Upcoming Blog Developments

We have some pretty interesting changes coming up — some will make the blog more usable, others are design based, and still others are marketing based.

I am adding a 3rd column (on the left), and in it I will include some media quotes, a link to the premium site, a new blogroll, and perhaps the site’s greatest hits.

Functionality wise (assuming it can be done via typepad), we are going to set up a "Print this post" and "Email this post." I am also looking into a registered member program, where those who provide a legit email address will be able to avoid the turing test when posting a comment. If we can figure out how to only allow  registered users to post, it would mean bringing back the weekend Open Threads w/o fear of spam or trolls.

At this point, I am still against putting any advertising on the blog (too much clutter); However, I am considering allowing the RSS feed to show the full post rather than an excerpt. If I end up going that way, I am thinking about allowing ads in the RSS feed.

I also have a few ideas about bringing in content from what I consider the best undiscovered bloggers out there; I am not looking to become a Seeking Alpha, but rather, would like to add some fresh voices you may not be familiar with.


As always, your feedback is appreciated.


UPDATE  September 29, 2006 7:49 am

Typepad response:  "Thanks for letting us know you would like to see an approval setting for commenters added as a feature to your accounts. We have have this request from other users, and we are considering adding it as a future feature."

Perhaps if other Typepad users  repeat the request, it can  be done.

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Sherman McCoy commented on Sep 25

    How about a fourth column with porn?

    Just kidding… Great blog, Barry- the best there is! (Really!) Keep up the excellent work!

    Looking forward to see the changes…

  2. Felix commented on Sep 25

    HIGHLY in favour of a full RSS feed — why you don’t have one already, given you don’t have any advertising, I have no idea. I would have no objections to ads at the bottom of posts in the feed; I would have objections to entire posts in the feed being ads.

  3. James H. Clark commented on Sep 25

    Would you add the ability to control the font size? We gray heads don’t read the fine print as well as we used to. JHC

  4. JWC commented on Sep 25

    Love your blog and the changes sound great. I’m especially interested in the idea of links to other unknonw blogs. (Not that I need any more blogs to read, already spend too much time on the net.)

  5. samuel commented on Sep 25

    How about setting up a message board so users could start threads and discuss topics? That would be fantastic because you get lots of traffic. Your blog is great.l

  6. Andy Nardone commented on Sep 25

    If you go with full RSS feed, please let us know. TBP will be back in the feed reader asap. With the ever increasing sources of news and information, feed readers are a great productivity tool – a full feed of The Big Picture would be appreciated.

  7. dforester commented on Sep 25

    JHC – If you use Firefox, you can Ctrl+Mouse Wheel Up/Down to increase/decrease font size on the fly. I believe the same also works for Internet Exploder.

    Barry – Very much in favor of the full-text RSS feeds, even with ads. I’ll probably even click some for you. ;-) As always, I’d love to see threaded discussion/comments. Thanks for the great blog!

  8. Joe commented on Sep 25


  9. permabull commented on Sep 25

    Do some advertisements – I see no reason why you should not get some compensation for all your hard work – especially as I am getting it for free.

    However, I’d be most grateful if you banned ads that flicker, or jump up and have to be closed, or make noise, or make another small window.

    I’m a grumpy old man and those things annoy me in my dotage.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. bb commented on Sep 25

    it’s easy being a critic

  11. Joe commented on Sep 25

    Doesn’t it bother anyone else that whenever a datapoint doesn’t conform to Barry’s school of thought he questions “the data assembly methods.” But if the datapoint compliments his forcast then you can take it to the bank.


    BR Which datapoint are you referring to? How about a specific example?

    Or would you prefer to blindly defend the precise and accurate data assembly of — what? CPI? Core CPI? How about unemployment? Job creation? Income?

    Which of the BLS/Commerce Dept/Fed Res/Census data points will you stake your professional reputation on defending in public?

    When you are ready to step up and produce, you will win my respect. Until then, you are just an ordinary Joe . . .

  12. Rob commented on Sep 25

    I agree. Go with the advertisements – everyone else seems to have them. They can be set up where they’re hardly noticible (don’t tell ’em that). I recently found this site, and have been coming here daily for a month or so. I enjoy your work, and look forward to reading it after my day-job.

  13. Michael commented on Sep 25


    piggy backing on what was already said… one of the best things about FireFox is that it allows you to adjust the font sizes very easily. That’s something that doesn’t always work with IE. In FireFox, just hold down CTRL and + or – to adjust the font size.

  14. Barry Ritholtz commented on Sep 25

    Joe (and other lurkers):

    For those of you who are newer to the blog – I encourage debate, dissent, argument, discussion. There are lots of regular posters here who — frequently, articulately, eloquently and persuasively — disagree with me.

    For the record, a troll is someone who shows up out of left field, sprays 10 comments a day — half of which are unrelated to the subject at hand, others that mis-state what I have written, while still others are rude, obnoxious, or just plain offensive. Trolls will post multiple comments under different names (not realizing what IP address capture is).


    This site is my home — You are welcome to visit, but if you misbehave, you will be asked to leave thrown out on your ass. Its not the MSM, its not a premium subscription — anyone who’s here and posting is doing so by my good graces.

    Capiche? Good!

    Now Joe, I don’t know you well enough yet to consider you a troll. So far, you ain’t winning any friends. And, you have stumbled across a site that is fortunate to be populated with some very, very smart people — traders, media, fund managers, analysts, sophisticated investors — many are extremely knowledgable in their specific expertise — far beyond you or I.

    Pay attention; there’s a good chance you might learn something . . .

  15. Nancy commented on Sep 25

    Barry..I’m an avid reader and love to see your music. I’m gonna go crank up Baba o’ Riley right now. Also here’s my site to help with retirement. Please visit and share-

  16. j d ess commented on Sep 25

    great news. the third column is long overdue. your links section may be better served going to its own page or paired down. certainly not everything there is of top quality…especially in the quote and investment info arenas.

  17. alexd commented on Sep 25

    Sounds good. Having a registered open thread will be good. I suspect it will create greater communication amongst individuals. It moves forwards on the concept of community.

    How about a spell check. (We don’t need no stinkin spell checks!) But I do.

    A thought how about a book club but instead of reading Harry Potter perhaps we could disect our thoughts on some relevant tome. On such subjects as investing economics or what ever.

    I certainly approve of this not being a democracy. I was taught that a benevolent despot is the best form of government. Now if we onlyhad a pill that made any one benevolent things in this world might get better fast.

    I love iot that you call the test a Turoing test. It is my favorite mental insult for yahoos. “He can’t even pass a Turing test” Or he can’t even pass a Turing test when talking to himself!”

  18. JuanBobsDad commented on Sep 26

    RE: needing a spell checker, I recommend Google’s tool bar – it has a nice spell checker that works on any URL.

  19. trendwatcher commented on Sep 26

    Hi Barry.

    Easier printing: Three cheers.
    RSS feed: great.
    Ads: Ok.

    re: Font Size for Internet Exploder users. The IE tools to change font size don’t change anything with the current Big Picture posts. What I do if I want large font is to copy the text over to WORD and adjust the font size there. Painful but it works.

    Wishlist 1: Bigger charts on click through. Most of the times they are just barely bigger than the chart embedded in the post.

    Wishlist 2: More charts

    Wishlist 3: As often as possible, include downloadable data that was used to generate each chart you use (or link to data source)

    Keep up the great work, Barry. Really appreciate what you are doing

  20. sportsbiz commented on Sep 26

    very much in favor of the changes and full posts in the rss feeds even with ads. it would be well worth it and I’d click a few just to make it worth your while.

    the idea of including some undiscovered blogs and little heard voices is also a great idea.

  21. alexd commented on Sep 26

    thanks for the spell check info.

    Take all the suggested improvements for this place and sell a template of it.

  22. John commented on Sep 26

    Hey Barry, your blog is very educational, informative,
    and fun to read. You mentioned a Charles Nenner on
    a few occassions and his accuracy in calling tops and bottoms. Last thing I heard was that he was forcasting a Major downdraft this October. Is this still the case?
    Thanks again for the great blog.

  23. Dean commented on Sep 26

    I think you should do the full RSS feed thing, it’s long overdue, especially now since SeekingAlpha is already doing it for you. Which brings me to the blog aggregator thing, not sure how I feel about that yet. I think Teresa Lo brings up a good point about them this week at her blog.

    I generally don’t like ads and have always respected you for avoiding them.

    Keep up the good work.

  24. Agent00yak commented on Sep 26

    Question about the other blogs: Are these blogs that are outside seeking alpha and rtable.net, or are they more likely to be your favorite ones within that set?

    New exposure to good blogs is always appreciated. Many of the best ones give expert advice for a very cheap price (free). I remember a Cal prof we used as a consultant around Katrina was sending my bosses info he got from the oil drum (Which I was already following at the time).

    And though others have been saying it: Great blog. I follow this more than all the others mentioned above combined.

  25. monicagagnier commented on Sep 26

    Hey, Barry. What’s your definition of a troll? I was branded a troll and banned from Free Republic.com after pointing out that Winston Churchill never whined about his caricatures. This was when the Freepers were mourning that Ann Coulter didn’t look like her usual hottie self on the cover of Time. Up until that point, I naively believed that one was free to disagree at freerepublic.com. How much dissent do you allow?

  26. Uma Shashikant commented on Sep 27

    It would be helpful to be able to print/ email what you write – some of my friends are not blog regulars and miss some good posts. RSS feed would be good too. I have always wondered about replacing the CD pics that appear on the right, with ads ( provided they are not intrusive and distracting). Great blog Barry, looking forward to it getting even better with all that you have planned.

  27. Barry Ritholtz commented on Sep 27

    Monica —

    For the record, a troll is someone who shows up out of left field, sprays 10 comments a day — half of which are unrelated to the subject at hand, others that mis-state what I have written, while still others are rude, obnoxious, or just plain offensive. Trolls will post multiple comments under different names (not realizing what IP address capture is).

    I think of this blog as an extension of my home, and the comment section as a cocktail party. Even though the door is open, any jackass that comes in uninvited, makes a fool of themselves, puts a metaphorical lampshade over their head is a troll.

    But the bottom line is this: Are they contributing something positive to the discussion, or are they merely wasting everyone’s time ?

    I don’t want total agreement — but I expect some degree of decorum, accuracy and value add from posters. For a perfect example, see Permabull’s comments here

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