The Future Futures Index Is Down

Think back to ancient history – like before Al Gore invented the Internet.

I don’t recall ever hearing the top story of the hour being “American Stock Exchange futures are down, due to heavy losses in Asian and European markets”. I reckon that we can now know this because we can all see stock performance around the world instantly thanks to the web, and because we have people who stay up all night following this kind of activity.

I guess I have few problems with this bit of news. For one thing, it is manipulative. If I invested in the markets (I don’t), I’d be gearing up for the bell to sell whatever shabby bits of paper I have left because – omigod – the market’s headed LOWER. I mean, when the radio tells you it’s going to rain, you bring an umbrella, don’t you?

For another thing, though it maybe newsworthy, does it deserve the lead spot at the top of the hour? When I decode the message “stock futures are down” or phrases like “pretrading”, I visualize the really rich and powerful Joe Stock Traders out there getting a jump on the stock market by betting on what it’s going to do before it opens.

When do these guys do this? As soon as the NYSE closes? Or do they go to dinner first?

When the stock market was explained to me, my grandfather pointed to a building we were passing on the Rapid and said, “Jimmy, you own a brick of that building.” Of course, I had to ask if we could go to the building and take my brick home with me, to which he patiently explained that it was better if I let the company use my brick, to keep their walls up. Later, I was taught the basic principle, “buy low, sell high – and hang on to a good stock. When it’s down, it’s down, but if it’s a good stock, it’ll go up again.”

Does anyone still believe this? Or am I just waiting for the ice man to deliver a block from a horse cart?

In other news, layoffs are coming. The American auto industry will be insolvent within 12 months. Cheerful stuff about, um, the future.

Oh yeah, it’s going to rain this weekend. Bring an umbrella.

Barefoot children

I’m thinking hard about a site redesign for my minimalist, boring link page casually known as The problem is me of course: i’m the client, the writer, the designer, the technical consultant, the developer, and the cobbler.

More about me: I’m a busy consultant for IBM. I use the word “consultant” loosely: in the Global Services branch where I serve, we’re all consultants, so I sort of can’t avoid the moniker. But a more accurate description of what I do is “IT Specialist – RIA Developer”, which, translated into Ordinary American, means I make web pages. True, I try to get on the slick projects that require Flash or Flex, but since I’m a sub genus of Consultant, I go where the work takes me.

But that’s not all. In my less lazy off-hours, I’m a musician, painter and photographer. I try my hand at songwriting and composing, and I’m not a bad cook to boot. My pals tell me that I have a “very full life”, which may be a way of saying I take on too much.

Given that, you’d think I’d have a smashing, wildly self-promoting web presence. Well, I don’t. Maybe I never will – maybe it’ll always amount to what LimeyG referred to as a few “sad, lonely blogs” which are perennially neglected.

I had a long discussion with Viv yesterday on the topic of blogs and topics. See, I feel that one WordPress is not enough. My infrequent rantings tend to jump categories, and it’s my personal feeling that WP does an inadequate job of fully presenting multi-topic content. Instead, users are force to pick the content channel out of the raging stream (or in my case, pathetic trickle) and apply the Category Filter technique of content sifting to arrive at a page that sieves the stream into, well, categories, which are basically akin to tags.

Well, I guess there’s nothing wrong with that…. except I’d like to write a music blog and a technology blog and a somewhat-related-but-entirely-new-thread user experience blog – in short, I sort ofwant more silos, each with the ability to categorize within themselves – and possibly out to each other.

One answer may be to skin my own WordPress in such a way that it reacts the way I want it to.

Viv suggest that I redesign my site. What I’m describing is basically a one-person magazine.

That brings up the spectre of Content Management….

So am I going to put the yellow “Digger Dude” sign up on I’d rather just unveil the new site when it’s ready, rather than titllating the 1.5 readers I’ve got and letting them down when they realize that “Coming Soon” means “Coming By The Time The Sox Get To The World Series Again”.

Anyone seen my kids anywhere? There’s the barefoot ones.