HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE ECONOMIC POPULIST
Happy Holidays from The Economic Populist! We hope you have a wonderful, stress-free and safe Christmas.
The Economic Populist Elves are busy this holiday, tinkering on a brand new website, full of upgrades, goodies and magical statistical sprinklings. Won't you please help the upgrade magic by donating just a few Christmas dollars? In the spirit of giving, we thank you.
Ho, ho, ho you will go if you watch the outrageously funny economic Christmas videos below. We hope you have a wonderful holiday!
Holiday Carols From Versusplus
The Twelve Days of Cliffmas
High Tech Christmas
Merle Hazard's Fiscal Cliff Song
Fiscal Cliff Jingle Bell Rock
U.K. Christmas Austerity Song
A Word From Our Sponsors - Christmas Advertisement
Cartoonist: Clay Bennett
Cartoonist: R.J. Matson
Cartoonist: Clay Bennett
The Ghosts of Christmas Past from The Economic Populist
Below are our economic funnies from past Christmases. Still relevant to bring you that gallows humor holiday cheer.
- Christmas 2011
- Christmas Economic funnies of Holiday 2010
- The 2009 Christmas laughs
- 2008, our first year.
Our Christmas movie Marathon, The Age of Uncertainty is Galbraith's documentary on economics and the economy. Zone out to economic blotto with economic theory that has been under attack for the last 40 years. Warning, don't drink and watch.
Don't forget to donate and Merry Christmas Everyone!
Tell Us Your Site Upgrade Wish List
Merry Christmas all EPers!
The site is going to be upgraded in stages. It's too massive a job and to do it all at once there would be too much downtime and the dreaded bugs are always a huge problem for they seem to only pop up after being on a live production site.
I hope regulars will help me out by reporting bugs and problems. Yes folks, not only am I the main author but I am the site designer and the PHP coder! Server costs are MASSIVE and will become more so, but that's ok, who knew we would turn into a professional analysis site but that's what happened from a shout out hobby that was EP when we started.
I will post in comments when upgrades are happening, but beyond the "site is offline for maintenance", no other major notices are planned. Ok, here are the upgrades I am focusing on which will be in the first stages that would be of interest to EPers.
Stage One Upgrade
Even this will be done in stages, else there will be too much downtime for the site. Not because it's not functioning in one shot in my sandbox (a testing and development site, not online), it is, but because the biggest hassle I always get is bugs popping up in a production site, no matter how much pre-testing and debugging I do before hand.
1. New layout, theme that displays correctly on iOS, Android, tablets, mobile devices as well as all browsers and OSes.
2. Scalable images so one can see the detail of graphs on any device
3. Better finding of older articles and content with new menus, sections
4. Comments located more predominately and more amplified to enable participation
5. Better layout generally and more readable generally.
There is much more to the first upgrade stage, but it's all behind the scenes stuff. Page load speed is the #1 thing to improve so I really want to hear back about page load, site speed. We're looking at use of a CDN as well as adding Varnish, which is an optimization for page load. APC, memcache are already used and will also be used after the upgrade. It's all server stuff though most of the upgrades and yes, I am the server person too. Current server, if anybody is interested is CentOS 6, x64, VPS.
I also have custom code on this site, simply because the functionality desired doesn't exist and anyone interested in that, let me know. EP is based on Drupal and this is an upgrade from 6.x to 7.x +, so I had to rewrite/write custom code to be compatible (Drupal calls PHP scripts modules).
One thing I think the site needs is a real forum where anybody can post a topic question and it's a free for all. EP started out as a community site for those wanting to talk about economics, labor issues for the middle class but has turned into a glorified semi-pro newspaper. So, the plan is to make the site more like a newspaper but I would like to get that community feel back since the original point was very few were talking about or even analyzing correctly policy and even statistics for regular working people in America.
The biggest problem in creation of more functionality is breaking links, SEO (Google hates broken links), page speed and bugs (not my bugs, Drupal contributed bugs). So, the focus still has to be on speed, speed, speed, scalable display SEO and readability. (SEO is a fancy term to mean search engines can find your stuff easily).
So, the current "forum" isn't a forum, it's statistical economic report overviews. All of that needs to be restructured as well as archived for older overviews. The type "blog" isn't a blog at all, they are articles so this also needs to be restructured to represented what we turned into from where we started. These are huge restructuring issues, also involving database modification and why it's in stage 2.
Anyway, just let me know your biggest complaint. We have a lot of anonymous comments, people who just want to comment once in a while on something they read and I'm looking to make that easier but more trackable.
Happy holidays and please leave a comment on your biggest "boy is that irritating" thing about EP that you would like to be changed and additionally please be on the look out for bugs. I'll put a comment on site upgrade started, done so you know something was just changed. I expect stage one to be from 12,26.12 to 01.01.13 because this is the least traffic of the year for economic and finance sites.
#1 Complaint/Constant Source of Amazement
Happy Holidays to you, Robert Oak, and all the readers.
My #1 Complaint/Constant Source of Amazement is the very few readers who leave comments for your wonderful articles.
How can thousands of reads result in a just one or two comments? But it happens all the time. I myself have been guilty of relative silence over the past six months. I will try to do better.
I hope your changes will inspire your many thousands of readers to make their presence known and express their opinions. The more comments there are, the better for all.
ok, I'll take that as ease of commenting needs improvement
Comments on Drupal suck. It's five years later and still ajax comments do not work which is a sad state of affairs. I'll see what I can rig up.
A never ending issue is spam along with crazies. Currently we have a fairly well working system that auto-deletes and I need one more tweak to keep out spammers, at which point I could enable automatic anonymous commenting. Lots of security problems
and that's just the spammers and site attackers. Lobbyists also have paid (for cents on the dollar) trying to get their bogus stuff on the site.
Lots of security in other words and still need a little more to make sure the spam, crazies and lobbyists cannot abuse and attack the site.
Yeah, we have major, major lurkers on EP as one can see from the reads vs. comments. One of my biggest concerns is the writing itself sucks and that's why they do not comment so I greatly appreciate the compliment!
please tell me your problems with comments, usability Thanks!
Folks, the upgrade is still ongoing and I can tell you the current workspace (right column), is going away but looking good to be replaced with your own personal dashboard.
I'm working on discussion, comments in the site new design, upgrade and I really, REALLY want to know what you would like to see to make discussion better, commenting easier for you.
Seriously, please tell me for it's looking bad at the moment on the upgrade to just use something "out of the box" and I'm probably going to be writing more code. If I'm writing more code, I might as well design something you all want and will use.
Because of that I REALLY want to know what kind of comments you find easiest to use, whose discussion you go to most often to have conversations to comment on articles and so on.
You can even point me to the place where you find yourself participating in discussion more than any other site and just give me a reason as to why you're there (beyond a lot of people also being there).