Posts filed under “Weblogs”

A Little Background About the Site Redesign

I have been wanting to refresh the site for sometime now. Last major overhaul was in October 2008 – some timing, uh? – when I migrated the site from Typepad to WordPress and my own domain.

It has been over 4 years, and the dark tabbed design was tired. That, plus lots of site bugs led me to a full redesign.

I hired Tim Grahl of Outthink Group to do the revamp of the site. To give you an idea of what how some of his other work, see the blogs of Dan Ariely or Daniel Pink. Outthink did the programming for all of the content in the main panel and sidebar.

Format: We shifted to a new format — 10 posts per page, with only the 1st post already opened. There is a lot of functionality going on that might not be visible, but the site does lots more good things now. It should also be way more stable.

We also eliminated hiding anything behind the front page in that old web 2.0 tab layout. Now everything is on the main page — but I wanted to keep the concept of the Tabs, without having them imprisoned in the header. So now every post has next to it one of 5 tabs that correspond to the old structure.

Illustration: Since the site covers economics, behavioral finance, investing and technology, I wanted to somehow convey the concept of simplifying complex ideas – making them easily understandable. I wanted to find an illustration that communicates this concept of creating order out of chaos – but is also a little light and fun.

One of the graphic designers I really like is Jim Flora, who did lots of Jazz album covers in the 1950s as well as commercial illustrations in the 1960s. I own an original Flora work called “Money Flow” that he did for the December 1964 issue of Fortune.

I liked that work as a concept for the blog.

If I could ask Jim Flora (who died in 1998), to design something, I would ask him to put some of the people, machinery and gears of finance from that Money Flow illustration as my header, then put that “flow” of economic activity (goods and services and money) running down the sides of the blog content (which runs about 3-4 screens long).

A designer friend of mine suggested I contact Tjasa, an illustrator to do the background. I asked her if she could update Flora’s Money Flow for the blog. What you will be seeing around you shortly is that work.

Click here to see some early design concepts . . .

Category: Weblogs

New Site Design Coming This Weekend!

You’ve  been hearing about the development of a new site now for quite a while — we are now in Countdown mode — less than 24 hours to go! I write up some details and pull together some screens how the new design developed (I might even find some shots of the history of the…Read More

Category: Weblogs

Blog Comments & “the Nasty Effect”

In this morning’s reads, I linked to this article in the NYT: This Story Stinks. I bring this up, because I had previously mentioned I was considering getting rid of comments altogether. This latest article confirmed my suspicions that trolls and other rude commenters work to undermine the intentions of of the author. In a…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Weblogs

Why I Am Considering Getting Rid of Comments . . .

Since I began this humble blog almost 11 years, 25,000 posts and 110 million page views ago, it has managed (despite my best efforts) to accumulate half a million comments. This was never my intention. I created this blog, in the words of Daniel Boorstin, to figure out what I think. It is where I gather…Read More

Category: Web/Tech, Weblogs

Mainstream Leaders: Blogs Are Valuable News Sources

The President of the United States, Head of the Federal Reserve and Others Say Blogs Are Good Sources of News President Obama said: Blogs are best at debunking myths that can slip through a lot of the traditional media outlets. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke noted (according to Matt O’Brien, business and economics editor at…Read More

Category: Weblogs

Blog Redesign: Update

I mentioned at the end of the Summer that I was beginning a site redesign. The refresh is nearly complete — the interior design is mostly done (see PDF below the jump). This is the part of the design that holds the written content and graphs.

It is much cleaner, easier to read and navigate. The first post will be fully expanded, but the next 9 subsequent posts will be headline and a sentence or so. This will load MUCH faster than 10 posts with all of their graphics, charts, text, etc, having to load also. Its about a 4X speed bump. All of the current functionality — email post, print, search, RSS, etc –  will also continue. (I have been getting so many RSS Scrapers I may shift back to partial RSS feed from full post to thwart the splogs).


The header and side background are still works in progress — we started with the Jim Flora art work Money Flow as the inspiration for the design (I secured the digital rights and have the original). Then we updated it into something more modern while still retaining a little retro flavor. (So far, the TBP logo is still the same).

As mentioned, we are doing away with the 4 Tab design (its old and boring). In its place, we are using Icons to replace/identify the 4 subjects previously in Tabs: Think Tank, Video, BookShelf and Weekend. Click on anyone of these and you still get the full feed of that tab subject.

Overall, the layout is much cleaner and lighter.


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Category: Weblogs

TBP Mobile Edition Now Live (Beta Version)

Ask, and Ye Shall Receive:

The single biggest request I get about the site has been for an improved mobile version of TBP. Previously, I was using a simple Word Press plugin for mobile, and it was pretty weak.

It took some time and work, but the new and vastly improved version of the Mobile site is now live — and its pretty fantastic. Mad props to the team at Onswipe, they did an awesome job.

This version went live over the weekend — we are still in beta testing, so expect bugs and glitches to keep popping up in this version. (If you find any, please use the comments to tell me, and I will forward to the developers).

If you go to on any mobile device, you should see it (but some devices and settings don’t). If you want to see what it looks like, point any mobile browser to:

I’ll post the graphics after the jump.

Its mostly self explanatory, but let me mention a few hidden items:

• Both phones & tablets work similarly — they each have portrait and landscape orientations, but on phones the swipe is up and down in portrait mode.

• On tablets, the menu is laid out across the top; on phones, the pull down menu is top right;

• To find the button for the desktop version, grab the slide, swipe it to the right, and there is that button;

• Bug Alert: Once you go desktop, I don’t know how to revert back to the mobile version. The workaround is to use the mobile address.

I’m pretty jazzed at the way it came out– looking forward to your comments . . .


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Category: Technology, Weblogs

Update: Redesign, Adverts

Over the past few months, I mentioned a few times that I was overdue to replace this aging  four year old layout. I wanted something faster, cleaner, and more modern. I really like the way the new design is coming together. The main body part is a neat solution to the issue of the old…Read More

Category: Weblogs

Blog Redesign Update

I mentioned last month that I was getting ready to do a major update to the site. I’m now working through the second iteration of the design concept. So far, we’ve gotten rid of the Tabs and most of the clutter. The color scheme and design language are still being worked through. Some of the…Read More

Category: Weblogs

The Ridiculous Comment

Lately, there’s been an uptick in a specific type of foolishness, and I wanted to address it: The ridiculous comment. You don’t see too many of them around these parts, because I simply don’t allow them. I really don’t care what your views are about global warming or the CRA or what really happened on 9/11. If you…Read More

Category: Weblogs