The future of Abnormal Returns

05Jan09

In an earlier post we discussed the nature of this blog.  In that post we teased a further discussion on the future of Abnormal Returns.  With the New Year we are thinking about how to move the blog forward.  While Abnormal Returns is a labor of love, it is also a considerable time commitment.  As we see it, there are a few ways we see the blog evolving.

In that spirit we have added a poll (our first!) to solicit the opinions of our readership.  As an incentive to participate we are also having a book giveaway.  We encourage every one who participates to e-mail us with “Poll” in the subject header.  At the end of the week a randomly selected reader will receive a copy of Mohamed El-Erian’s book “When Markets Collide.”*  If you want to include any additional comments please feel free to include them in the body of the e-mail or leave a comment.

A quick recap of the poll options below with some pros and cons.  First, we could self-host the site and make a conscious effort to add advertising to the site.  This is clearly more work, and some have wondered what this might do to our editorial independence.  Second, we could push harder for more donations.  We receive a steady, but small stream of donations currently.  However, we have not yet tried a ‘telethon-type’ push.  This might admittedly be difficult in the current environment.  Third, we could try to find a larger, mainstream media partner who could host the site with some sort of revenue sharing agreement.  This would require giving up some measure of control.  Fourth, we could create a “premium service” that would require a subscription.  We have some ideas here, but none that are as of yet worthy of public scrutiny.  And lastly, we could leave things just the way they are.  While possible in the short run, this is a long-term non-starter.

Of course we could very well be missing some other more attractive option.  So we are open to any (and all) serious proposals on how we can take this blog to the next level.  Thanks in advance to every one who participates.  We always enjoy hearing from our readership.

*We will e-mail the winner with the details.   In addition, your e-mail address will be used only for the purpose of this book giveaway.  We will delete them at the conclusion of the giveaway.

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6 Responses to “The future of Abnormal Returns”

  1. 1 AR rulz!

    that would be awesome if the links in the RSS feed opened up in a new window instead of having to navigate back and forth (and or right click)

  2. 2 JohnR

    I would be open to a small subscription but so many people might move to other sites for similar information. Wouldn’t advertising work best? I’m sure you have the traffic.

    Thanks for your excellent work, John

  3. 3 Nick

    First prize – one copy of El Erian’s academic text book
    Second prize – two copies…
    I’ve only recently found your site but now visit daily and the links are almost second to none. I can see you might want to take it to the next level but who is going to be giving away money easily in this climate? The site is non- personalized, non-visual and non- editorial – I would think you need to concentrate on those areas in some form? Work on partnership with someone like Felix Salmon who seems well connected but whose links and comment are actually weaker than would appear? Best of luck

  4. 4 Mike

    I really like this site and appreciate what you do, but there is no chance I would pay to continue to reading the normal content or pay for “premium content”. There are just too many free sources of content competing for my attention.

    I wouldn’t worry about your editorial independence if you more aggressively pursue advertisers – there are plenty of other similar sites with advertising from financial services firms and no one ever questions their editorial independence. You’ll be able to stay independent if you remain independent.

    Still I think the best strategy might be to find a MSM partner. I wouldn’t in anyway be turned off by a “corporate” partner, and it might open you up to a whole new set of readers.

    Good Luck.

  5. 5 Danny

    As an financial advisor, I utilize this site quite a bit….keep up the great work!

  6. 6 Louie

    Abnormal returns offers a balanced menu of articles of varying quality. As a financial economist, I value the accessibility and selectivity of the site. It saves me time. Advertising may be the best way to finance refinement of the site and expansion to invited contributors to provide some original content.


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