The New Credit Writedowns

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I am just back from the Easter Holidays and have had a good two weeks for self-reflection.  In truth, I am feeling a bit exhausted despite the fact that I was supposed to have just had a two weeks’ holiday. So, I have decided to make a few changes.  Before I do, I would appreciate some feedback from you regarding this site.

First, I want to give you a pretty unfiltered version of my thought process and then I’ll wrap up with some tentative conclusions I have drawn.  I’m hoping your feedback will help me draw some more definitive conclusions.

Thoughts

I love blogging. Ever since I decided to start blogging last March, I have felt fulfilled by it.  As you have figured out by now, I am a fairly opinionated guy who tends to have an opinion on everything.  Before I started this blog, I really didn’t feel I had a good forum through which to exchange ideas to help come to grip with all of the turmoil in finance and economics.  Now I do and I love it.

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There is an incredibly diverse and talented group of econbloggers toiling away, adding their voice to this discussion.  For me, the econblogger space has become in 2008-9 for finance what the Netroots was in 2002 for politics.  It is the go-to place to get a well-informed uncensored view of what is really happening today in the world of finance.  Quite frankly, most mainstream media outlets have not done us justice and a void is being filled by econbloggers.

The incredible thing about econblogging is how good ideas and well-informed views rise to the top.  I mean, this is what the Internet is all about, isn’t it? It’s the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ in plain view for all to see and it should give us all hope for the future of economics, of journalism, and of progress more generally.

However, it’s not like any of us econbloggers is making tons of coin from this.  We do it because we love it.  But, I am not so sure of my future role in this space.  Blogging has taken a lot of time away from my day job (Consulting) – the admin side of things is crushing. And so I don’t think it is sustainable unless I find some way to earn money from this adventure.  I might also add that I have gained a few pounds in the last year as apparently blogging is not good for your health!  You’ve hear about college students and the Freshman 15?  Well, try bloggers and the Blogging 25.

Before Easter, I was in Mexico where I had nearly no connection to the outside world.  The mobile was off,  Internet access was an hour or two a day, and Television was banned. Quite frankly, there were times during that week when I thought about giving up blogging altogether. My thinking after the week was that I was going to cut back significantly on the blogging because it was costing me time and money.  So, I had every intention to write this post to inform you of my need to ratchet things back a gear.

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However, the week afterwards was spent in Germany where I was much more connected – to Europe rather than the United States.  And I have a ton of ideas and thoughts to share from that week.  So, I am at a bit of a crossroads here.  I am not quite sure where things are headed at Credit Writedowns.  I am glad to have played my part in econblogging, but I am not sure what my role will be going forward.

Tentative Conclusions

The first conclusion I drew upon reflection is that my forceful opinions may be keeping some of you from commenting. There are a few of you who have no problem telling me when I’ve gotten it wrong (Denis, VangelV, you know who you are).  But, on the whole, I tend to think there are fewer comments from you than there should be.  I see this as a conversation, not a monologue. In this conversation, you should not be timid in voicing your own thoughts.

I have also been kicking around a few ideas regarding how to make blogging more (financially) rewarding.  Idea number one is a paid monthly newsletter.  Idea number two is a donations button on the site.  I have pu the donations button up already, but I wold definitely love any feedback you can give regarding what would be useful in a monthly newsletter and whether you would subscribe to one.

I have also been thinking a lot about writing a book.  A lot of econbloggers have made a positive contribution in this way: Michael Panzner and Barry Ritholtz to name two.  Yves Smith is also writing a book as well.  The problem with writing a book is it gives me even less time for blogging than I have already.

I would also like to write more about Europe and am looking for some ‘Partner’ blogs there to bring a fresh perspective.  You can see some of them on my blogroll already.  I would also like to talk a bit more about psychology and how it affects economic behavior.

So, you can see these conclusions are very, very tentative. They are more a wish list than conclusions at this stage. The only things that is clear is that I need to exercise more!

I love blogging.  I wake up in the morning brimming with enthusiasm, full of ideas to share with you.  I wish I could do this full time.  But I cannot.  Any way I look at it, there will be a new Credit Writedowns in the coming days and weeks. As I come to some more definitive conclusions on the way forward, your feedback is very, very much appreciated.

Edward

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