Its been a while since our last site upgrade. In the intervening months, a number of good suggestions were made by readers, colleagues and random strangers stopping me on the streets of Manhattan.

Some of these ideas were great . . . some were impossible . . . but all revealed a degree of involvement that is, well, wonderful.

And so, in response you will notice a few tweaks:

• Masthead is narrower, with less wasted space — the single most requested design change.

• The Main Post page layout was “tightened up”

• Navigation was improved — Tabs are wider, submenus (about, contact, etc.) are cleaner and easier to read.

• The sarcastic suggestion I made last week generated lots of mail — so I moved that to the default message whenever anyone goes to comment. It doesn’t apply to most of you (but 2% of commenters should pay heed!).

• Twitter, RSS and Mail icons are coming top right

• I am cutting out most of the social network icons after each post, leaving just Digg, Twitter and Facebook.

• Bailout Nation is embedded into the sidebar;

You may have to refresh your cache to see the full changes; I see it in Safari but not in Firefox! If you see Book Shelf where Book Club was, you are seeing the new site.

Another thing: I have been adding more curated content to the Think Tank — not just the usual circle of authors, but additional people who you may not be familiar with. Bruce Bartlett, Bob Lefsetz, Macroman, and Washington’s Blog, amongst others. Marion Maneker will also be more active in helping to curate this, and contribute his own perspectives. Some folks have positions that I do not agree with — but I think they are very smart independent thinkers whose analyses provoke debate and a fresh perspective on current issues.

~~~

One last item: I am debating bringing on a researcher/intern. I am not sure about the position — it will probably be an unpaid gig more structured for a college student. Some colleagues swear by the process, others much less so. Anyone who can shed insight as to its merits, please let me know your thoughts!

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.

32 Responses to “TBP Site Tweaks”

  1. Struggling Man says:

    Barry,
    Happy belated New Year.
    Keep up the tremendous work. This is a great site.
    I don’t know about the college student. Sounds risky. How about a middle aged carpenter.

  2. kpny says:

    Bill Clinton was real happy with his intern.

  3. MOIDALIZE says:

    Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

    ———————————————————————————————-

    Harrumph!

  4. RW says:

    It appears Firefox is reluctant to refresh. For example, after logging in using Firefox I have to reload the page in order to comment; login does not automatically reload the page. Don’t experience this with MSIE.

  5. manhattanguy says:

    It doesn’t work on my Chrome. I cleared my cache.
    http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/10016

  6. teraflop says:

    Excellent! Btw, the original Macroman or the current Macroman? Regardless, both are fine reads.

  7. Jack Damn says:

    Everything looks fine in Chrome, Firefox and through my iPad (Safari). I see “Bookshelf” in the top menu and “Book Club” to the right (under Videos and above Digital Media).

    . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

    Actually, everyone is leaving their IP number and a bunch of other personal information about themselves when they post and visit your site. Unless people are using an Anon Proxy, which I doubt.

  8. apollo_creed says:

    Tell me it’s the original MacroMan!

    Is the intern specifically for TBP?

  9. Jojo says:

    An unpaid intern may be a source of problems. See:
    ——
    April 2, 2010
    Growth of Unpaid Internships May Be Illegal, Officials Say
    By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

    With job openings scarce for young people, the number of unpaid internships has climbed in recent years, leading federal and state regulators to worry that more employers are illegally using such internships for free labor.

    Convinced that many unpaid internships violate minimum wage laws, officials in Oregon, California and other states have begun investigations and fined employers. Last year, M. Patricia Smith, then New York’s labor commissioner, ordered investigations into several firms’ internships. Now, as the federal Labor Department’s top law enforcement official, she and the wage and hour division are stepping up enforcement nationwide.

    Many regulators say that violations are widespread, but that it is unusually hard to mount a major enforcement effort because interns are often afraid to file complaints. Many fear they will become known as troublemakers in their chosen field, endangering their chances with a potential future employer.

    The Labor Department says it is cracking down on firms that fail to pay interns properly and expanding efforts to educate companies, colleges and students on the law regarding internships.

    “If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” said Nancy J. Leppink, the acting director of the department’s wage and hour division.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html

  10. Afthought says:

    re Intern

    Check out a work study relationship with a nearby college. I think you may find that a portion of the wages paid may be subject to favorable tax treatment. I suggest you recruit someone from the humanities who might contribute a broader perspective than someone focused narrowly on economics and business.

  11. hue says:

    pay the intern/researcher (or middle aged carpenter) minimum wage

  12. The new masthead looks better. Overall the site seems a bit cleaner in FF. If people are having a problem getting the new look in FF they might want to add an add-on called Clear Cache:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1801/

    It is simple to use once installed. Anytime you have a problem refreshing a page or your video is spotty just hit that and most problems are solved.

    I must have missed the suggestion post last week Barry but did you consider an edit post (or at least a preview post) function for those of us who can’t spell until the post hits the blog (it’s a metaphysical thing)? It would probably clean up the blog a bit in the comments

  13. philipat says:

    @kpny Says:

    “Bill Clinton was real happy with his intern.”

    And according to John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, that is ONE of three e reasons why being British is superior to you Yanks. Because, at least when you meet our Head of State, you only have to go down on ONE knee.

    The other two? We actually know how to speak English. And, when WE hold a World Series, we actually invite other countries to participate….;-)

  14. philipat says:

    BR, incidentally, I can’t get to see the “Enhancements” in either IE8, Firefox or Chrome (My default browser) even after clearing Cache. I guess my next re-boot might do the trick but the pain and time of that is not amongst the highest priorities?

  15. philipat says:

    “Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.”

    IMHO, if you must, fine, but I think it detracts. The arseholes won’t even read it, so what it is the intention?

    A more important revision. PLEASE an online EDIT function. I have been embarassed so many times by my apparently appalling spelling and grammar when reading posts after the event. Yes, in a perfect world we all should check and re-check our posts before posting. However…………

    Compounded by the fact that in Bali I am (At present) 13 hours out of sync, so most of my posts are at night my time, after a bottle of Red…;-)

  16. philipat says:

    Seriously for a second, my expereience with interns:

    1. Recognise that there is an Agenda on both sides and (In a large Organisation) appoint a Mentor OR, in a small Organisation, give some time to the intern(s) to help them understand and develop. Don’t abuse it. That’s not fair or right.

    2. Establish clear objectives and a specific set of functions in advance (Even a Job description). Without this, on both sides, there can be infinite potentila for everyone pissing everyone off and nobody getting anything out of it.

  17. dead hobo says:

    BR said: You may have to refresh your cache to see the full
    changes; I see it in Safari but not in Firefox! If you see Book
    Shelf where Book Club was, you are seeing the new site. I am
    debating bringing on a researcher/intern. I am not sure about the
    position — it will probably be an unpaid gig more structured for a
    college student. reply: ————— I use Firefox 3.6.13 in a
    virtual browser (Sandboxie) and erase everything every time I exit
    Firefox automatically. The flaw you mentioned exists. The cache has
    nothing to do wih it. Not paying an intern, rationalizing it as
    valuable eperience?? You suck. Of course you’ll find someone
    desperate enough to take the job. Given the short 1/2 life of this
    type of technical knowledge, they will not benefit career wise
    much, so not being paid srews them over even more, with their
    assistance no less. I hope they use the FLSA to publically
    embarrass you.

    ~~~

    BR: A bit cranky this morning, are we?

  18. This morning, my Firefox finally shows the new version.

    Cache seems to clear every24 hours or so…

  19. dead hobo says:

    Barry Ritholtz Says:
    January 7th, 2011 at 7:15 am

    This morning, my Firefox finally shows the new version.

    reply:
    ————
    Note to BR: The phrase “Bookshelf” appears at the top of the page. The phrase “Book Club” appears on the right, approximately next to the post that complains about possible Firefox errors. I referred to the one on the right. One is probably a coding glitch.

  20. teraflop says:

    Sorry apollo, the original got a gig that precluded posting, the current Macroman is no less awesome and sardonic.

  21. phb says:

    Re: Intern

    Hire one for a stipend. Consider someone from a major area of study outside of business – I hired a biology major once with great success. She actually knew how to research and write without fluff. $0.02/worth

  22. The Window Washer says:

    Love the comments comment keep it. It will be our job to point it out to those that skip reading it.

    Spell check or edit would be wonderful.

    The additions to the Think Tank lately have been good.

    The print interview you posted was better than the phone interview you did awhile ago. I think everyone was into the idea of video for awhile when it came up, skip it. Now I second the idea that you should start laying the groundwork to get ahold of Tech Ticker, or it’s talent, instead.

    Keep up the music posts, I’m loving Girl Talk.

  23. [...] I'm not saying your background has to be as white as Nicole Kidman's thighs; FT Alphaville and Barry both write on a light beige and it looks terrific.  Just stop with the [...]

  24. alnval says:

    Your raising the possibility of bringing an intern on board raises for me the possibility of there being a potential fork in the road for BR. Can you manage both an increasingly successful online financial publication as well as an increasingly successful financial investment house? Right now it probably feels to you that you can.

    My suspicion, however, is that if you really do try to do both that you will find yourself managing more and more by delegation and ultimately having to choose which of the two operations gets the better part of your time. Granted your a pretty capable guy but so far you’ve shown a lot of need to have a “hands on” approach to managing TBP. (I personally think that the success of “Bailout Nation” may have been an eyeopener for you.) The question may devolve as to whether there will be enough of you to go around.

    On the other hand you’ve probably thought all this stuff through and have already decided how you’re going to allocate your resources so as to meet the short, intermediate and long range goals you’ve set for yourself, TBP and FusionIQ.

    Go get ‘em!

  25. philipat says:

    Remembering of course that delegating to minions and “analysts” is the Wall Street norm, whilst the Head Honchos play Golf (Bear) or appear with Kudlow.

  26. philipat says:

    My point being, in any succesful business. So long as it is set up and staffed properly, that’s fine. My earlier post, with apologies, read differently to what I intended to say. EDIT FUNCTION PLEASE?

  27. dead hobo says:

    Maybe ‘intern’ is another way of saying business isn’t good enough to be able to afford to pay. Thus, inexperienced volunteers from a local college, to be paid by a good reference maybe, are needed to keep the place afloat. Sorry, man. I thought you were doing better.

  28. Jojo says:

    How about some threading, thumbs up/down voting and an RSS link to subscribe to a comment thread? These are all functions that are offered at some other sites and IMHO, would enhance the experience here.

  29. I spend way too much time on nonsense admin crap.

    Whether that is an intern position or just a junior hire is not relevant, the question is can I relinquish control in any meaningful way ?

    But I appreciate some of the feedback (excerpt the really obnoxious stuff)

  30. DuchessGateau says:

    In my world (military), a person of your equivalent rank and importance would have admin staff AND operational staff. In addition, you would have intelligence staffers to prepare daily (or twice daily or as-needed) briefings on current activity, tweaked to show up-to-the-minute analysis of activity. They support everyone in the operation, of course, and many people attend the daily intel and ops briefings to comment and answer your questions.

    You would have a Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel called an executive officer to read all your work e-mail and research it so that you could grasp its full importance quickly. As you walk in the door, that person summarizes what’s hot for you and tells you who you MUST call back immediately, etc. That officer would have 1-3 junior officer assistants, in addition to the secretary and admin staff who make your travel arrangements and find biographies of people you are likely to encounter on your travels.

    The assistants do things like draft replies to routine e-mail, write talking points for media appearances and important meetings, etc. Their work is QC’d by the Col/Lt Col. The assistants are in training so one day they can do the job of the Colonel, who is in training to be the commander. A 3-star like McChrystal has a very large personal staff with expertise in different areas, which you might have noticed if you read the Rolling Stone article.

    You are probably used to doing your OWN intel, however, you can delegate the small stuff to staff. As they learn, you will let them do more and more, until you reach a point where you trust them to speak on your firm’s behalf. It IS difficult to trust others to “be” you, and they will never be you. The best ones who CAN do that will scare you, unless they are doing it out of a natural desire to do their job well and see the business thrive.

    Good luck! I’m sure it will all come naturally. I do know of an EXCELLENT admistrative assistant in Manhattan who organized my cousin’s office if you want to pay someone.

  31. dead hobo says:

    Barry Ritholtz Says:
    January 7th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I spend way too much time on nonsense admin crap.

    But I appreciate some of the feedback (excerpt the really obnoxious stuff)

    reply:
    ————–
    Sorry, man. I’ll start fawning and admiring more after this. This will meet with more approval?

  32. [...] I'm not saying your background has to be as white as Nicole Kidman's thighs; FT Alphaville and Barry both write on a light beige and it looks terrific.  Just stop with the [...]