Stuff I’m Reading This Weekend: Psy-Fi, Econ Profs, A Blast From My Past, and Blog(ger) Battles

28 Mar
  • I’ve had this tab open for a while, but I strongly recommend reading (and bookmarking) The Psy-Fi Blog – “A Sideways look at psychology and finance.”  I’ve also added Psy-Fi to our blog roll.  One of many great articles I’ve read talks about the ways in which the financial services industry obfuscates products so as to give the impression of differentiation, when, in fact, most are largely commoditized.
  • I’ve also been dabbling with Columbia/Barnard Economics Professor Rajiv Sethi’s blog, definition worth a look, although I don’t always agree with some of his opinions.
  • A bit of an ego boost, although a little bittersweet, FINALLY we’re starting to see some progress, well, “progress” in two areas in which your humble author formerly dabbled: Smart Grid and WiMax.  (about half a decade ago I did some corporate development and strategy work at a tech company.)  I’m a long-time supporter of both technologies – especially the former – but the beautiful thing here is that they’re complementary; adoption of one drives adoption of the other, and vice-versa.  More specifically, Utilities can use WiMax in their Smart Grid infrastructure (instead of cell or proprietary networks) to transmit data and run their transmission, distribution, and metering networks more efficiently and cost-effectively.  Wide-spread industrial and enterprise adoption of WiMax will not only increase visibility of WiMax as a viable wireless technology, but drive-down costs to the point where we may finally see adoption in the consumer market.  I’ll try to get into a more nuanced discussion in a later post if there’s enough interest, but for now, all you need to know is that just like in the Million Dollar Man: We have the technology (we just have to freakin’ use it!)
  • I don’t see the Felix Salmon v. Henry Blodget debate as one between two people, but one between two ideologies (or something); Blodget seems to represent the – what I believe to be mostly antiquated and discredited – “the more eyeballs the better, end-of-story” philosophy, while Felix understands that each set of eyeballs is not created equal, that is, its not just quantity, but quality.  I’m also a major proponent of blogs as a form of media, especially those blogs/bloggers committed to best-practices; minimal synthetic click/traffic “creation”, in-line link citation to external content, etc.  So, again, as they say in “Getting to Yes,” I’m not going with who’s right, but what’s right, and, in my not-so-humble opinion, the viewpoint espoused by Felix is correct.  I read Business Insider regularly, but as a reader, I absolutely abhor some of the bullshit practices the site employs:  Misleading, sensationalist headings, slideshows purely to generate clicks, effectively copying others’ content and representing it as their own, etc.  Luckily, every now and then one of the site’s writers – some of whom are pretty damn good in and of themselves – puts up something actually worth reading, but unfortunately, I have to parse through a dozen or more nonsense “articles” just to get there.  Look: I get it, Blodget is trying to make money.  That being said, I don’t see that business model succeeding, not when it doesn’t appear to differentiate, let alone acknowledge the simple fact that certain eyeballs are worth more than others, and should be treated as such.  Felix does a much better job explaining the issues (make sure to click some of the links he mentions as they’re a big part of the story, too), so I’ll end it with this: I wish no ill-will towards Henry or anyone else at Business Insider; quite the contrary, I wish them only the best of luck and the utmost success.
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One Response to “Stuff I’m Reading This Weekend: Psy-Fi, Econ Profs, A Blast From My Past, and Blog(ger) Battles”

  1. Kristie @ Fort Worth 4G Wireless January 15, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    Hello there, just stopped by doing some research for my Fort Worth 4g website. Truly more information that you can imagine on the web. Wasn’t what I was looking for, but cool site. Have a nice day.

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