Our new site is now here:
Come by and visit!
Attention Boston Globe's Readers
We've moved to here:
Attention Barron's Readers
We've moved to here:
Ok, we have a brand new week acomin':
The cost of living in the U.S. likely tumbled in October, Goldman senior management ain't takin' no bonuses, GM is anglin' for a bailout, the G20 meeting was a big fat nothing done, Japan's economy slipped into recession (again) and Oil fell to $55.
So, whats on your collective minds? What will this week bring -- in the markets, in the economy and in the wonderful world of bailouts?
BP Café !
You MUST check out the BP Café !
Yesterday, it was Michael Panzner and Chris Whalen. The highlight of Wednesday morning was the monthly newsletter of Paul Brodsky & Lee Quaintance, which was mentioned in Alan Abelson's column in Barron's Saturday.
Really terrific stuff.
(I'm working on keeping the spring loaded menus for the side bar open -- including the Café).
We still are working our way through a long list of bugs and quirky behavior with the new site. Change is a process, and we are slowly grappling with it.
I have a meeting tomorrow with the software to discuss some of the suggested changes. I may even run a contest for a new header design.
A few adjustments seems to have the comments section running much better, with an increasing number of great comments. The biggest reader request involved various blog feeds, and a temporary solution is below (note that this seems to work better in Firefox than Explorer) :
The Big Picture:
No header, no tabs, every post
This may be good for iPhone users, but it is unsupported on my Blackberry.
Check out the Venue M version for iPhone
The rest of the tabs:
Back to Work
Congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama on his decisive victory. And to John McCain -- a truly great American hero who delivered a gracious and patriotic speech.
Now that this historic election is over, we can return to the markets and the economy. We will closely watch and discuss Obama's appointments to key economic posts, starting with Treasury Secretary.
And, we still have an economic crisis to deal with, a housing mess to unravel, and a possible second stimulus program coming up. Up next: Non-Farm Payrolls on Friday, and I expect it to be a disaster.
Plus, the continued redesign of the site is going to get tweaked. I've heard your issues, and we will address them-- perhaps even to solicit your ideas for design changes. The Cafe continues to attract some very high quality contributors also.
Time to get back to work.
Feedback on the Blog Design Change
The new site is up and running. I will be duel posting for a week, and then slowing down here.
I have been getting up to speed with WordPress, and playing with our new design for a few days. I've also gotten lots of feedback from everyone, nearly all of which was extremely useful.
There are some things I need to fix ASAP, and a few items that will have to wait for version 2.0. As always, your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
1. Set the Drop Down Menus default to open: A few of you suggested this, and it makes sense. I want people to see what is on the other tabs, but allow them to close the menus if they want.
2. Other WordPress Plug Ins: I am told there are many way cool plugins -- any suggestions? What are the way cool must have functionality/features plug ins provide ? What are the must haves, and the really-like-to haves?
3. RSS Feeds: Feedburner needs to be switched to the new domain. Doh! I thought that was an automatic, but it (apparently) requires a plug in. (Any suggestions?)
5. Vote on this post: It might be worthwhile to track the top rated video and cafe posts, and display those votes elsewhere on the blog. (um, plug in?)
6. Archive calendar: My bad, I should have been more explicit to the designers. That needs to get posted on the main page. Categories also (let me guess: another plug in?)
7. Traffic monitoring: A few things with this should occur
-Install Google Analytics on all tabs.
-Sitemeter Traffic code (all tabs)
- anyone know a good WP traffic monitor?
8. Bad URLS: There are a few bad links like this: http://thebigpicture.jobthread.com/blog/managed-assets/
9. Media reviews should be separate (above or below) the expandable/collapsible menus.
Next version changes:
• I'd like the tabs to be simpler, less colorful. Instead of the various colors, I'd like the tab you are on as a solid, and the rest of them semi-transparent. There's too much going on up top, and this will simplify it.
The biggest complaint of readers is the header: a) Its flash, and b) It takes up a lot of space. I assume we could offer up a static (non flash) version also, (flash/no flash) selectable by the user.
As to the size, I feel the nature of blogs is that you scroll down quickly, so you hardly see the header for very long. We will have to see if that grows on you as to whether we keep it or not.
• Digital Media may not deserve its own stand alone tab. The content there could easily be merged into the video tab (Video & Digital Media) and market/economic related stuff could work its way back to the main tab.
I have been using it this week for all of the election related graphs/charts/tables/polls. This is not really a regular event.
• The Cafe header -- was kinda a last minute compromise (I just wanted to launch already!). I wa hoping for something that conveyed the idea of debate and discussion, a group effort, and I'm not sure that this does that.
I'd love to see some other ideas for this header.
25 Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers: 2008
Inman Realty puts outs a list of 25 Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers each year.
The Big Picture is pleased to be on it!
Here's Inman's description:
There is a busy field of bloggers in the real estate industry, and some clear standouts that have built a loyal following. This annual list of most influential real estate bloggers recognizes those bloggers who are well-known, well-read and have a knack for stirring up discussion and debate on important, timely and relevant topics for the industry. In addition to this list of 25 bloggers, we provide a handful of notables who are also stirring up the blogosphere.
In this report we are also highlighting 10 blogs that focus on the economy and financial markets — real estate professionals are undoubtedly keeping a closer eye on economic news these days as the global financial crises leaves its mark on the housing market. And we offer up a list of 10 international real estate blogs, proving that the blogosphere is truly planetary and that the passion for all things real estate is not just a U.S. phenomenon.
25 Most Influential Bloggers: 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
The Big Picture Café
If you have been reading the Big Picture for any length of time, you know I have a pretty good eye for spotting insightful writers, talented analysts, and smart commentators. Many of you have written me to say that a number of your regular blog reads you first discovered at the Big Picture.
I always wondered, wouldn't it be great if I could pull together a group of very talented people all in one place? Mind you, not 100s of random authors you don't know anything about, or 1000s of anonymous people you have to sift thru -- but simply a small, concentrated group of extreme talent. The goal was to separate the wheat from the chaff, and offer you the Crème de la Crème of financial writers and bloggers.
Hence, the Big Picture Café.
I think we've accomplished that. We've put together a fantastic list of guest writers, some of whom are going to be regular weekly contributors to the site. I am going to keep this a tight list of contributors, all of whom I have personally selected and whose work I have been fond of for a long while.
Every Saturday, John Mauldin's weekly piece will appear here. This week's Electing the Janitor-in-Chief was posted yesterday morning. And on Sunday, the terrific weekly wrap up from my South African friend, Prieur du Plessis's Words from the (investment) Wise will show up. The week that was (Oct 27 – Nov 2, 2008) is already available for your reading pleasure.
You will also meet Chris Whalen, a former NY Federal Reserve trader, and was an investment banker (years ago) for Bear Stearns. He now runs Institutional Risk Analytics, and has been one of the few voices of sanity warning about the coming Banking crisis for the past few years. Wanna talk about inside baseball? Chris' dad was a senior policy advisor for the Nixon and Reagan adminsitrations, and was instrumental in getting Paul Volcker appointed as Fed chairman. Be sure to read his Roundtable: Fed Chairmen and Presidents.
One other regular who you will become familiar with is Marion Maneker. He is the Managing Partner at Colle, Hochberg and Grey, publishers of the Art Market Monitor. He is also a former editor at New York Magazine, and the Publisher at the HarperCollins business imprint. Marion has been observing the political and economic scene from a vantage point within the financial press for many years. Marion is going to be our Financial Media critic, covering the various print and electronic journalists that cover the market. Be sure to read his post Mayor Mike Bloomberg for Treasury Secretary, as well as the sequal, Department of Follow-Up Dept.
Lastly, I wanted to take this a step further. Not just bloggers, but several wall street pros who don't regularly publish for the public -- and who are not allowed to publish/blog by their firms. They are all well known to me, and their work product is excellent. They will be also contributing here, some in their own name, and some anonymously. Talk about the unvarnished, straight dope -- we've had to meet with attorneys to decide our response for if and when we get sued by either their firms or the companies they cover.
I want the Café to evolve into a special place. What it won't become is a Seeking Alpha or a TheStreet.com -- they are very different sites, far more comprehensive and encompassing than I want the Café to be. They have a specific purpose in the world, and I am not seeking to compete with them. Instead, I want to serve a different purpose, more like a tiny winery: Limited production, carefully grown and mixed, hand selected, delightfully refreshing.
I hope you find the writers here and their work as thoughtful and stimulating as I do.