours.

  34. Joe Facer says:

    I had RSS feeds to a number of sites and dropped them all. Too much good data and too little time. The RSS feeds led to backed up material intended to be but seldom read and followed up on on my devices and they were eventually flushed, often unread. Why visit the sites? I had a ton of feed material from them stacked up,waiting .

    I blew the RSSes all out, applied a little real time evaluation and discipline on what I felt I needed to read and now visit the various sites as time and inclination permit because that is where the data is.

    Is my situation unique or a significant proportion of the readership? Dunno…..

  35. Steve Barry says:

    My bit of constructive criticism:

    I sometimes come up with a thought and want to comment, but your current thread has nothing to do with my thought. It gets stuffed away. Other times, a good discussion is going and suddenly a new thread is started and people tend to want to move there, instead of continuing their discussion. I have no data to back it up, but I think between yourself and your guest posts, there are more threads than in the past and that’s why comments are lower. It’s like having a conversation with someone who keeps changing topics. I recommend posting fewer, but more vital topics.

    In addition, while you do have strong opinions, by nature of your circumstance (being a money manager) you can’t be as controversial as some other sites (ZH comes to mind). I mean, you do need clients and you do need to appear on Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox, etc to keep your name recognition. You can’t be all that and be totally free-wheeling. The other sites I tend to visit now in addition to your’s seem to have clear views as to where they think we are going…you more or less stay flexible. While that may be best 99% of the time, it is not so compelling when our economic system almost crumbled a year or so ago. The other sites tend to be a bit more thought provoking.

  36. monstrouspudding says:

    I have a personal policy of reading only full RSS feeds. On a typical weekday I come home from work and have ~40 new articles to read from 20+ feeds, and I try to get through them in 20-40 minutes. I don’t have time to click on teaser links and wait for graphics, ads, comments, avatars, etc. to load, when all I want to read is ~2000 bytes of content. The alternative of opening dozens of articles in tabs just slows my computer to a crawl.

  37. Andy T says:

    All the above was basically a long-winded way of saying there was a core group of commenters that left this blog for various reasons. You comments and viewership will go up again once the S&P starts tanking, which it will. Just keep with what your doing. Remain focused and try to maintain tolerance and humility. Peace.

  38. ironman says:

    I would vote in favor of keeping the full RSS feeds, but perhaps using the comments to expand on the main points of the post. Just end the post with the phrase “More in the comments….” You get the main points across, and you promote discussion.

    On the plus side, the ads in your RSS feed work, so you have the means to track how much traffic is really being processed through news readers.

    On a side note, I have seen something odd on occasion with your news feed, in that posts appear there before they go on the main site. It may have something to do with scheduled posts, with the news feed putting them up as soon as they’re in the system, but before they’re intended to go live.

  39. jdjed says:

    Logging in to post comments is annoying. I agree with much of Andy T.’s comments especially the mass deletion of comments. Calculated Risk seems to have a freewheeling comments section with an “ignore” button that works well.

    ~~~

    BR: I know logging in is a pain in the arse, but the site gets anywhere from 100-300 comments a day, plus 2X as much in spam and troll junk.

    I would rather not spend all day doing admin crap — the log in comment has simply made me much more productive, and eliminated 1000s of spam comments.

    An ignore button would be great — I need to look into that

  40. Forbes says:

    I found this site called http://www.TheStreet.ca they have a blog selector that allows you to scan the article headlines of some 25 or 30 of the top financial blogs and it’s updated constantly. In less than 10 minutes I can sift through all the latest blog posts and open those ones that interest me on the host site, commenting if I feel like it.

  41. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Good comments Andy and DH. Reflects the thoughts of many long timers, to which comparatively I’m a relative newby round here.

  42. haileris says:

    I read via RSS. If you want more comments, the right way to do it would be to have a link “add a comment” at the end of every full RSS post (this is relatively trivial to do on WordPress, find the relevant *rss*.php files and add in the link to the page).

    Making a digest/show-only-the-first-paragraph means you’d get the feed removed from readers. Lower comments is a lesser evil than lower attention/readership.

  43. Socionomics would postulate that this may be yet another manifestation of social mood deterioration. Less work, social networking and commenting might be expected as people withdraw for whatever reason they choose to assign: fatigue, numb, overload, lack of time, intolerance, futility, etc… A larger than normal proportion of your readers are probably ahead of the curve with growing sense of hopelessness that will soon sweep over the globe as fragile new-found economic hope in 2009 is revealed to be misguided or delusion, then completely and utterly destroyed in 2010.

    RSS is less work than visiting the page to see if there is something new. The act of clicking on a link to the web page, even when there is obviously something new to see, is too much of an action to be tolerated when the social mood is sour. For those that click the RSS link or actually visit the page, they may become even less in the social mood for commenting. Having said all that, don’t misunderstand the signal. In the extremely difficult time ahead, people will need sage honest commentary from those proven to be wise and strong like yourself. this will help many to the other side of what will seem like an abyss.

    This is the first time to comment here. Your postings are very much appreciated. Thanks for the great work serving up the straight scoop, warts and all.

  44. zell says:

    I think the slow, mechanical, upward grind of the market is deadening for those convinced that this is a fatally injured cat bounce. The economy is no longer economic in nature -it’s political. My feeling is that there is an aspect of the story that has been largely ignored- for good reason- the legal/criminal. Without Perp walks there is no resolution. White collar crimes have been perpetrated on a vast scale. The crippling of the economy and the impoverishment of so many was not a product of errant thought- it was premeditated on so many levels that noone wants to touch it.
    No perp walks – no victims and the story gets mushy. Absent that some focus on the tragic aspect of what has happened is missing. While Housing/GDP/ employment stats are relevant they are lifeless except for players. Meanwhile a good portion of our society is in the bowl and there is big flush coming.

  45. insaneclownposse says:

    This blog attracted a lot of bears who commented. When the market started rallying in March, they started getting wiped out. Once you are out of money, commenting on blogs just isn’t as appealing. This happened to me during the 2003 rally

    The blogosphere had a great run during the meltdown and panic of 2008. People turned to the blogs to get information. But it turns out that most folks aren’t really interested in finance and they have returned to their regularly scheduled programming.

    Also, the blog suffered heavily from neglect when you spent all that time writing Bailout Nation. It’s going to take time to recover.

    You’re still doing a great job. Thanks for the insights.

  46. ICP — thanks for the feedback — two interesting related items:

    I was surprised that when I finally flipped bullish, how few readers — or at least, how few of the commentors — came along for the ride. The pushback was fierce.

    The other item: I actually wrote most of the book, in real time, on the blog (March 08 to March 09) . During that period, traffic went way up too. Readers contributed an enormous amount of insight, research, suggestions, art work. The cover, the cartoons that began each of the 5 sections, the casino capitalism art — all came from the blog’s readership.

  47. Paul Jones says:

    No.

    The comments are down because the bears are in hibernation.

    When the Dow begins its 20+% correction, the “I told you sos” from the bears will inundate the internet.

  48. VennData says:

    Well it’s everybody that’s so sick of hearing we’re running out of things from Obama.

    There’s plenty of whale oil off the two coasts. It’ll last forever.

    The GOP mantra. Harpoon, Harpoon, Harpoon.

  49. insaneclownposse says:

    I would comment more if every comment didn’t have to wait for moderation. Not sure what rule I’ve run afoul of…..

    ~~~

    BR: Dunno why you come up moderated — the first post from any given user email address and/or IP address is ALWAYS moderated — that does wonders in terms of stopping spam.

    Also, words like “Casino, Socialism, Viagra, porn” all get caught in the filters.

  50. KidDynamite says:

    barrry – i think you should leave full posts on RSS. people who have something intelligent to say will click through to your blog to leave a comment.

  51. wunsacon says:

    >> Also, words like “Casino, Socialism, Viagra, porn” all get caught in the filters.

    No wonder most of my posts don’t make it through.

  52. TakBak04 says:

    Have read all the comments to this post. I joined somewhere when BR’s Book Came out and the traders on his site went off to Andy T’s new site in some huff. I wasn’t here for the huff…but started to follow Andy T’s site until he got his full time job three weeks ago and his readers are now setting up their own two sites. I’m NOT a TRADER…(for emphasis) but I followed the Andy T stuff from a link to the football crowd (I hate sports of all kinds except a little tennis and golf as a recreation) but I read the new Andy’s Gang (Trader’s Anonymous) and as a lurker who doesn’t trade…still find it a fun site to got to off and on throughout the day for the commentary and “wave theory.” As an individual investor it’s interesting to me.

    Barry’s site which I found late to the game is fascinating. It’s not filled with replies like Calculated Risk’s site…where folks just post “off topic rants, snark and idiocy”…(Zero Hedge site falls into the same category)..and so the posts are posts I read because even though there is a troll or two…it’s not the norm.

    The best of BR/Big Picture are his “Think Tank” and watching BR morph through his life as he more and more understands the great corruption in our markets and what’s been going on in our “so-called Democracy.”

    I don’t fault BR for looking for “boat deals and a new sports car.” Even when he shills for Amazon…I find that fun because he’s just doing what many Americans are doing to have a “break” and because I sense he just likes a “good deal” and figures he will pass it along. He doesn’t take these posts as seriously as the bloggers on his site seem to think he does…is my impression, anyway.

    The guy is a financial advisor who does research…and he has to earn a living…and if he give some good stuff to the rest of us amonst the “pushing book” or whatever …we should enjoy it and profit from it.

    Barry’s on the same road of discovery that many are and that’s why his blog is interesting. It doesn’t have a specific “agenda” ….it’s more…”Come walk with me…and I don’t know always where I’m going…but I’m trying to tell you where the bread crumbs I’m following are leading me to today.”

    Whatever…it’s interesting.
    ———-
    Also:

    Andy T Says:
    January 30th, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    All the above was basically a long-winded way of saying there was a core group of commenters that left this blog for various reasons. You comments and viewership will go up again once the S&P starts tanking, which it will. Just keep with what your doing. Remain focused and try to maintain tolerance and humility. Peace.

    ——–

    I’d go with Andy on this…and also that a “non-trader” went to Andy’s old site and the new one run by Bergstein get’s my views throughout the day as a “check-in” says something about the QUALITY of BR’s ORIGINAL SITE.

    ——–

    BR’s Big Picture is a unique site on the web…and if the traffic is falling off that might mean “FATIGUE” for the SERIOUS.

    Given what we are all going through…it might mean that folks are overloaded and that RSS Feeds might have reached their peak ….given that there are only so many sites that folks can read and work at the same time…and still be productive in their daily lives. Maybe QUALITY over QUANTITY is a good thing…and one can’t expect that RSS and Hype will keep numbers up…unless one is getting in newer viewers. Newer viewers does bring buzz and money…but maybe not the best quality.

    Good Luck…there are so many more familiar with RSS and Traffic…that it’s more interesting to read what they say that my post…but I just couldn’t shut my tapping fingers down.

  53. mysterious eggs says:

    Long time reader, posted under different names, now I hardly post once registered. Don’t read via RSS, only use it for links. For sites I visit often, I pay/tip jar. I’ve clicked maybe 10 advertisement links in 15 years.

    What percentage of readers are constant, repeat visitors who contribute and what percent are current events based? eg. 100 readers. 50 regulars who read every post. Then five other mutually exclusive groups each containing 10 people who only visit certain topics/when certain news occurs. Tailor to the 50… and you’ll always have ~60 readers at the site. Target the groups of 10 and end up losing the 50 regulars.

    Sometimes I don’t know if I make sense.

    Good blog, stay humble and helpful but don’t be scared of a little schadenfreude. Sorry Andy T, I’m pretty sure the average person has no problem laughing at people having to sell their yacht at a fire sale price. I can’t afford one but I get dark pleasure from seeing over-levered fraudsters losing their ill got gains… but I don’t resent Paul Allen for his yacht one bit.

    ~~~

    BR: I loved the post on Boat Repos! A small minority of people commenting were fairly horrified.

  54. dimitris says:

    I think it’s “simply” that less of what you’re saying is, well, provocative. Note that doesn’t mean it’s any less/more correct, just that it’s, well, less _surprising_. So there’s less “need” for comments. I’d call it the price of being right.

    On truncating the RSS feeds: Please don’t. I often like to read blogs on my mobile device(s), having to click through and wait for the browser to load the “full” post is almost always going to make me skip the post/blog. If ads are a concern, they should be possible to integrate in the feed itself. Again, remember some users – like those on mobiles – have limited screen real estate so be gentle.

    ~~~

    BR: Less provocative? Yes, because the circumstances changed. The outlier forecast — remember Dow 6800? — came true.

    When you warn a 100 year storm is coming, everything looks less provocative after it comes.

  55. bmoseley says:

    I read every post (not RSS) but seldom post.
    I often find the comments off topic. not adding depth.

  56. Gabriel says:

    It’s a great site, BR. I’m one of those RSS users and I enjoy the ease with which I can pick what post to read in a reader and which one to read on your site.

    As far as shortening the article is concerned, I subscribe to some of those sites as well, and my personal opinion is that most of the time I can tell from the headline, whether I’m going to visit the site for the post or not. For example, Jesse’s site is one of them, and EWI does the same thing. While they attempt to drive the traffic to their site, I wonder if it really works for them. I can tell you that I am not positively affected by that technique, rather I suspect I am negatively affected by this technique.

    As for the comments, the noise to signal ratio can sometimes be very daunting, especially when there is plenty of other noise to filter out as well during the entire course of the day.

    As far as the ad revenue is concerned, well, the short ad pix get embedded in the RSS posts to accomplish what a site visit would accomplish. So, that’s easy too.

    There are ways to count the RSS feeds as site visit as well so that the site visit counter stays in good health.

    All in all, I wouldn’t be concerned about exploding RSS feeds vs the site visits. Just my 2 cents.

  57. wunsacon says:

    >> i often find the posts off topic. not adding depth.

    Most of the people in my line of work don’t read nearly as much about this stuff. So, I came here not just to read what Barry had to say but also to read what other readers had to say. It’s like a hang out without loud music and overpriced hooch. (My wife says “okay, go have fun with your online friends…”) So, I, for one, enjoy the OT stuff (including trader talk) from regular commentators (including those on hiatus).

  58. lkt says:

    In my opinion there are too many posts. I usually skim them without actually dwelling onto the issue lately. I have the feeling that the frequency of the posts increased over time and it made me less engaged.
    I think if I was more engaged I would also read the discussion under the posts that resonate with me and possibly comment.

  59. TakBak04 says:

    @bmoseley Says:
    January 30th, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    i read every post (not RSS) but seldom post.
    i often find the posts off topic. not adding depth.

    ———-

    Why did you need to post here, then…if the posts are “off topic …not adding depth.

    ???????

    This is the kind of crap one gets on blogs these days..I guess. Glad I don’t run one…but this comment is typical…and I don’t mean to feed something…but sheesh…that kind of stuff is what most Bloggers are having to deal with these days.

    Wheat from Chaff……..

  60. wunsacon says:

    Oh, one thing, Barr… as my last convoluted message shows, we could use an edit buttn around heer.

  61. bergsten says:

    Since The Great CNBC Sucks (hereafter referred to as “Mr. Sucks”) has departed this mortal coil (plausible rumor has it he joined a Convent), it falls to me to use this RSS discussion to shamelessly promote a website…

    Our little three-week old trading discussion Blog (the one Andy T. mentioned above that said ex-regulars frequent) had a staggering RSS feed count of TWO.

    I just looked — its increased 12x to 24!

    We’ve had something like 9,000 visitors, 47,000 page views, with an average visit time of 14 minutes (or at least so says Google Analytics)!

    So, what if anything does this RSS number mean, and how does it correlate to anything? If somebody reads a blog via RSS, do they see the ads, and if not, does this take money out of the Blog owner (I have no idea — our Blog is “ad free’)…

    Oh yeah, the URL.

    It’s… oh wait, somebody’s at the door. Be right back.

  62. snapshot says:

    This might make sense…maybe it won’t. If you have too many topics in a day, the thread switches and a “conversation” on any one topic doesn’t really get off the ground. – Just a thought.

    I rarely post – read your blog daily.

  63. JasRas says:

    My RSS feeds for your site are not full feeds when I use the iphone. At work they are on the Internet Explorer, though…

    I think the abbreviate feeds would be a better way to go b/c it draws the traffic to the site and it speeds up your rss feeds–and for me that is what the feeds are for: they let me scan a bunch of headlines quickly. Your feeds on the desktop at work take longer b/c of the loading of graphs, pics, video, etc…

    Maybe I’m not typical. I’m spoiled by Thompson scrolling headlines, etc…

    Another reason for the drop in comments perhaps… what else is there to say? The content has been very consistent in theme, those commenting tend to be the usual suspects whose positions on topics haven’t changed…

    Maybe this downturn will be good for your site–they have been in the past.

    It’s a great site, been around for a while–maybe it’s going through a maturing phase. Maybe you just had a massive spike in ’08-’09 like the VIX…and things are normalizing.

  64. JasRas says:

    As the blog phenomenon matures, people are changing how they access, read, use them…this is another thing to consider. Even though RSS has been around for a longtime, it hasn’t been mainstream to the general public.

    Maybe as it becomes mainstream, you need to change your RSS so it drives people here. Please don’t use it to post banner ads though. Minyanville does that as do others and I find it annoying to see the same banner 15 times down my screen…

  65. call me ahab says:

    BR says-

    “I was surprised when I flipped bullish, how few of the readers — or at least, how few of the commentors — came along for the ride. The really weird thing was how fierce the pushback was.”

    colossal fucking joke- especially after you petered in your info at glacial speed- it’s one thing to come out and say up front your views on the market- another thing entirely to keep everyone guessing- reading the fucking tea leaves- I lost HUGE respect from that alone-

    so you keep your cards close to your vest- for what fucking reason- my guess is so you can distance yourself from any wrong calls-

    if you would have been up front about your convictions- and said so- no lost respect- and- YOU KNOW- what I am saying is true- what do you say to that Ritholtz?

  66. Jeff W says:

    I have advised BR NOT to get too specific in giving what can be perceived as financial advice. I have exhorted him, as a friend and legal counsel, not to blog specific stock picks (except in the context of the mass media). He has mostly followed my advice, except last years Sell short picks in AIG, Fannie Mae, and Lehman Brothers.

    Why?

    First off, some trader reads it, then is unhappy with his results, and sues. BR wins, but not until he spends $10k or even $25k on legal fees — that assumes he wins a SJ motion to dismiss.

    Further, why do you assume he must give you his valuable services, at the above personal risk, at no charge? It both naive and arrogant to make such a demand.

    Finally, assume that his clients have greater access to him — calls, emails, etc. — then you get. If he gives everything away for free, why should they bother paying his salary? Hence, not only do you ask for his services gratis, you apparently want others to not pay for his services as well.

    If he listens to your ilk, he would be broke. My job is to not let that happen.

  67. I thought “the mother of all bear market rallies” and “cover your shorts and go long” were not cards played close to the vest.

    When Ritholtz Talks, People Listen
    STEPHEN J. DUBNER
    Freakonomics
    NYT March 11, 2009, 1:13 PM
    http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/when-barry-ritholtz-talks-people-listen/

    “Big Bear Market Rally Coming,” Says Noted Bear Barry Ritholtz
    Aaron Task
    Yahoo Tech Ticker Mar 10, 2009 08:35am
    http://bit.ly/7KgSG

    Buying Stocks Again
    http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/13/barry-ritholtz-recession-intelligent-investing-video.html

    Trading In, Buy and Hold Out !
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/trading-in-buy-and-hold-out/

    Oh, and don’t forget the Quadruple Confirmed Evil Knievel Formation

    In addition to the Yahoo Tech Ticker video, the Freakonomics piece, were all the 1973 parallels —

    Look, its not my job to chew your food for you, but if you had a hard time reading the tea leaves, I think its more you than me.

  68. hardaway says:

    It’s the natural evolution of the web. The conversation is moving out to the readers. For that reason, I think you ought to enable Disqus or one of the other comment aggregation systems, which will let you be where other people are. You could have an even better readership if you did that, and also if you used Twitter and/or FB to let people know about the posts.

    I don’t comment because I’m usually the 80th comment and I don’t think you are still reading them:-) However, I just finished your book, which I wrote about on my own blog: http://blog.stealthmode.com, because I found it both instructive and hilarious. I was listening to it in the car and laughing out loud. And at the end, there was our mutual friend Richard Lang. He and I are working together again now on something we can’t discuss:-)

  69. davossherman@gmail.com says:

    NO. I, and many other readers I know open good reads we see in our RSS reader in a new tab. I scan the headlines on the RSS page and then go to the blog if I like the article. I don’t drill down on nodes as it is like reading a f*cking cell phone or iphone page. Size matters.

  70. Katie W says:

    I’m one of those with the problem of simply having too many items in my RSS feed and not enough time to keep up with them on a regular basis. Feeds with more articles, like yours, tend to fall lower on my priority list, so when I do finally have time to read them I skim more than I’d like. Commenting on the ones I do take the time to read and understand (as someone without a strong base in finance/economics) seems foolish somehow when half the time I’m reading them a week later.

    What I would really love, and what I know a couple of people have already mentioned, is a way to subscribe via RSS feed to specific sections of your site. The links pages, all the amazing digital media that you post, those contain things I read and love and bookmark and visit again later – and would definitely comment on. The majority of the items that come through I find interesting, but rarely feel intensely enough about to bother commenting.

    My perspective may come from one of your more “mainstream” readers, but my guess is that if you’re trying to get more people to comment one way to do it is allow them to more fully customize what they receive in their feeds.

    ~~~

    BR: I have a few different RSS feeds set up

    Everything: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheBigPicture
    Just the main page: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ritholtz/dWnM
    Think Tank: feed://www.ritholtz.com/blog/category/thinktank/feed/
    Video: feed://www.ritholtz.com/blog/category/video/feed/
    Weekend feed://www.ritholtz.com/blog/category/weekend/feed/

    And, you can take any of the categories and turn them into feeds:
    feed://www.ritholtz.com/blog/category/XXXXXXXX/feed/

    Substitute the category name (which isnt showing up ont he posts at the moment) for the xxxxxx . . .

  71. Its_Science says:

    Please keep the full posts! You’ll get less riff raff in the comments that way.

  72. bergsten says:

    @hardaway — I just had to go check out your blog (you reviewed Barry’s book after listening to it in the car!?!).

    Listening to it in the car. Ten and change hours. Listening to it in the car…

    Anyway, anyone who titles a review “Bailout Nation: A Comedy” is AOK by me! Consider yourself bookmarked! (by the way, BR, it’s a positive review)

    Hey, don’t I owe you guys a URL? Can’t seem to remember…

  73. Thor says:

    I came here for the comments alone. To put it bluntly, there are not too many posting by BR that aren’t already being discusses by some other blogger (Mish, Rosie, Denninger, Pettis, Davidson, CR, Mauldin, ZH etc). The discussions are what I think were the best. CR is arguably the best financial blog out there, but have you taken a gander at the comments section? ZH or Clusterstock are pathetic (full disclosure, I’m a closet CS commenter :-)

    I was extremely turned off by the mass deletions, the fact that so many of your most prolific and intelligent commenter mentioned it should have made it clear to you that you had offended a great number of people. That you never even acknowledged that, and even worse, to perhaps deign to admitting that the way you went about expressing your frustrations at us might have been done in a better way. Admitting fault, or at least acknowledge that there might be fault with your interactions with other people is a very good sign of a persons character. At least to me it is.

    I live in Hollywood remember. I see what celebrity is like all the time. Hell, they film American Idle down the street from my house. You have basically begun to act like a celebrity, it’s a fascinating study of human psychology. I dunno, I sensed some arrogance, the post about taking your best pictures ever was (from someone who lives in Beauty USA) was really rather embarrassing to behold. Another post about going to yacht auctions was another embarrassing misstep. I guess what I’m saying is, and I mean no offense by this – you’re not THAT famous Barry. Seriously, how often do you get “recognized” walking down the street of anyplace outside NYC?
    So yeah, I agree with those who said you sounded like you got a big head – yes you did, but give it a rest already BR. Yes, you are on TV now, with a successful blog and a book (rank #61174 on Amazon), but I notice you’re not at Davos, and you’re not a Vanderbilt or a Gates – Do you think Tiny Tim and Helicopter Ben know who you are?

    Harsh I know, but you wanted to know what happened to the comments section and I’m telling you. A lot of us tired of your BS and left – we followed AndyT over to his blog and when that ended, we wanted to remain together so much that Bersten started a blog and we’re all now there. Karen, Manwich, Leftback, AndyT, Ahab, CV, MEH, DSS, DLL, Ben22, Onlooker, I-Man, etc). Have a look.

    http://andytsgang.blogspot.com/

  74. I-Man says:

    BR…

    Its not “evolution”…

    I-volution.

  75. Steve Barry says:

    “I was surprised when I flipped bullish, how few of the readers — or at least, how few of the commentors — came along for the ride. The really weird thing was how fierce the pushback was.”

    You have an obligation to make your clients money and you should be very pleased that you did so. That obligation though creates tension with your role as a blogger who provides the macro perspective. On a macro level, a lot of us feel this was always a bullshit rally, backstopped by every taxpayer, that transfered wealth back the investor class by attempting to debase our currency and prop up bad credits. That game looks to be over, but who knows. So while other bloggers were trashing these policies, pointing out how dangerous they were and lobbying to try to prevent them, you were profitting. Your dual role is causing some kind of yin-yang disharmony.

    ~~~

    BR: You raise an interesting point.

    Not surprisingly, I look at it differently. I work in finance, and I set up the blog (in small part) to let people see what that process is like. I wear several different hats, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job — better than most — at pointing out what was wrong with all the bailout policies, TARP, PPIP, etc.

    My job is to offer intelligent ways to make sense of all these moving pieces.

    However, if you want pure wonky analysis, legislative agendas, and abstract theoretical arguments without real world application, by definition, that’s not my area.

  76. I-Man says:

    Keen, Steve Barry…

    And, respect.

  77. OscarWildeDog says:

    BR,

    Although your blog is one of the five or six primary ones I read daily, I am getting (more like “have gotten”) to my limit of input. I give myself an hour a day for just reading and, besides the daily blogs, I read the basic financial and political rags. This all gives me little time to comment anywhere (although I try to leave you a few choice morsels weekly).

    I notice a lot of people are posting huge blogs, commentaries or newsletters on a daily basis. I try never to miss David Rosenberg, John Mauldin or Roubini. Let’s face it: too many people are blogging nowadays to get that much that is new – what I’m finding is 20 rehashes of Obama’s meeting at the Republican retreat last week, or the last stupid thing Richard Steele said. I mean, how many times can you read about something?

    My advice would be to cut down on the number of daily entries on your blog and rather expand the ones you do decide to have. In this way, I think that (a) you won’t duplicate what others blog about (there IS a helluva lot of duplication), and (b) you can extemporate about certain subjects that are more your forte or special interest.

    As an extension, I believe you’ll engender more discussion, not to mention more in-depth/thought out responses from your readers.

    Keep up the good work…

  78. V says:

    Not sure how a discussion about rss feeds v blog comments turns into get Barry in a corner and bash him for (alleged) past indiscretions. Perhaps I haven’t been reading for long enough (2yrs).

    In short I think full rss is the way to go, if the post generates sufficient thought people will comment. Would be good if comments could be divided into threads, the way intensedebate does. Even being able to give a quick thumbs up/thumbs down to other commentary would be good for the community I think.

  79. Marcus Aurelius says:

    We’ve been lulled into complacency. When the shit hits the fan again, as many, if not most of us believe is inevitable, comments will once again go beyond 100 on a regular basis.

  80. Transor Z says:

    Cognitive dissonance

    Very disturbing little movie, “Collapse,” is available online. Basically a monologue by Michael Ruppert, a strange character/conspiracy dude.

    Good quote riffing on the famous “war is diplomacy by other means” line: “politics is economics by other means.”

  81. kansascitypothole says:

    It’s not any one thing, but small things adding up – a combination of the above posts from wunsacon, investorinpa, and dead hobo.

    IMO, in this market, it would be better to have fewer posts and discuss the posted info more deeply. I think this would lead to higher quality and more extensive discussion. You may have opinions on news breaking at that very moment, but sometimes it’s better to let it simmer and flesh it out even further, providing the real insights.

    Thank you for all the insights you’ve given already.

  82. bitjockey says:

    I’m siding with the Full RSS side. I’ve also been in the “information overload/purge the RSS tank” camp but it’s no different than printed trade rags. I remember watching one of my former bosses drop a copy of every computer technical rag he subscribed to on his office floor then drop a penny on every one he wanted to keep. I’ve followed his example – I periodically go through my RSS feed list and purge the ones that I either don’t read or have the same people making the same comments and the same arguments over and over again.

    Posting a synopsis to drive traffic to the web site defeats the purpose of using RSS. If I wanted to go to the web site to see what was new I’d go there. But, I rarely go directly to the web page. Usually it’s to post a comment (like now) or to search for an older article I remember and want to read through. However, I do subscribe to some sites that use synopsis posts and if the title is captivating I’ll click over. But, especially in your blog, sometimes the graph or other visual is immensely more interesting and attention holding than the title or bullet synopsis could ever have been.

    I’m undecided on the comments issue. Obviously, I’ll click to go to the web to post a comment as I’m doing now but only for a serious comment. But, I lean more toward the commenter’s view that you’d probably get many more comments if one could comment from each post. On a per post comment I’m much more likely to leave a quick thought or short note but wouldn’t transfer over to the web site because the effort out weighs the value of the input.

    I disagree with those who downed you for personal items like yacht shopping. I’m not a financials person but I love reading your insights to help me understand the US and world economy. I like the personal interest items because it give me insight into your personality. It makes the blog a blog and not a newspaper or purely trade publication. All work and no play….

  83. I have to say the comments on this thread were massively informative.

    A few I disagree with, but event those are instructive.

    And its pretty clear that RSS has to stay full feed

  84. Winston Munn says:

    I became a regular reader because of the terrific comments section on the old TBP. Comments made TBP unique. There is still on the new TBP a ton of great content from what Barry posts, of course, but the old comments section made the old TBP a valued community and a terrific learning experience. I could log in at any time and see who had made a recent comment and on which thread and pick up an old dialogue or become involved in an existing line of discussion.

    I understand comments cannot be what they were. The only stable thing in life is change.

  85. Winston Munn says:

    I have to chime in again on the above “one strong voice”. That again is the bottom line of why I continue to come to TBP – it is because of the mind of the guy running the show and his willingness to share his thoughts.

  86. Jojo says:

    I’m OK with just a paragraph or two in the RSS feeds for each post (this is how most of the MSM media does it). BUT there is a whole subset of RSS reading people who will scream bloody murder and threaten to unsubscribe. I’d say – see ya. People don’t pay for RSS feeds. The least anyone can do is click through and give the site some hits.

    Going to the site allows one to read and participate in the comments. Also to copy the post for the future with the correct URL (which you can’t get by copying out of a reader). And I suppose it gives you some ad revenue.

    As for the comment participation – You lack threading which makes the comments disjointed. There is no thumbs up/down system which allows you to vote/participate w/o having to post. But also, many of your comment threads are monopolized by a regular clique of people who argue back and forth or pat each other on the back. It’s can get boring.

    I’d also like to have comments numbered, which makes theme easier to refer back to.

    As to posts, you put out a lot of volume daily. Maybe you should try spreading them out more in time?

  87. The Window Washer says:

    Winston Munn, I second.

    Barry,
    Having your pragmatic views change as the market changes is a valuable thing to watch happen.

    The first year I read the blog I didn’t post. Then just to make funny comments on the joking posts.
    The current problem is that the wave of comments has receded, but a good bit of flotsam has remained. Screaming whiners that remind me 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

    An ignore/flag button that readers could use would help. Whether it’s just a flagging system like craigslist or the ability to ignore a user.

    I’ve found a lot of great information through the blog. Keep it up.
    Thank you,
    Rodger

  88. karen says:

    Barry, I continue to think you and your content are fantastic.. I adore your uncensored style. You are amazing “live.” You come off intelligently, comprehensibly, and cohesively.. and DO NOT HAVE squinty eyes.. LOL.

  89. Uhhhh…..I’d say something but everybody above has already made my points and some of them are repeating. I think 20 – 30 replies to your posts are just perfect. Because you go hard after trolls (except Ahab and I of course ;) ) you keep your boards civil and informative.

    Above 25 – 30 posts how much is something new or relevant. I’d say little.

    Plus with the little amount people have to spend on their discretionary time, something has got to give. I’d gladly trade off quality over quantity

    One suggestion I would offer is to have a daily open thread for people to soap box anything. This should not only get your comments up but it will allow people to vent insight (and the occasional frustration) and will most likely be a great source of future blog posts for you via that insight. If you do it at market or pre-market opening each day then traders can use it in real time too thus making the site much more valuable to them. It will also help to clean up off topic comments in your other posts. I’ve forsaken dozens of insights in the past because none of them were relevant to what you had posted that day.

    Like your old weekend linkfests it should become quite popular considering how many folks frequent your site

    I’m finished not saying anything.

  90. polizeros says:

    I read 200+ feeds in Google Reader and most the commenting I do is by clicking through. Much prefer full feeds, mini-feeds make me crazy, like why even bother having a feed if you just post a cryptic sentence. Full feeds make me want to click-through more, not less.

  91. saunderscc says:

    while i understand the “business aspect,” i vote for keeping it the way it is. i usually don’t have time for clicking through and i’m be more likely to quit following feeds with abbreviated feeds versus full feeds.

    surely there is value to having an audience even if you can’t “measure” all of it.

  92. ywsimw says:

    This is only my second comment in the two years I’ve read your site. So, I’ll start by saying I love your blog and read it with great care every day. Thanks for what you’re doing. Btw, I am one of many people who switched from reading the site directly to reading it from Google Reader (which is more convenient).

    I haven’t read the previous 80+ comments ; so sorry if this is a repeat.

    A guess : You may also be witnessing an evolution in the way people inform themselves about the crisis ? I mean, now that the “heat” is gone, people are less looking for discussions about it ?

    What you could do is only publish the first two sentences of each post to “encourage” people to come to the site and read the rest of the article.

  93. Actually I was quite happy to see the core group of commenters that Andy T spoke of leave for greener pastures. Way too many threads were dominated by inside back and forth conversation that had little to do with the topic and were extremely off-putting to someone who wasn’t part of “the crowd”. Read Thor’s comment – it’s all about them. I don’t really come on to this site to read comment after comment about fantasy football among the regulars. I also don’t come to this site to see TA constantly derided as “voodoo” by people who can’t be bothered to learn it – so good riddance. If you have less comments now that they’ve left, it’s not necessarily a bad thing if a larger % of the comments at least have something to do with the topic.

  94. Winston Munn Says: January 30th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    I have to chime in again on the above “one strong voice”. That again is the bottom line of why I continue to come to TBP – it is because of the mind of the guy running the show and his willingness to share his thoughts.

    ~~

    BR,

    I’m with Winnie on this one, above.

    and, as you know, by “…And its pretty clear that RSS has to stay full feed.”, @22:57, full RSS seem to be the ‘order of the Day’..

    also, note the comments re: mobile devices..next wave GPS/NAVI systems are going to be ‘open to the Cloud’, at the min..
    ~~
    this:

    BR: I thought “the mother of all bear market rallies” and “cover your shorts and go long” were not cards played close to the vest.

    When Ritholtz Talks, People Listen
    STEPHEN J. DUBNER
    Freakonomics
    NYT March 11, 2009, 1:13 PM
    http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/when-barry-ritholtz-talks-people-listen/

    “Big Bear Market Rally Coming,” Says Noted Bear Barry Ritholtz
    Aaron Task
    Yahoo Tech Ticker Mar 10, 2009 08:35am
    http://bit.ly/7KgSG

    Buying Stocks Again
    http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/13/barry-ritholtz-recession-intelligent-investing-video.html

    Trading In, Buy and Hold Out !
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/trading-in-buy-and-hold-out/

    Oh, and don’t forget the Quadruple Confirmed Evil Knievel Formation

    In addition to the Yahoo Tech Ticker video, the Freakonomics piece, were all the 1973 parallels —

    Look, its not my job to chew your food for you, but if you had a hard time reading the tea leaves, I think its more you than me.

    ~~
    though, is Classic !~
    ~~
    much has, already, been said, though, certainly, “Keep on, Keepin’ on!”. Your weblog is, really, one of the Best.

  95. Patrick Neid says:

    You have topped out Barry! Just kidding.

    But no one escapes the shape of a Gaussian function.

  96. Ahhh, the bell curve’s revenge!

  97. Tim Kiblen says:

    I’m a newbee, but it seems like there are two types of comments posted, the ‘in-crowd’ type comment by those who seem to want to impress others with their insights, and those like me who know perfectly well nobody gives a shit what I think-but just want to throw in one’s 2 cents.

  98. snapshot says:

    What I was trying to say @ 8:01 and kansascitypothole said @ 10:35 is

    ….”fewer posts and discuss the posted info more deeply…”

    I rarely post – maybe 10 times in two years – but I have been reading TBP daily.

    Look…as you have stayed on this topic for quite some time – you will hit 100 comments
    AND you say you have gained valuable insight. Excellent.

    And BTW, I do read the comments section of CR to see what new information may have surfaced during the day. Sometimes it is off-topic but inspires conversation and may turn into a future topic. I appreciate that some here post important links. Just saying…Some things warrant heading off-topic.

  99. snapshot says:

    So who will post the 100th post on this thread?

  100. globaleyes says:

    NEW BREVITY or the need to make things quicker and shorter, has finally struck The Big Picture.

    The future seems bright.

    (nod)