Slope of Hope Blog Posts

This is the heart and soul of the web site. Here we have literally tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. You can also click on any category icon to see posts tagged with that particular category.

Hidden Gems

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As I go through the site again and again (and again), I’m reminded there are some pages that probably none of you have ever bothered checking out. I’d therefore like to bring these “front and center” for once for the more curious among you (click on the name go to check it out):

  • Culture of Slope: A series of fun videos I made around the time of the financial crisis about Slope, Slopers, and our culture.
  • Earnings Date Charts: Those oh-so-spiffy charts that options traders in particular will enjoy.
  • Prophet’s Tale: The story of my former company, Prophet, and its creation.
  • SlopeCharts Video Tutorials: Some quick, fun, educational videos about using SlopeCharts effectively.
  • Activity Page: Who needs the Facebook news feed? You’ve got Slope’s!

Buttons for Corduroy

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I am very pleased to let you know of a couple of important cosmetic improvements to Slope.

On the home page, we have always had a scrolling marquee showing the most recent blog posts. The trouble until now has been that it would just give the date of each post……….which, considering how I publish five to seven posts every single day, isn’t very helpful when you’re trying to decide what the most recent one is.

Now we’ve changed it so it shows the age of each post. It’s therefore extremely obvious what is newest.

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Kicking Cache and Taking Names

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Now that we’ve cleared our first full week on the new Slope, I wanted to mention a few important technical issues. I have a list of literally dozens of small improvements that will be happening on the new site, but I wanted to talk about three very specific items:

  • The Cache from Hell – A few of you have written me to tell me when you go to the blog page, it isn’t updated. It simply is the same as when you were there last, even though there are new posts, requiring you to clear the cache. Not good!! We’ve made a fix this morning which means this should NOT be the case anymore. For those having trouble, you might want to clear the cache ONE LAST TIME (Ctrl+F5) but that honestly should be all. In my experience, out of 500 people having trouble, ONE person might write me, so please, if you see this happen any more, email me! Thank you.
  • Quicker Comments – I am extremely excited about a fundamental change we’re going to make it comments very soon. I won’t go into it here, but the bottom line is that comments should update (God willing………) virtually INSTANTANEOUSLY as you are using them, so it’s more like a chat session. Believe me, I will make a big stink about this when it happens, which should be soon.
  • The Marquee – That “blog posts marquee” that appears at the top of the home page – – I know it drives people crazy that it’s not apparent what the most recent post it. We’re going to improve it somewhat so that, at a minimum, it has timestamps. Hopefully we’ll change it even more so that it’s uttery apparent how “aged” the posts are.

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PLUS-Sized Model

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I’d like to “type out loud” for a bit about the site (notice I don’t say “blog” anymore…….).

Slope is my livelihood. As such, I am continually focused on how to make it better, how to make it more popular, and how to make it – – not to put too fine a point on it – – more profitable.

There are two distinct revenue streams from Slope. One is advertising. The other is premium memberships. Back during the crazy days of 2008, advertising was HUGE. I didn’t even have a premium membership in those days. The ad revenue was breathtaking.

These days, ad revenue is worse than piss-poor. As I was thinking about the new site, I figured I’d really amp up advertising to try to make up for its weakness with (a) more ads and (b) activating the system which screams at you to turn AdBlocker off, or else you aren’t allowed to see anything. (more…)

Put Yourself On Notice

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Just a friendly tip – please be sure your Notifications are set the way you want. A Sloper wrote me (a PLUS member, actually, which is even a more advanced form of the species) wondering why he wasn’t getting notified when new posts were put up. He checked his notifications and, voila, found out they were turned off. So click here to double-check that your custom settings are to your liking.

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Forthcoming

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Happy Saturday, Slopers. Although the list of fixes, improvements, and new features for Slope is numbering about 70 right now (and increasing all the time, thanks to my poolside scribbles), I wanted to highlight a few specific items that are “top of list” right now.

True Real-Time Comments: The comments section has always been the most popular part of the blog. It is active enough, and auto-updating enough, to seem almost like a live group discussion. However, we have found some pretty nasty inefficiencies in the code, and it’s actually the comments system more than anything else that’s hammering the server CPUs so badly. Very soon after the launch, we dramatically reduced the speed that comments are auto-updated, just to give the servers breathing room. However, we are taking a completely different technical approach to this so that, when we’re done, comments will be virtually instantaneously updating and the CPU load will collapse to nothing. This is, trust me, priority ONE.

+ Mobile-Friendly Comments: As nice as the comments system looks on a desktop, it becomes a wreck on a tiny mobile screen. We are going to introduce a new “mode” for comments so that buttons are much smaller and the entire layout is more mobile-friendly.

+ SlopeCharts to SocialTrade and Comments: We already had the ability to “push” a SlopeChart into SocialTrade, but we broke it during the move. That’ll give fixed. On top of that, we’re going to add a feature to push a chart directly to the comments system as well.

If there is any other show-stopper problem you’ve got, I’d like to hear it, so just click here.

Right on the Home Page

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As we complete our first trading week with the new site, I wanted to make clear what is perhaps the most valuable tip of all: if you click at the top of any menu (that is, the menu header itself), it will instantly whisk you away to that section. This is such a handy tip that I’ve put it front and center, right there on the homepage, permanently.

Designing the site in such a way as to “bury” the blog one level deeper was a very deliberate choice, because I wanted to force people out of their rut and explore other aspects of the site. It seems to be working, as SocialTrade and SlopeCharts use is climbing every day. However, I wanted to be clear that, for those of you who want to zip right to a specific place, this is one good way to do it.