Black is white

I changed the theme to the blog as I am sure you noticed. I have long since felt that the text did not lend itself to easy reading, assuming that anybody actually reads it, yet I liked the way it showed off the photos. Nevertheless, until I am convinced that there is enough demand for a Premium format I am holding out against paying for one.

What make us so convinced that the internet should be free? We do not pay directly for our Googles, our blogs, our news, even our Facebook. Now of course we pay indirectly as these channels are either a vehicle for delivering advertising to us or act as teasers to persuade us to upgrade. We don’t have to though and my resistance to paying for a premium blog theme is evidence enough.

What finally led me to change themes was simply a comment that the font size and visual challenge of text against background might reduce the number of hits I get. I am not chasing hits but I do occasionally wonder what transforms the traffic volume on a blog. I imagine that you need strong content but when I look at some high traffic blogs I see that is not necessarily the case. Presentation certainly counts. A consistent style perhaps? The reader knows what to expect. Hmm. I fail miserably on that one too. Quality content certainly helps but I see no direct correlation between quality and quantity.

To illustrate the inconsistency in my content I jump now to what I read on the web and indeed off it. Recently I shared with someone the financial sites I visit regularly and some of the books that aid my thinking. I reproduce them here:

The blogs I follow most closely are these:

http://oldprof.typepad.com/a_dash_of_insight/

This is one that is very data focussed although Jeff Miller does trade as well as invest.

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/

The Big Picture – good commentary and insights and sometimes some non financial content to lift the gloom.

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com

This is as it appears in the url, Calculated Risk. Good content.

http://disciplinedinvesting.blogspot.hk

Horan Capital. I don’t recall how I found this but it is one I have hung onto.

http://www.crossingwallstreet.com

This one tends to look more at individual companies but is also a good feed aggregator, morning reads etc.

http://abnormalreturns.com

Simply a good site I enjoy and find useful.

The Kindle has ruined me. I have it installed on my iPad and download far too much.

I do recommend the following:

When China Rules the World                Martin Jacques

Breakout Nations                                    Ruchir Sharma

Deng Xiaoping                                          Ezra F. Vogel

The Next Decade                                      George Friedman

Red Capitalism                                         Carl E. Walter & Fraser J. T. Howie

The Age of Deleveraging                         A. Gary Schilling

Endgame                                                    John Mauldin

Extreme Money                                        Satyajit Das

This Time is Different                             Reinhardt and Rogoff

I also have a multitude of photography feeds and shelves full of books on photography.  Currently I am reading The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum, recommended to me by my web-soulmate, Steve Gingold (see link below and visit his site at http://www.stephengingoldphoto.com).

None of which has so far made be a better investor or a better photographer. But it all passes the time of day and sometimes night. I am the world’s greatest theoretician and the world’s worst practitioner. So my November 25th resolution is to swap these two over.

Tomorrow I have to go to the office. Not  my office anymore of course but where I used to work. I am sure the nostalgia will swamp me as I ascend to the 23rd floor and wash away rapidly when I remember what led me to retire. So no outings to into the field tomorrow and that may not be a bad thing as the rain has set in and I am something of a dry weather snapper. By the time you next drop by, if ever, I may have changed the theme again. On a more serious note, if you have a recommendation for a theme, free or premium, do leave a comment but it needs to show off images and text at their best. I have always been a simple man of simple needs.

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6 thoughts on “Black is white

  1. Well, ya know- I kinda like the new Andrew. Easier to read and view- can not say why, I have no idea exactly why it looks better. You certainly sound extra business like and perhaps a cut above the previous personality that you had projected through the other blog version.

    It is true that some of the blogs- in fact a lot of the blogs, have no real meaning nor quality. Yet these individuals have hundreds of followers/commenters. I think I know why this is so but I do not feel up to a long explanation.

    I myself have wanted to upgrade to premium, but will need a web person for that most likely. I can not have a decent header without a premium. I have already paid $100 for my own domain which I have not done. I keep getting messages that I can have my own domain.

  2. I agree with Yvonne that the new format is easier on the eyes. Serious makes for an interesting read but I am afraid the reading list alone taxes my brain much less the actual reading. My own finances are challenging enough without taking on the world.

    Thank you for mentioning my site and the link, Andrew. Like you I am eager to see more traffic and response. Of course I haven’t posted anything new in over a month that that is definitely a discouragement to visitors. I would be very pleased to be able to produce as many interesting posts as you.

  3. Looks good. I don’t remember the old format, but I can clearly read the font size and I think a white background works well with the text. That’s my 2 cents… Gosh, I can’t imagine ever coming back to my job after I retire. Good luck.

    • Hi TB. If I had retired fully I would agree with you – very tough to go back. But when I finished work it was understood I would commit to 10 weeks a year to preserve my institutional knowledge and to help me transition mentally and financially from a hectic work pattern to a very
      different lifestyle. I recommend this if it can be negotiated. I find it very rewarding to have an 80/20 lifestyle with the balance heavily in favour of leisure 🙂

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