Posts filed under “Weblogs”

Why I Write: Barry Ritholtz



I did a longish, NSFW, no holds barred interview with Marco Nappolini and the folks at Pieria. The concept of the series was “to shed light on the motivations, inspirations and writing processes of some of the leading financial bloggers.”

I suspect I gave them more than they were looking for.

Here is an excerpt:

M.N: There’s a great quote on your press reviews page from Dealbreaker that says: ‘Barry Ritholtz takes down financial writers like it’s his job’.

Now if the role of the mainstream media is to hold power to account, could you say that it’s the role of the blogosphere to act as a check on the mainstream media?

B.R: Well that died a long time ago – the media as a balance to power – but let me give you the arc of that, because there’s a development within that arc, that I think is interesting.

When you first start blogging, you have this platform and no one is paying attention. You become completely outraged with some of the of things that you see and read and it’s not just that the media or corporate press is outright corrupt, its more that their business model is so awful.

A perfect example is economic coverage: They’ll throw some kid onto the economic beat who graduated from a liberal arts college last year, or has a degree in media or journalism but not mathematics. This poor bastard is suddenly forced to cover economic data even though they just don’t have the chops for it, they don’t have the tools. So what happens is they actually believe some of the bullshit that gets fed to them – how important NFP is (its not) silly survey projections about Xmas shopping (wildly wrong every year), National Association of Realtors reports (mostly spin) – its kinda crazy.

Now understand, there’s a mix of data sources, most of the people that appear in the financial press have a very specific agenda. They appear on TV and radio or get quoted because they want to attract clients. We understand their motivations. Where things begin to get dicey is when they start to say ever more ridiculous things in order to do more media interviews. They figure that no one will remember what they said, so long as they’re on TV a lot they’ll attract more business.

So that’s one particular sub group of people that really deserves to be metaphorically slapped around.”

There’s a lot more at Pieria . . .



Why I Write: Barry Ritholtz
Marco Nappolini
Pieria, June 26th 2013

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Digital Media, Financial Press, Weblogs

Blog Finance: Advertising, Sponsorship, Advertorial, Subscription?

In light of that incidence last week with those terrible pop up ads, I have a question for the assembled multitudes: Running the blog at this point requires a decent amount of expenditures. Hosting, editorial assistance, research all costs some shekels, and that cost is covered with the current advertisers. I keep getting pitched on…Read More

Category: Weblogs

Update: Rotation, Gold and Markets

A quick note on some of our commentary in April — it has been an interesting month for TBP. On April 9th, I mentioned that the Great Rotation theme was incorrect: It was not stocks into bonds, as is so commonly claimed. Rather, it was a New Great Rotation: Commodities into Bonds. Since then, Bond…Read More

Category: Gold & Precious Metals, Valuation, Weblogs

TBP Redesign: Final Thoughts

The blog redesign is now just about finished. There are still a handful of tweaks left, but I am 90% of the way there.  The feedback from readers — see this and this — was very helpful.

I have seen immediate improvement in the site:  The main page loads 4X faster; it now generates much more detailed page analytics (what people are and are not clicking on/reading); the page views/visitor have increased. The average length of time per post has also increased.

Based on your comments and emails, here are the changes I implemented:

• Changed the color scheme from candy color to something more subdued

• Reduced the size of the artwork (“marginalia”)

• Reduced the size and color of the navigation links in the header

• Removed the Twitter/Facebook/G+/Linked In  icons from all 10 home page posts (only on the top/open post)

• Removed superfluous content in the sidebar

• Reduced the number of adverts on the page;

Since the last few iterations, the site is light and fast and pleasing to the eye.

I still think the navigation links up top are too big and spread out – since the way I run my business is strictly word of mouth and referral, I prefer these to be smaller and less in your face. Also, I think I can get rid of “Home” and just go with: Asset Management/Speaking/Book /Contact.

I still have a few other things left to tweak:

• Reduced the size of icons next to each headline ((I’d like to make those icons about 30-40% less large on the page as well)

• Reduce navigation links down a font size

• Replace blue Favicon with old color (black & tan)

• Make the “Read More” red or more visible

The 5 little icons correlate to the tabs in the old design. According to Google Analytics, those old icons were hardly clicked. The reason, I assume, is as soon as you scrolled an inch or two, they were off your screen.

Your most emailed questions and their answers are after the jump . . .

Read More

Category: Weblogs

TED: 100 Websites You Should Know + Use

How crazy cool is this: Back in 2007, a TED video discussed a list of 100 websites you should know and use. It became one of their more popular pages. They just updated 100 Websites You Should Know and Use, and through some administrative snafu, the Big Picture is right there in the BUSINESS +…Read More

Category: Web/Tech, Weblogs

30 Days to Better Business Writing

Discover the antidote to bad business writing and gain the edge over your competition. Give me one hour a day for 30 days and this book will make you a better writer. 30 Days to Business Better Writing by Matthew Stibbe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales…Read More

Category: Think Tank, Weblogs

Site Redesign: Update

Last week, we rolled out the new site design. Lots of very helpful and productive comments.

Here is the general overview of what most readers were saying:

The positives: Cleaner; Site loads much faster (about 4X); is more stable; creates more meta-data about posts; generates more page views per visitor.

The negatives: Clicking to open pages annoys some; colors are distracting; sidebar is “filler.”

Overall seemed positive, with the two biggest complaints being clicking to open pages and the candy colors.

If the layout  were to open every post, there is a load penalty for graphics, flash, charts, video, etc. This applies to all pages, even the ones that you may not be interested in.

That tradeoff is something I don’t want to make, and too be blunt, I don’t find clicking on a page to be all that troublesome. The tradeoff of speed for convenience is huge, and it simply mean you have to click.

Perhaps a good balance could be achieved opening the first 2 or 3 posts.

As to the candy colors, I totally agree — they did not translate that well from the original design to a web version. It is something I plan on changing shortly.

I have been thinking about variations on the illustration theme; one possibility is after the jump.


Please share your thoughts.


Read More

Category: 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…Read More

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