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.

PLUS-Sized Model

By -

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

By -

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.

(more…)

Forthcoming

By -

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

By -

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.

Tell Me Your Troubles

By -

What a weekend this has been. We’ve deployed the new site and have, over the course of 48 hours, improved the state of affairs from a “D-” to about a “B+”. I have a laundry list of stuff we have to fix, much of it tiny, but a few of the more obvious problems that I already know exist are:

  • Slope Daily Digest, which is emailed about an hour after the close each day, has stopped going out;
  • People reading Slope via RSS aren’t seeing it, since we need to update the link with Feedburner;
  • The “@” feature in comments isn’t sending the targeted user the comment via email;
  • Those of you who used to use your username (instead of email) to log in are unable to do so;

For those of you who have written me, clearing your cache has solved your problem 95% of the time, so please, have mercy, do that first (and log in) before you reach out to me with issues.

Setting that aside, however, if you’re still having trouble, or if you see something wrong, please write to me and let me know. We are fixing problems in terms of severity and importance, so please be patient. On the whole, I’m pretty happy with how things turned out, since this was like replacing the engines on an airborne jet.