Thanks to our generous and responsive readers, we met our fourth target (blog support so we can take a real vacation) late Monday evening. As of midnight EST, we hit 470 donors out of our target of 750. We also had a fund manager approach us about paying a research fee quarterly, as it does to some independent analysts. Quite a few readers told us after the crisis that our commentary helped them escape losses, and some investors also said NC was responsible for some profitable trades. And as much as our focus post the implosion has shifted to covering the failure to implement meaningful reforms, our ongoing coverage of current developments and underlying trends in the markets and the economy is still valuable to investors small and large.
Our fifth target is a grab bag of site enhancements. First, we’d like to implement bi-weekly podcasts (given how backed up we are, don’t expect us to roll this our prior to the new year). That will probably be mainly your humble blogger, solo, but if we are going to get good quality equipment and related software, it makes sense to get extra mikes for the occasional guest interview. The total includes the fee of a day’s time of a sound engineer to get us set up, plus a couple of additional hours of time for some training in audio editing.
Second is to implement a mobile design. We’ll be showing some possible layouts later this week. This will take some (not overwhelming, but some) implementation on the tech end. (Note that an iPad version will come later. A company, Onswipe, which has a good solution, does not yet have the ability to implement comments, and given how important the comment section is to NC readers, I’m not willing to consider them seriously until it is operational. In addition, an iPad implementation requires a considerably rethink about design priorities).
The third is the long overdue regular NC site freshening up. I’d like to tweak the layout to improve readability (I think line and paragraph proportions could be improved, which requires someone versed in traditional graphic arts/book layout skills rather than a web design background). In addition, the site needs a lot of feature tweaks (for instance, a proper contact page, a comments page, possibly switching from WordPress’ comment section to Disqus. Any reader thoughts re the latter very much appreciated). These improvements are likely to come in discrete chunks in early 2012 rather than one big “tah dah”.
The rough cost for all three would be $5500. I hope you’ll continue to provide your help in making the site a better experience for the NC community!