As the Zero Hedge duty officer this holiday season (we're making "The Narrator" do this next year, trust me) I'm watching closely (or at least casually) for the "take out the trash" dump of sketchy announcements, bad news and shifty disclosure this weekend. We've already seen a bit of it in the form of the Fannie and Freddie blank checking shell-game, and I'm sure there is more to come. Be that as it may, the tempo of the world has ebbed just a bit and things actually appear a bit... well... slow. So I thought I would share with you some upcoming highlights. Consider them belated holiday gifts from Zero Hedge. (All purchases final).
We are pleased to announce that Zero Hedge 3.0 is just around the corner. At the moment it looks as if, some time next month, we will be ready to unveil the next iteration of the site to our outstanding and supportive readers. I don't want to spoil too much (and I'm counting on a bit of under-promise / over-deliver expectation management) but we are fairly certain you will enjoy:
- Proper distributed comment and post ranking and moderation. Much as we've tried to encourage the use of the "Five Star" ranking system and "Flag as Junk" features on the site, they just haven't been properly integrated or used and readers have, therefore, been unable to tailor filters to their preferred signal to noise ratio. As we have grown this has impacted the signal to noise ratio, of course.
- Reader driven User / Author / Contributor rankings.
- A major face lift for the front page with more prominent placement for contributors and (we hope) live newsfeed widgets (instead of the current 10-20 minute update lag.
- An iPhone application. (The demo is looking VERY sexy).
- Some rather interesting partnerships with vendors and data providers.
- Much, much more.
As we approach the one year anniversary of Zero Hedge it is just stunning to see how far things have progressed (regressed?) Most of all we want to thank our readers for so adroitly indulging our sometimes frantic attempts to deal with the absolutely massive growth. Since we moved to the new site, in six short months, Zero Hedge went from interesting upstart player to a Technorati Top 100 overall blog. (We also frequently occupy Technorati's Top 5 Business rankings). We have managed somehow to do this on a shoestring budget and without any "hired gun" writers. Of course, we owe all this to our readers. You. Your continued support (and yes, even your harshest critiques) drives us, inspires us and keeps our noses to the grindstone here at Zero Hedge. We are continually shocked and awed by the level of reader contribution (financial and otherwise) we continue to enjoy. We could ask for no greater holiday gifts than you have already willingly given us over the last 11 months.
Zero Hedge was founded on a very uncertain set of theories:
- Readers are thirsty for deep-dive financial (and increasingly socio-economic given the creeping government hand in all things economic) discussion, analysis and modelling.
- Readers are increasingly insulted by dumbed-down content.
- An information outlet could thrive by pouring out highly technical and very "wonkish" content instead of fluff and scandal pieces on Tiger Woods.
- Readers are not as stupid as the mainstream media thinks. They simply have never been given another option.
We don't think we've quite proven all of these, but we are getting closer every day.
Of course, there is a risk in digging deeply into complex and sometimes intentionally opaque systems. We get quite a lot of things wrong. We think this is worth the risk however. Given the limitations of our resources we cannot be experts in everything. However, our readership often rises to the occasion and points us to data, sources and analysis we might have missed. It really does seem to be true that the best way to get the right answer is to post the wrong answer on the Internet. We aren't ashamed to be wrong here and there. Correct us with enthusiasm. Tout your own theories in DARPA. Invite discussion, critique and dispute. That's what Zero Hedge is about. And, given the increasing propensity to brand dissent as akin to insanity or disloyalty, we think it's about time.
Finally, we hope you will accept our warmest wishes for the holiday season. We certainly owe it to you. Zero Hedge really is a labor of love for the senior staff here, none of whom draw even a penny in salary despite what are sometimes 80, 90 and even 100 hour workweeks. We do it for you, but we also couldn't do it without you.
Meanwhile, take a little time to forget about finance. We will watch the world so you don't have to, and we'll be here when you get back.
Marla, Tyler, Sacrilege, Jana, Travis, Cornelius, The Narrator, and an innumerable number of anonymous (or simply unsung) heroes behind the scenes.