For a number of weeks now, I've been hinting at the big improvements and changes ahead for Slope. As much as I enjoy giving surprises, I thought I'd spill the beans to some degree tonight and let you know what is slated for next month.
By the end of next month, Slope will be entering its 9th year of life (incredible, isn't it?) As the blog has grown, and as I've developed "side" products related to it, the content, experiences, and opportunities have seem increasingly fractured. I thought it was high time to start with a totally clean slate and re-launch the blog with a number of important principles:
Integration: First there was the blog; then I made my own comments system; then I made the Q&A forum;
then I went off and created SocialTrade; then there was Slope+. There are just too many parts out there, and they are clumsily integrated. That's about to change. You're going to find everything under one roof, and not only are things going to be better-integrated, but opportunities for more sophisticated integration are going to be there for the future.
Premium: At the beginning of 2012, I decided to offer a premium version of the site, and I faced a "make versus buy" decision. For reasons I don't really need to go into here, I decided to "buy", and let's just say it didn't work out the way I had hoped. I am therefore in "make" mode, and you Slope+ users will be hearing from me soon.
Control: On the same point, I also decided to outsource the site, which is also very uncharacteristic to me and a decision I regret. The way I'm doing things now, it's all going to be under my control. I am too much of a control freak about any product I make to have it any other way.
Focus on Community: Slope is about Slopers. By way of our terrific comments system, and a long history together, we have built the most vibrant (and talkative) financial blog on the Internet. The new site is going to have an intense focus on this aspect of Slope; you, the Sloper, are at the center.
Design: I'm the first one to admit that both Slope and SocialTrade are kind of ugly, and I've engaged the services of a high-end design firm that's putting together a beautiful new site for us all. I'm really looking forward to it!
And so, having said all that, trust that I am hard at work (and actively writing checks left and right) to create an entirely new Slope. I think you're going to like it, and it'll be here, Lord willing, next month. If you have any especially important requests for what you'd love to see, let me know, and I might be able to make it happen for the launch.