A Match Made in Heaven

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As most of you know, last year I introduced SocialTrade, a social web site for traders who wanted to share charts and articles with one another. The idea was simple: if any of you saw a chart or article they wanted to “stack” into the library of SocialTrade, they could do so with a couple of mouse clicks, and all the users of SocialTrade could view, comment upon, and restack those items to various categories of their own choosing.

My main concern at the time was that lots of people would visit the site to see what was there, but not many people would bother going to the trouble of stacking anything. It turns out I had precisely the opposite problem: people stacked stuff regularly, and consistently, day after day, but very few people actually went to the web site. It was sort of like I threw a pot luck party, and people kept bringing food, but no one was eating anything.

I realized that I had two silos – – one of them, Slope of Hope, was brimming with people, and the other, SocialTrade, was packed with content. Why on earth should I keep them separate? They were a match made in heaven, so a core reason for me to recreate the Slope site was to integrate these two into one.

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Now, before I go a step further, if you haven’t installed the SocialTrade bookmarklet, please do so now by clicking here! It’s simple, it’s free, and if gives you the instant ability to stack charts, articles, or whatever else is appropriate into SocialTrade. Go ahead and install it. I’ll wait.

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Since Slope has an extraordinarily active comments section, I gave thought to how I could get SocialTrade and the comments to interact. I considered having a person providing a “Link” in comments automatically flow into SocialTrade, and I might still do that, but I want to avoid cluttering up the stacks with extraneous matter. Instead, I made it so that any time a person put something into SocialTrade, a comment would automatically appear in the stream showing who had stacked it, what was stacked, and what, if any, description was provided. Pretty slick!

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As you can see, you can “Reply” to such a “Comment”, just as you would a regular comment, and if you do, that Reply will itself show up as a comment within the item’s entry within SocialTrade. So there is very much a two-way interaction. Some people wonder why a person can’t reply to a reply for stacked items; the answer is simple: SocialTrade’s comments aren’t hierarchical, so we have deliberately disallowed nested replies to stacked items.

I have also brought SocialTrade front & center to the home page, so that the most recent items are streamed continuously to remind you of all the cool stuff lurking back there. Just clicking on an item of interest will whisk you away to that item’s presence on the SocialTrade portion of the site.

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As I’ve mentioned, the new Slope has become a real web site, instead of just a blog, and it is my intent to keep building out the features, just as I did years ago with Prophet.net (now owned by Ameritrade; don’t bother trying the URL; it’s long since been absorbed by the Borg). Thanks for being part of the journey.

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