Sunday, February 20, 2011

Your Assistance Is Requested

OK, its Day Two of our mandatory cooling off period. Is anyone else going a little nuts waiting for Tuesday? Normally, tomorrow would be a pretty quiet, range-bound day on the Globex. We'll see. Be sure to check "turd gold and silver" this evening to see how things are trading.

I've mentioned to you now on several occasions that the time has come to build our own website. Daily traffic continues to increase and many of you have been very generous in your "donations". It is therefore my obligation, frankly, to build you a better playground. I have a good relationship with a local website developer that I have used in the past. Our first planning meeting is Tuesday morning.

However, like always, I don't have all the answers. I've got some good ideas but I need some help. Over the next few days, think about what you'd like to see in a new, improved "Turd's World". Please include any and all suggestions in the comments section below. I assure you, all suggestions will be fully read and considered. As "watchpeople", we've all been presented with a unique opportunity, at this crucial moment in history, to touch a lot of lives and help folks prepare for that which is, most assuredly, ahead.

Thank you in advance for all of your help. It is, as always, genuinely appreciated TF

94 comments:

  1. There are some great open source php scripts that I think we would all enjoy to ramp up the community aspect. I have installed status.net (a copy of twitter) and pligg (a copy of digg) many times for clients. Very cool for creating a community!

    Also consider Buddypress!!

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  2. The TurdleDove's view is that because The Turd has focused on PMs primarily, this blog has not become ZH-like with flame wars and such. Yet.
    So, focus remains key. TurdleDove advocates some method of "steering" commentary into sections or threads, but he is no web developer. Observation and reco only.

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  3. First, love the site, TF.

    The most valuable content is already here in the form of your commentary and insights into how these markets really work.

    The charts and format are great.

    Nice to have:
    - calendar of options expiration dates
    - forum of discussing particular miners

    Keep up the great work! It is much appreciated.

    "Mr. Chilton, tear down that Wall*Street".

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  4. top, thats a fantastic idea. Turd, we need to hear from you realtime.

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  5. Hey Turd! I have been reading your blog lately, and find it really interesting. In te new website, of course a forum would be nice. But I wouldn't change too much on the daily blog, it's good as it it is. Nice, short, too the point.

    I also found the Turd World Song!

    ... In a world that's full of turds. turds! ...

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/185658/a-song-for-turds

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  6. Whatever other options you choose , having a threaded forum surface where it is possible to keep track (somehow) visually of which response belongs to which comment would be hugely helpful. It's my only gripe with blogspot (as well as ZH).

    Also, some sort of searchability that returns results in chronological order. The lack of that really drives me up the wall on ZH.

    Last, some sort of +/- system that sticks to user (as opposed to posts).

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  7. TF

    Three things that come to mind right away, that I think I've mentioned before:

    1) a tab folks can click for something like a "Turd University" or some such, where all the basic primers will be, FAQ's, how to buy physical, how to open an options account, etc. All of it has been covered somewhere here already, either in your posts or in the contributed comments in the short time you've been up and running and it shouldn't be that hard to mine all that and come up with some great basics for people to have at an easy reference location.

    2) At all costs, avoid the ZH format where folks can reply to a comment, then reply to a reply. Arguments expand and push great commentary way down the bottom of the list. Can't keep track of the timeline of the overall discussion. The status quo here forces any nastiness to eventually run out of steam, kind of disappear up the list, and make people move on. A prime driver of the generally collegial atmosphere here that is it's greatest strength.

    3) I have mixed emotions about having forums for specific topics. I think it's probably inevitable, but I kind of like having exposure to everything. Options are not my bag, and neither is the "Conspiracy Corner" type stuff, but I appreciate the exposure, the learning, and am quite able to read it or scroll on by as the mood suits me. If the site were sliced and diced into a lot of separate forums I fear that people would eventually settle into their favorites, and cease to expand their horizons. Topic specific forums I think would also tend to encourage vitriolic arguments to go on and on.

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  8. I can help with SEO. Free of charge.

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  9. Couple of quick suggestions:

    Divide comments into section -- miners, silver, gold, anything goes, investment strategy etc

    Give people option to view newest comments first or oldest, depending on choice

    Perhpas make it easier for people to comment other people who comment

    Make it easier to hyperlink to other articles, websites

    Make a search engine for people to look through archived posts AND comments according to key words

    Maybe these are obvious -- I think your main goal here is presentation. The content is golden, er I mean silver.

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  10. I meant CONTACT other people who comment.

    Sorry

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  11. Daniel

    We were just discussing energy and after that I just happened to listen to Rick Rule's interview at KWN. Turns out he spent a huge chunk of the time talking energy, and it turns out he is quite interested in dipping his toe back into nat gas at this point. So good for you!

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  12. Turd,

    You're the man. I think it would be nice to have more live charts of commodities. Obviously the focus here is on PM's, but it would be cool to get Oil, Wheat, Rice, etc. up there.

    Will try to think of more ideas.

    Enjoy the weekend.

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  13. TF,

    Someone mentioned a search option...love that idea


    Also, I know you are bombarded with emails and commenter questions, so no big deal if you don't answer, but I was hoping you might entertain your devoted followers with a quick 2 or 3 line what you would consider a "worst-case" scenario for the Globex on Monday, so as to be as prepared as possible

    Thank you

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  14. http://www.esselbach.com/review1.html
    This is a pretty good CMS for front end posts.. maybe this could be of use. It runs www.majorgeeks.com.

    Also, the forum should support both threaded and inline views. I don't like threaded much myself but a lot of people do. So supporting both would be ideal.

    If you're not going the LAMP route (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and you're doing wndows and .NET.. let me know. As I am recently unemployed, I might be able to "donate" some time to help. I'm an ASP.NET C# Developer with 6 years in the biz and an MS Visual C# MVP for 2007-2008.

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  15. I think allowing people to register on the site would be good.

    Maybe even a .turdsworld email address for each user!

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  16. Keep the site simple as it is now.

    Give it a better look, number comments so it's easier to respond, but don't have tree commenting, and leave the blog-style posting the same.

    It won't be hard to add a few pages which will allow you to link to the glossary and such.

    Agree with others on a search but that's built into Wordpress or Blogger; you could turn that feature on now.

    Please don't try and turn the site into a go-to of data. The Ag/Au/USD/Cu charts are nice and helpful, but having options expiration data and all sorts of other stuff will junk the site.

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. Turd, in addition to "anonymous" posting ability, having a way to contact other users privately would be nice. I don't like a mandatory registration unless I can trust the user/pass authentication to a third party provider (ie Google, openid, etc)

    I like the above mentioned "Turd University" which could define the many acronyms and have a FAQ to answer the very very very common questions.

    The ability to submit articles or topics would be nice, with you being the moderator. Having an RSS feed is critical, the big news disseminators out there like lets say Bloomberg, absolutely love RSS feeds ... so make sure to have a working RSS feed always.

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  19. Long time reader first time commenter Turd.

    I followed you over from ZH and have watched you and the site deservedly grow amazingly in such a short space of time.

    I just wanted to highlight that any move away from your current blogspot.com will mean you need a dedicated server / VPS due the sheer number of people using this site.
    Does your local web guy have experience with such high traffic sites?

    If not feel free to contact me as I deal with such things day in day out and can help with anything server wise as well as WordPress / BuddyPress which should be on your short-list of web site software to use for the new site.

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  20. How about a Q&A section where members can ask questions and others can respond and rate the best responses. The highest rated responses gets bumped to the top kind of like Yahoo Answers for PMs.

    Actually a better model to follow would be stackoverflow.com, which is a technical website with which your developer is probably familiar.

    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/291813/best-way-to-embed-pdf-in-html

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  21. God I'm getting really bad with my typos... An "edit" feature would be dandy :)

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  22. Turd, I set up the shared file service for a major government - one big factor in its sucess was clearly determining what we DIDN't want to do - there are so many cool things you can do, each with its reasons and proponents, but they can wreck a good functional system if they get in willy-nilly. You've got a great thing going here - determine what it is that makes it work so well and tread softly.

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  23. Oh and I agree with mythblasters... no massive "tree view" of comments showing who replied to whom. If anything have a reply button next to each comment, where when you click the button it automatically inserts @[username] at the beginning of the comment, where username is the person to whom you're responding.

    When the reply is posted to the site, make the "@[username]" a hyperlink to the original comment.

    Also it would be nice if there were a way to easily tell if someone has replied to one of your comments.

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  24. To be honest I actually like Turd's Watchtower the way it is now.. Perhaps some cool extra's would make it even better but I'd be careful to change the current (winner) recipe!

    But perhaps Turd, Dan and Harvey should combine forces... Creating a Trifecta of PM blogpower!

    Some idea's:
    - Turd's Bucket (stockpicks, investment strategies, including montlhy/yearly performances)
    - voting system (for shortterm/longterm guesstimates etc)
    - Turd's sentiment reader
    - small stockpicks forum
    - section with external must-read articles
    - section with important events (Turd's daily blogposts)
    - section about investment strategies (including exit strategies!)

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  25. Turd,

    Have you thought about TF gear? T-Shirts, sweatshirts, etc....more the willing to help you with designs.

    By the way, love the the blog the way it is, and also very much appreciate the civility of the commenters.

    Full disclosure, I am a very small silver investor, I have roughly 5 grand in PSLV and 50 oz of physical. I understand that I am probably in the bottom 1% of the the investors on this site but want to reiterate that this site is a wonderful source of knowledge.

    Meggan

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  26. BTW Kitco now has a version of KCast that runs on Windows 7. It's Beta and looks pretty fugly but I guess they're working on it.

    http://applications.kitco.com/supportcenter/windows/windows-support.html

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  27. love the site! would personally be weary of changing the format too much. posts w/ text, a few pics, charts and one lot of comments per update. seems to work well and the average person can read the whole lot and get a good amount insight.

    2nd with whoever said to keep away from 'thread' style comments. encourages flaming and makes the comments less appealing to the casual readers. if people are continually posting in a conversation style manner i'd of thought setting up an actual chat-room would be the best idea. things are fine as it is, but if it grows any more (likely) this might help deflect some of the convo from the main section. i like all of the extra insights, but it's more appealing when its kept concise and on topic. i don't particularly want to read through more than 150-200 comments on a post, part of the reason why ZH has gone downhill so much.

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  28. Turd, first of all, thanks for the great site so far!

    Some ideas that occur to me:

    1) It would be good to have a charter - a stated list of goals for the site, allowed / disallowed topics, rules of conduct (in particular - no flames, violating posts will be deleted, etc.)

    2) I agree with MB above: "Give it a better look, number comments so it's easier to respond, but don't have tree commenting, and leave the blog-style posting the same."

    3) It would be good if comments could be tagged. For example, the poster or readers could tag a comment / post that is miner-related as "miner". Then you could have a tag cloud that allows you to click on the "miner" tag to get all such tagged posts and comments.

    4) A login function that allows use of existing IDs, such as googlemail accounts, etc. similar to what blogspot does. A registration function for people who don't have an existing openID account would be good.

    5) A search function that allows full-text search over all posts & comments.

    6) A rating function for comments, however, *only* thumbs-up, or maybe a number of stars. Please don't allow negative ratings, I think that it can get under some people's skin if they get negative-rated, and might provoke them into flames.

    7) An online chat function for logged-in users similar to what facebook offers would be wonderful (but would likely go beyond the call of duty ...)

    8) Some way to send an email to a user without making the email address of the recipient known (supports anonymity / discretion).

    9) Definitely an automatic spell-check function when typing comments - the blogspot spell checker catches me all the time, and I don't want to look like an idiot who can't spell when I post :-)

    10) *maybe* dedicated forums for particular topics adjacent to the main threads you post (miners, gold, silver, cotton, whatever) ... although that might detract focus from the main event ... I'm unsure of this one.

    11) Feed the Turd button.

    12) a "links" page containing references to important supporting works & blogs ... Trader Dan, King World News, Zerohedge, ...

    13) maybe some way for you to "deputize" users you trust to suppress flame wars, remove off-topic posts, etc. in order to off-load work from yourself?? There are a number of people who have commented regularly and seem to me to be trustworthy, level-headed folks ...

    ... anyway, fwiw ...

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  29. I also am a very small investor, with just a few hundred ounces of physical. I too like the blog mostly as it is. Specifically, please DO continue to keep comments hidden unless a user specifically wants to read them. I mainly come here for Turd's articles, but I do appreciate that all the comments that I've read so far are generally positive and civil, unlike ZH. (Just for clarity, I am not the same Eric that has posted on this blog several times already.)

    A pane on the side of the page that lists other articles or sites that Turd considers valuable reading or reference material would be great.

    It would be really awesome to make the blog available on Amazon's Kindle so that it would be really easy to access on the road. This is not mandatory as the kindle can access Internet too, but having the blog download automatically would be cool.

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  30. Turd, obviously you have the background, insight, judgment and a unique ability to encapsulate and express your thoughts succinctly and clearly. Your objectives are wholesome and apparently altruistic. You have "Pied Piper" like abilities to attract followers.

    In fact, you are a phenom who has appeared in the lives of thousands of people who want good information and plans of action in order to successfully wend their way through the maze of a paradigm shift.

    No doubt thousands of new readers will read your offerings from now on. My guess is that your readership will graph much like silver is... parabolically.

    The only drawback that I can see is the first name that you chose back when you were merely commenting on Zero Hedge and wherever... back when you were a minor league player, if that. I am no prude, but it is somewhat off putting. It takes some getting used to and at first diminishes you. I remember skipping over your comments at Zero Hedge for some time.

    Maybe now that you are in or entering the big leagues it is time to consider choosing a new moniker. Ferguson is a great name that offers many possibilities. No doubt most of your present readers like the fact that Turd is so unconventional, but they can get used to something that does not sound like shit, and most likely you will have more credibility sooner when new readers are referred to your site. I, for one, have been reluctant to refer family members and friends to your site for the reasons expressed above.

    Octogenarian

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  31. There seems to be many more knowledgeable folks on here about this stuff. I wouldn't mind seeing a tab/list of related or recommended sites such as Harvey,Dan, etc. Like the idea also of having a discrete way to contact other members.

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  32. Mandatory and suggested bibliography would be nice :)
    Also, "Our Friends" section with links to other informative resources (sorta what ZH has on left hand side)

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  33. Hey Turd, is there anyway you can start your own investment fund? Nothing fancy. I am sure there would be a lot of turdites willing to follow your lead.

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  34. Great stuff, so far. Please keep the ideas coming!!

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  35. Instead of a static "FAQ" or "University" page, please consider adding a wiki. This will keep the burden of writing about individual topics on your own time to a minimum, yet preserve the crowd-sourced wisdom within the comments. I learn at least as much from the comments as I do from the main posts.

    I agree with the others that the format should remain as a simple blog. Deputizing a few individuals to hold posts for moderation would also reduce your administrative overhead and allow you to focus on topical writing.

    If possible, a comment system should allow "thumbs up" voting, but not "thumbs down" voting (which just leads to retaliatory posting/voting).

    Finally, hosted chat would be pretty cool.

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  36. A few thoughts
    - Keep your name and hat ! Its already established and loved.It shows that you dont
    take yourself too seriously.
    - the site is great as it is ,and has that precious community spirit.
    - i use the rennlist forums and, if you havnt
    seen it , it has an invaluable search function
    that keeps the site from becoming repetetive,
    also has a private message facility etc.

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  37. Turd,

    I would like to see some sort of mission statement and FAQ... I am one of your new readers and even after everything you posted yesterday, which was a GREAT help, I am still a bit mystified. Everyone here seems to have a shared set of understandings that, while outside the mainstream, are very compelling.

    I would like to see the community get together and explain for newbs the following:

    * What is happening the the metals market?
    * What is the history? Why do so few see what is really happening?
    * What are the larger financial, social, economic and moral implications?
    * What do these observations imply about the future of the market, and the future of the United States? What are the suspected timelines, when speculation is even possible?
    * WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?
    * What are the simplest steps that a newb can take, ranging from someone with $1000 to invest to someone with hundreds of thousands of dollars who will hopefully "see the light"?
    * What are the risks? What are the potential rewards?
    * Where can we go to get more information, or to verify some of the claims made?

    I'm sold but I just don't know the best way to come up to speed, join the fray, and take the plunge. Yesterdays post was a great start, I would love to see it organized and formalized!

    Thanks for all you do Turd.

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  38. I'd be leery of any ability to add a picture to a comment. Don't need all the boob shots like at ZH.

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  39. Keep the site simple. Too many times sites are redesigned to do more and be more and only end up looking cluttered and are not easily navigated. I'd rather have less content frankly (of course keeping with the important stuff!) and have a site that's user friendly than to have a whole plethera of stuff to do/choose from that is a nightmare to navigate.

    The name? ...I see Targe's point. I 'get' it but not everyone does and for better or worse...it does conjure up certain mental images. You're out to attract ..not to off-put and surely they will LOVE you once they get here.. but you do have to get them here first. .....But then again.. maybe the name (just out of curiosity's sake if nothing else) does get them here. ? ...Still, I think you're better than your name. That's just me.

    My .02 is probably worth just about that. :]

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  40. A follow up on that investment fund idea: we could have a yearly shareholder meeting where we would all have to wear a big yellow cowboy hat just to get in.

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  41. Turders and Turdettes need a way to identify each other geographically so we can get together, drink coffe and beat up on the EE and Blythe. An offshhoot of this capability is the ability to publish local dealers from whom we are acquiring "physical" and a means by which to praise or trash their product, pricing, and over-all atti"turd". Whaddya think??

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  42. Once a new thread is posted by Turd, I'd like to see it automatically upload the last 5 or so comments from the previous thread so that questions/answers don't get disregarded due to no further traffic in the previous thread.

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  43. Frankly, when I started following this site, mid-December, I thought it was a little sophomoric in it's simplicity. But after I worked my way up to speed it fast became my favorite site. Being a relative (oct. '09) late comer to PMs the learning process was slow but now the knowledge I've gained here has become a source of empowerment. (thx Turd Meister) The fact that I had to earn that through effort on my part makes this site even more special. Don't change it too much.

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  44. I'm inclined to vote for keeping things simple at AATW

    The less TF has to worry about updating a big, cluttered site the better, IMO

    I'd rather have you maintaining your focus on the charts and blog posts TF

    Our little community can continue helping each other out with all the rest, and continue donating to the Turdfeeder

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  45. Turd

    Would like a search bar for keywords

    Thanks for your hard work !

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  46. Turd, some people are suggesting your change you moniker in order to be more "conventional." One of the reasons I've always liked your commentary is that you are unconventional. Please don't change that. That is your uniqueness.

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  47. Turd !!!

    Great job with your blog its something I make sure I read during my trading day every day !!!
    Please stay grounded and don't change what works
    it is so hard to find good and reliable sources of info.

    Best of luck

    Loyal follower :)

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  48. Flaunt,
    You can't be unconventional and conjure up images of something pleasant? ..say ..metals or something? Do we have to think of doo-doo when we log in to this site? :D

    Ok.. TOTALLY just kidding. LOL. ....

    Don't flame me. ......Boy, am I glad we don't have the +/- deal yet.
    :D

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  49. A star doesn't change their screen name "after" they become famous! You're just a turd now, like it or not. I'm pretty sure I've been following this blog long enough to know Turd would never change.

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  50. One of the first posts of Turd's that I read on ZH was just after QE2 was started. This was part of the comment: "That thundering you hear in the distance is the sound of 43 billion fucking dollars coming over the horizon."

    May sound silly but that's what got me reading more of his comments and eventually to his blog when he started it. Problem with unconventionality (is that a word?) is that it's unique per individual. So to try to change the way in which you're unconventional just makes it feel forced.

    Or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about. One thing is for sure... There are lots of ways to have fun with "Turd." Like "Turd's Bottom." lol

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/world-bank-head-back-says-dont-ignore-gold-which-now-elephant-room#comment-716122

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  51. I like the current round table approach. You get to review a lot of different ideas and topics that you would not normally see in a topic nested forum like Kitco.

    It is easy enough to skim over stuff you are not interested in with the current format, but this way you get to make that choice easily. A few "on topic" detailed areas would not hurt. Use the KISS method and believe the man when he says, "if it ain't broke don't fix it!"

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  52. Lots of good suggestions here! I was going to suggest making each Turd post appear automatically as a new thread in a forum. Then all comments for a given post would be in one thread and of course a normal forum format would alleviate a lot of the confusion with this expanded blogspot style. Make it different from most forums though, where not just anyone can begin a new thread. Limit it to original Turd posts or a few well selected discussion primers. Then the comments below each topic could expand forever without being lost forever.

    Also, I like PianoRacer's suggestion for a mission statement/FAQ. Many times when I discuss PMs with friends I forget how many little details led me from point-A to point-Z. I tend to go from problem to solution without allowing my audience to realize what the problem really is.

    If we want to expand our message rather than continue to preach to the choir, an educational section would be a huge but welcomed undertaking. It really is a paradigm shift one must undertake in order to "get it." We need a primer with basic understanding of what money is vs currency, how our FRNs are inherently inflationary and how this mandated growth for growth's sake manifests itself into corruption and creative accounting. Once that is established THEN we can concentrate solely on furthering daily education.

    And PianoRacer, if you install a Google toolbar it has a built in spellcheck which works for all comment boxes on any site. This way you have spellcheck no matter which site you are on!

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  53. Oh, and if you wanted to get cutesy, establish a PM currency of reputation. Instead of a thumbs up, give 'em .10oz of silver. Biggest virtual stack wins :-)

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  54. It's an honor Turd . . . only wish I had found you sooner. I've followed a week or so now and this is my first post.

    The insight and information you’re sharing is what keeps me tuned-in . . . so don’t change a thing on my account. I came here simply looking for market timing and quickly came around to understanding the importance of buying physical; that’s a dramatic shift in my focus that would not have occurred any faster with a bigger better playground. In fact, my enlightenment probably happened faster because of the simplicity of your current operations. I relate well to your personal touch.

    I could care less if you add better management controls within the comment sections and I am not looking for special topic forums or for education on options trading (although I primarily use stock options for trading and I’m no genius on that topic). All relevant topics can be discussed within the comments sections of your daily posts. Option traders will find each other when they need to et el. Not having a variety of subject forums keeps the focus on your entertaining personality and writing style, on your amazing insights and updates, and keeps your format unique on the internet.

    What we don’t see here is most important such as your server size and ability to handle a rapidly growing audience and ability to give advertisers exposure to reward your efforts. I would enjoy seeing your daily updates in video (either all the time or some of the time) although I’m happy with the current format. As a small construction contractor in the southwest the slow economy is killing me; and this is after the market crash of 2008 wiped-out my investment accounts because I was asleep and could not imagine such rampant corruption in the USA. With Turd help I might still be able to dig myself out of a hole by trading and buying physical if I’m not too late. So far Turd you’re the best thing to happen to me in a long time.

    Thank You and keep up the great work.

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  55. Damn,

    I just checked and the domain "turdworld" dot com is already taken !!

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  56. Dear Turd,

    Here are the following things that I feel you should (and probably are) aware of that has made "The Turd" the #1 internet hotspot for precious metal talk, and a few of my suggestions to plan to take over the world! (Oops, to much Pinky and the Brain...)

    Why The Turd's Blog is succeeding:
    1) The Content -- Simplicity is best, as you are well capable of doing. You take the nonsense that is everything and communicate in everyday vocabulary. Most people in the professional world try to confuse everything and sound irreplaceable, however, The Turd knows his information will speak for itself.

    2) Your willingness to help others: Whether it is your catered posts towards certain subjects, your overall tone of sincerity, your willingness to do this all for free, or just the plain fact that writing all this stuff takes time and causes pressure (sometimes). Maybe the Turd has superpowers after spending so much time in this field, but I would imagine that it becomes bigger than yourself sometimes when you are trying to describe the content. Keep it like that, it draws all your readers to your genuineness. Once you stray from this, you will get the flamers.

    3) The Book Background and soothing color layout. Seriously, I have sat here for hours contemplating if you having books in your margin puts people in the mindset to read and understand these "complex" subjects that you talk about. How is that that the mighty Turd has done so well. Could it be the extreme financial incentives people have by following him, or could it be that his website has aesthetically soothed the eyes and minds of all of the little Turdites that read this website.

    4) The community: Your community is loaded. You have everyone who is everyone on the internet world scene talking about the Turd (when talking about metals at least). You have a consistent following that likes to help others as well, and the links that I can find scrolling the comments may as well be a list of links that take me hours to find myself (but more than likely I would never discover most of them). Your support on the comments section is fantastic, and it is even better that you participate. Where you find the time in your day beats me, but hopefully you can conjure a time machine so you can take some time to enjoy yourself (while squeezing in that ever-so important vacuuming).

    Things to consider:
    1) Content: Your content itself is fantastic. Keep up the good work and the personalization of the charts. The thing that you may want to keep in your mind (won't happen quickly I am sure) that has been mentioned, but really you should think about the amount of power you have if there was an even larger website that you/harvey/trader dan/sinclair/etc... were all able to contribute to that linked each one of your respected websites from an overall main one. Something like PreciousMetalsWorld.com. Although, as you and I know.. we are on a limited time period, as this experiment is nearing an end.

    2) Live chat: The community here is fantastic and I could only imagine the type of discussions that would abrew. I have been able to meet people who have changed my life direction through chatting online, and you should not discount the power of real-time communication. I often lurk at ronpaulforums.com chat room (you should check it out for the utility it provides if you are curious of an exmaple I am referring to).

    3) Forum: The amount of links need be organized...a way for your community to help give their input to, as you are only one man.
    ..
    stopping now in fear of character limit...
    -
    Scott J

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  57. Scott: Thanks for taking the time to type all that. Great stuff!

    Stephen: Thank you for the great compliment. I am honored to be in your service.

    Everyone else...too many to mention specifically...THANKS!!!

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  58. -Forum would be sweet.

    -No avatars. As someone said, it is sad we Christians have to put up with all the smutty pictures on ZH. I want to be comfortable reading this blog with my wife standing behind me.

    -Most importantly, you are fun to read. Keep your personality in the posts. There are some days that this blog is 100 times more exciting than the superbowl. You rock, the reader rock, we have a special thing here.

    -We are all here because you are credible and we value your opinion on the markets. But I think a lot of us are here also because we are "brothers" in that we are "out of the box" thinkers. In a world that is brain dead, this should be a place where we can relate to each others frustrations and celebrate victories.

    -Lastly, if I didn't mention you're the man, you're THE MAN! It would be cool to shake your hand someday.

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  59. Turd, I have run several IT programs for the government and I must say that creating functionality is only part of the battle. Managing content could be a fulltime job. Are you ready? Or will this be a loosely regulated community. Sounds like the something from this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xd_zkMEgkI

    Turd, best wishes on making this a kick butt community for us metalheads.

    P.S. I am in the trenches with you on those Mar 33 calls brother.

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  60. A lot of good comments here. I vote to keep it simple. It's worked so far. Maybe a blogroll on the side of the blogs you read. Comments on another click thru page. Spell check of course. Did I mention keep it simple?

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  61. I added a couple of comments above, both done in the spirit of "Change is coming whether we like it or not, so I might as well get my $.02 in there", but truth be told, I love the site just the way it is, and wish it would never change.

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  62. You'll notice, most of my comments are about what I DON"T want to see on a new site. As far as what I DO want to see, it's already here.

    TF, I know the traffic level dictates some changes. But baby steps please. Baby steps.

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  63. Turd, sent you an email with an embedded forum recommendation called vanilla forums. It's simple and keeps everything on the same site. Might be worth looking into.

    Whatever you do, don't make it too complicated! Might also want to switch to wordpress to utilize insane amounts of plugins.

    Thanks!

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  64. A very emphatic AMEN!!! to what Eric said! You, Turd, and this site are just the coolest! All regular commenters also.

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  65. Other people are giving you great input on content, so I'll just touch on usability. You want your site to be usable to the most number of people, so keep it simple. Stick to web-standards-compliant HTML as much as possible. Keep your graphics light and your scripts and Flash to a minimum. Why?

    Many people depend on text-to-speech software, so your site needs to be in HTML. A lot of people read while at work where their browsers have Javascript disabled, so a site built in Javascript doesn't work for them. Other people have old browsers, low resource systems or are still on dialup. Sites that use bandwidth-heavy elements like Flash will freeze up their browsers and even crash their computers.

    Avoid a Flash Intro page at all costs! Not only do Flash intros not work for the people I just described, they are terrible for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Have your developer build your site with strong SEO in mind before the first line of code is even written. Bad code is impossible to work if you try to add SEO after the fact.

    Use a light, simple CSS stylesheet so your pages aren't a resource hog when they load. The particular style you are using now is a resource hog in Firefox, at least on my computer. I think that one of the reasons why ZeroHedge and Drudgereport are so successful is because their simple styles make them easy to read and their pages load quickly on ANY system.

    Oh, and keep your site navigation simple and consistent throughout.

    Thanks for all you do. God Bless!

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  66. @Turd

    Regarding Profitability/Advertisements/Fruits of Your Labor.

    You are in a very unique situation when it comes to the amount of potential you now have, as you can really take this anywhere you want. I do believe that it is because your genuineness and your quality of information that has drawn people here, which is 99% of the battle, so it is crucial to always stay close to these roots. Once you have a reoccurring audience of 30,000+ (already), you have already won (everything but the fiat battle).

    Imagine what the audience will be like when commodities/precious metals really take off in inflationary conditions, as we are currently "expecting inflation," and you have amassed this big of a following. You will have the potential for a million viewers in a day I believe (not so hard to imagine if the market is crashing and silver/gold are skyrocketing). Keep staying ahead of the game, which I fully trust you understand the "big picture," so I am excited to see what you choose to do with this "power."

    Besides the point, I would like to reference my dad, who allowed me insight to this wonderful secret:
    "If you are good enough at what you do, the money will come."

    Avoid "sellout of integrity" at all costs (don't think it will be a problem, but just mentioning), as that path has already been walked upon by the people who will soon be turning to you for knowledge.

    With all that said....

    You should be able to get new advertisements (that are more specific to the cause), as the CitiBank advertisement I see below is ironically funny that it is on this website.. hehe. Search around to see if anyone wants to be on the "premier precious metal blog," if that is possible.. I am sure that someone in your community would be able to comment on this futher.

    Look into talking to a precious metal's company, and seeing if you can get a referral program with good deals going on. If you could link a precious metals website with a referral bonus for the Turd (APMEX does this for anyone, I feel you can find something similar or use APMEX yourself). I bet you a lot of people would buy physical in a win/win situation of: buying physical and feeding the turd.

    I am not one for cheesy fictional movies such as the Social Network, but there was a very important
    message of "don't spam advertisements on facebook, or it will make it 'uncool'." I am sure you have more class than most websites, but think outside of the box for your profitability... There are a lot of options and I am sure you know that.
    -
    Also, I feel the "Donate" button in a more visible spot along with a message about how you want to keep information available and that you appreciate funds to keep the website and your personal life in balance for the amount of time you put in...

    Remember, all of this has happened behind the anonymity of "Turd Ferguson." I would imagine that you have thought once or twice about what happens down the road, as all of our lives are about to be completely different, and most especially yours.

    #1 Thing to do (and seems like you have it down very well and don't need anyone else saying it to you.. but I will), Relax and enjoy the fact that a website that you created has become more useful and loved, all by itself.

    The future is ours to choose.
    Your website will work no matter what.
    Don't be afraid to take risks in life.
    Always enjoy yourself.

    Bring on the revolution already, I am tired of having to talk about the decay of our failed system to people!

    -
    It seems I have strayed from the subject...

    Scott J

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  67. Thanks for your great work, Turd.

    Even if you changed nothing, this would still be the best PM site on the net, for my taste, although its appeal goes well beyond PM's.

    You have a great formula, so I recommend sticking with it as the centerpiece of your new site: your blog posts and the follow-up "stream of consciousness" conversations they trigger (in the form of linear comment posts).

    Beyond this, it's really your call. You could have a menu at the top of your blog linking to whatever of these common social functions you wish to support: chat, forum, groups, event calendar, wiki. They are all available separately as free open source solutions, or as an integrated package (for example: http://wall.fm). This community could do great things given the right environment for collaboration.

    If the extra features are perceived as optional offshoots of the main blog, I don't think they need detract from the existing format that many are happy with. This architecture might also speed the transition. Get a standard blog up and running first and then add features in a measured, methodical way.

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  68. What I think binds us together is knowing we are not alone.
    There are perhaps 4 people I know, who are even receptive to discussions about PM’s. To everyone else, Im a weirdo. Better to keep quiet.

    Having found this community, I feel safe for the first time since I bought my first gold with hard earned money three years ago.
    Until Turds blog was launched, I had only a gut instinct to go with and it has been a truly frightening ride watching the paper ‘value’ of my gold rise and fall by thousands in the blink of an eye and with absolutely no rational explanation that I could comprehend.

    But the more I learn, the more safe I feel in some ways, i.e. having a ringside seat here with a master commentator explaining all the moves but the less safe I feel as I learn that my gold, bought through and held at Bullionvault, may not be the smartest way to hold gold.

    I want to see more discussions about risk management for buying and storing PM’s and for options on how we might convert it to the things we need to live, in different scenarios e.g. –

    Managed decline
    Currency failure / new gold backed currency introduced
    Internet shut down
    Distribution shock as per ‘Prepare Accordingly’
    Mad Max ….

    Im more than interested in mining shares but consider them no safer than paper products in the event of some of the above but to date have no real idea how to do due diligence.

    So, I suppose Im hoping the new website will cater for this metalheads needs, yet ensure the Turd still has the time and inclination to maintain the ringside commentary that we all find so enthralling that we can hardly take our eyes away.

    Cant thank you enough Turd.

    rbl

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  69. I second the idea of a wiki to hold the collective knowledge of the group. Seems to me that a wiki would allow people to write articles on specific topics in their areas of expertise, and should be low overhead for the Turd, even if he wants to personally approve each article before it is published.

    I sort of like having an avatar, but it isn't an important point for me. Maybe a rule in the mission statement like "only 'G' rated avatars" would suffice as a restriction.

    Moniker: Turd is Turd in my eyes ....

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  70. As I said from day one, please keep "The Turd" chart format as is... it's your "signature style" and it's perfect... IMHO.

    Spel chek plaese!

    Comment numbers are good... I'd probably go with the ZH reply format (a close call though with plenty of negatives).

    Update clean up (task the web designer with a recommendation)... I'm thinking a simple Config Control number system in the Header and each update.

    Not so sure about forums... I'd rather (again a close call) keep the conversation in a single thread.

    Give the host (Mr TF) the "option" of a direct reply "within" any comment (140 Character Limit... Turd's Tweet?)

    Finally, the biggest challenge of all... don't let the developer do anything too slick (firearms may have a place here... lol). "Folksy Flannel" works... as does "if it ain't broke..."

    Thanks for asking... hope everyone has a great week, and BM stays white flag mode... r.i.p.!

    p.s. A Turd Hat for all members would be nice... I don't see how anyone could argue with someone knowing they're sitting there a big yellow hat on the other end.

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  71. Oops forgot... Post Comment edit capability because we never REALLY read the dam thing until it's posted!

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  72. You might enjoy my satirical videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZVxJbfV7iM where I try to buy stuff with silver.

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  73. Hi Turd - I have a couple of requests. First, I suspect I'm not unusual in not being able to access social networking sites such as FB and Twitter at work, so could you stay as much as possible on your main web site? Second, I'm of two minds about the comments - trees or not. Would it be possible to set each new comment with an expand/collapse button, so if anybody cares to follow they can expand, but blow on past without getting confused re content as the default would be collapsed?

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  74. I suggested before but I really like the idea of polls of favorite stocks in the gdxj, gdx, gldx. This way we can see more than the 10 or so common picks that float around.

    Other ideas for polls could be best paper gold, paper silver, favorite non-pm stock, etc.

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  75. Turd, this is a copy and paste of the e-mail I sent you last week:

    You'll need to decide if you want to continue to be "Turd Ferguson". We all love the moniker and the banter that goes along with it, but do you have any ambitions to truly speak to the 98% of the population who are unaware of what is going on in the PM markets and the economy in general thanks to Bernanke? If you do want to attract more of the silent majority, you might need to consider a more conservative, "serious" identity. I sometimes wonder what a source for good ZH would be if it didn't have all the "fight club" stuff going on (and if it someone weeded out some of the more extreme comments).

    Think about Jim Rickards as an example of a guy who looks and sounds like an establishment figure. But his message is often extremely anti-PTB. He openly advocates a return to the gold standard. Because he speaks well and is not anonymous he gets listened to. He even gets to address the military!

    Now, I'm not saying that you want to be a PM-trading version of Jim Rickards. I'm just saying that when you do your makeover you might want to consider whether you want to try to win more followers by changing your image. Even the way you look at technical analysis is something that the masses could relate to. (Lack of fibonacci, etc. helps you in that respect!)

    If you did change your image you would get some pushback from your loyal followers who might think you are "selling out" or something similar. But I'm sure they would understand that your "prepare accordingly" mantra is something that deserves a wider audience.

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  76. Other comments:

    Design/layout: KISS, please ! Just look at what an abomination and assault on the eyes the Kitco home page is. Yuck! ZH is good because it's simple, and black and white with no bells and whistles. (Where it goes astrays is in the no-holds barred comments section). As an ex-Bloomberg terminal user, I highly recommend black backgrounds - much easier on the eyes!

    Comments/forum: I like the fact that comments all follow each other. Having separate forums would dilute that. Is there an ability for people to self-categorise their comments, by ticking a box like "miners", "trading", "where/how to buy physical", etc., such that comments are then also stored under separate category lists?

    Finally, most importantly:
    Turd, please keep telling it as you see it!

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  77. Don't confuse "bigger" with "better". Some things could be streamlined but I really like the site as is, as I think most users do. Threading comments would be handy but it needs to be moderated to avoid the usual flaming and arguments.

    Turd, please don't feel pressured because of receiving donations - people are sending you a little money because they appreciate the time and thought you put into your informational posts. I don't think anyone expects some big fancy site in exchange for sending you some $$. I certainly don't. And it's also OK to take a Sunday off.

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  78. Also, reiterate what others are saying about twitter, etc. Who needs that stuff? A blog is plenty, and sufficient.

    p.s. am i the only person who's never used twitter, facebook, etc?

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  79. Turd

    So much good input, I will not try to add to it, but will say that as a website user and an IT Business Analyst I strongly believe in the KISS principle. Too often a good website gets "improved" to be less user-friendly.

    Read especially the comments of Eric, Antrobus and Ginger above. I think they are on the right track. Take it slow, don't try to over improve the site in one step, and keep your least sophisticated readers in mind.

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  80. Turd,

    Your blog is coming along really well, the present comment format seems to work...without replies and sections and thumbs up or down etc etc...I like it all in one "bowl"...sometimes left-field comments or OT links are interesting and thought provoking. As traders or investors (or hoarders) we must keep in mind that a report of a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon might be important. (Debka File have been reporting that the Iranian ships went through Suez in a sand-storm 36 hours ago)...that sort of thing.

    A table of important dates, POMO, option expiry, FOMC, BLS etc for the traders...would be good, I think.

    As to the theme song...I know you like the present one but surely "All Along The Watchtower" should be considered...my favourite version is by Buddy Miles, the drummer from the Band of Gypsies...he's got my vote.

    And a link to the SNL skit..."Turd Ferguson... it's a funny name" might help the newbies and the squeamish too.

    That's my 1/69,400ths of an ounce worth (@$1,388/oz)...thanks.

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  81. Turdle GG

    No facebook for me, though my kids are all over it.

    I did get set up on twitter. Never have tweeted myself. Just did it for the sole purpose of following Jim Rickards. Anything he says is solid gold.

    JamesGRickards to you twitter folk out there.

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  82. Eric,
    my oldest girl is 8, so no doubt it's part of her future, for better or worse...
    My boys are younger and still like playing with matchbox cars, and that's just fine with me!

    Yes, I saw that James RIckards does the twitter thing. Maybe I have to get up to speed just for that, as I do hang on every word he says.

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  83. A polished Turd? Can't wait!! ;o)

    Great news - been here lurking most days with the occasional comment since the beginning.

    My only comment for usability would be something like the reddit.com comment and voting system (it's open source).

    My only requests are please keep an RSS feed!!!! And please keep the posts and charts in the same simple format.

    Thanks again for all your work Turd, and the education in your acronyms. Good luck with the new site!!

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  84. Turd -

    I'm used to your name by now. I don't think it's a problem.

    I'd like to see you keep the same look; the books, the colors, the typeface, etc. The comments section is fine but it does need numbers and perhaps a collapsible reply option. A 'home page' button, and 'top of page' button at the bottom of the page would be helpful.

    Please keep all the new additions as buttons on the home page but please don't go Kitco on us. By all means, add as many links to educational material and posts as you think helpful. I'm gaining tons of understanding from reading your posts and your links.

    I love your site just the way it is, and when you have something so successful, why would you want to change it. But please keep in mind that it's you, and your posts that we visit the site for. And the uncritical environment that's perfect for learning. I'll be reading your site no matter what you do with it.

    By the way, the thanks go to you for actually listening (reading?) to your responses!!

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  85. TF,

    David here. I run Yahoo! Finance, and I read your incredible insights everyday. Not only yours, but all the input from all of you who are also reading this note. As someone said in the past couple days, this is the ONLY site where I read every contribution - can't call them comments because it doesn't speak to the quality.

    Here are a couple suggestions:

    - Keep it simple. Content is king. Wizzy features are more likely to spread attention rather than add engagement.
    - better clearer charts in your right sidebar
    - maintain iPad friendly
    - Tag Posts so we can pivot on other posts
    - Turd Calendar where you help us stay aware of upcoming events...like what happens after March 1. Right now that is the furthest date I've read in your posts.
    - Don't burden with functions that slow page load. Snappy site now. Keep it that way.
    - choose in advance where you wil place ads (if you place them), and don't burden us with them everywhere.

    David P

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  86. I like the site the way it is. I also rather enjoy telling people I get my PM info from a guy named Turd Ferguson. It adds to the whole tin foil thing. All I ask is that this forum does not turn into ZH. I went there today to read about Santelli and wow did the comments turn nasty really fast. I love this place and want to keep it going.

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  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  88. Change your byline from "Along the Watchtower" to "Circling the Bowl"

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  89. I hope you could use GMT as the time displayed at the end of each comment for you have followers in different time zones.

    As each new comment is posted the page could scroll downwards in real time instead of refreshing the page every time.

    Replies to a particular comment may be made by having a reply link at the end of every comment which if used may post the comment for which the reply is made in italics.

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  90. An important piece of content on this site is simply linking to off-site articles elsewhere.

    I would suggest a ticker of featured links that you can recommend, maybe with a separate option for users to submit and recommend their own as well.

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  91. Thank you for your posts Turd!
    I read them regularly and your blog is the start site of my browser now!

    As for the suggestions
    1. I was thinking of an intro section for the newbes ... and yeah, the day after i thought about it you posted "getting up to speed". Great! I think you could expand this into a general info section with background information on PM, where to find data and charts, how to trade PM, expiry dates, options strategies, tips and tricks etc. This is a huge project in itself so if you organize the section as an embedded wiki you can allow the users to create content which will be posted after approval from the admin.
    Actually, links to sites with such info would suffice. It does not have to be complete by no means.

    2. Keep the name Turd! its good ...

    3. i like the layout of the posts as it is and would appreciate if it stays simple (without flash!) but frankly the content is much more important and it is valuable in whatsoever form.

    thanks a lot again, Turd

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  92. Hey there. Sorry for the delay I meant to post in this thread when it first came out. I'm a big fan. I don't even remember now how I found your site but it dosent matter. I really appreciate your insight, and would like to volunteer services if it will help the turd. I addition to several years of web development and programming I actually own a medium sized ISP here in California. I am happy to donate a dedicated server for this. My ISP is http://chico.net. I don;t even know if this is something you have a use for, but depending on your current bandwidth consumption you might benefit from your own dedicated machine. We have two OC3 fiber uplinks coming into our datacenter, for a combined outgoing bandwidth over 1200mbps. Looks like you already have plenty of SEO and php specialists so I'll stop there. But yeah, word to the Turd!

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  93. i'm a first time visitor,
    here's a site that uses disqus comment system, it's free and easy to install.
    it lets people see your comments in real time, and also get email alerts, if someone wants it.
    http://oahutrading.blogspot.com/2011/02/trading-to-win.html#disqus_thread
    i've been using this comment system myself, and haven't had any complaints, and most of my readers, really like it.
    btw, on bloggers comment system, i usually don't leave comments, because it's a little bit more time consuming and the threads are confusing, compared to disqus.

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  94. Turd, How about a 'back to top of page' button down by the Post a Comment block?

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