A Plan to Restore the “Xanga Style” Community on “Free” WordPress

(Note: This is a “Pinned Blog” – newer blogs below this one)

Soullfire is Bringing Sexy Community Back

** Former Xangans – Like and Reblog if you support this idea **

It’s been close to a month OVER SIX MONTHS since Xanga has launched it’s “updated” “Xanga 2.0″, driven with the WordPress engine, and it’s still operating well below the “free” WordPress state. The “community” that was, disappeared with the end of Xanga 1.0 with the loss of free blogging, along with all of “1.0’s” community centric features like having a front page, ring groups, and general areas where users could find each other and congregate.

Xanga has given no updates – so no one over there knows how long the “non community” condition will last.

Many former Xangans like myself have moved their general blogging over to “free” WordPress but are also feeling a general loss of overall community that “Xanga 1.0″ had.

After using my WordPress site more often, I realized that it has certain features that will allow the former Xanga community to reconnect.  The answer lies in the “Reader” section, which is accessed by the top menu bar:

Top_WP_menu

In the Reader section, on the right hand side, there’s a “Topics” exploration search column underneath “Find Friends”:

Side_WP_menu

The topics search works by searching all the “Tag” keywords put in a blog and displays the blogs that have a match. Below shows an example of the Tag area in a new blog:

blog_WP_menu

Tag words go on the bottom line separated by commas.

So once you’ve published a blog with certain tag words, it can be searched by others using the “Topics” search function.

Now here’s where the Xanga community restoration comes into the picture. All that’s needed are some common “key words” used as tags that will allow users to find posts by former Xangans. Searching on a particular keyword will be similar to using the Xanga “Blog Rings” to find a group of posts related to a similar interest.

Okay, to set this up, Xangans need to do the following:

Post a blog stating what your Xanga name was and what your current name is now. In this blog use the tag word “ID_Xanga“. This will let people search for other former Xanga users using “ID_Xanga” as well as identify the Xangans who have changed their usernames. The beauty of this is it will only pull up the blogs that use this tag, so you will have an exclusive Xanga search feature.

Next, when blogging, include the tag word “FreeXanga“. This will allow folks to find the latest blogs of former Xangans.

Following this format, we can now use keywords to group blogs by interest or subject, just like the former “Xanga 1.0″ Blog Ring or “Ish” sites. I’ve created a few tag words to get us started:

QOTD_Xan  – Use this tag word to post with a question of the day

Dollarish_Xan – Use this tag word to post with a money/savings/economic blog

Politicish_Xan – Use this tag to post with a political related blog

Rant_Xan – Use this tag to post with a rant type of blog

Drama_Xan – Use this tag for drama blogs – for the drama lovers, haha. =)

Townhall_Xan – Use this tag for general community info. This would be the tag to use when introducing new tag words to create a new search group.

FreeXanga – Use this tag in all your blogs to make them “Xangan” searchable.

I added “Xan” to the tag word topics to make it unique to Xangans, and it provides the general format for creating new search terms/groups. “ID_Xanga” need only to be used once for identification and to create a search list.

I think this should work to help restore the “Xanga 1.0″ style of community on WP, with the super bonus of now having a new world of people available to meet as well!

Note: The max number of searchable tag words is 9, so don’t add too many tags words to your blog.

** Like and Reblog this and pass the word around if you support this idea – the “FREE” solution to bringing back community “Xanga 1.0″ style! =)  **

WordPress Fix: How to Find Your “DashBoard” Button after WP’s Latest “Improvement”

It seems that as of late WP has been bitten by the “change” bug and has been making what seem like spurious updates to its site. Earlier this year they “upgraded” the blog edit page which I found to be quite hostile to saving and formatting, so I went back to using “classic mode” once they allowed us to. I say “allowed” because they just sprung the new edit page with no warning or trial period allow you to test the waters first. I and many other users found the original editor to be more user friendly, which is why they probably made it available again.

A more recent change is having the list of menu items on your blog site such as “Blogs I Follow” and “Freshly Pressed” appear on the left side of the screen rather than the right side. Why switch sides? Were people actually complaining about the menu being on the right side? I wasn’t, and I find it annoying for it to be moved to the left.

That change, while annoying, was harmless relative to the latest “improvement” foisted on the blogging public- the “new”, but definitely NOT improved  “My Sites” menu.

The previous “My Sites” option button gave you access to your “Dashboard”,  which gives you an overview of your stats, comments made, replies received, in addition to other useful information and tools.

However, this is what the new “My Sites” page looks like:

WP_info1

Um,….where’s the Dashboard button, you may ask? Good question…..great question! WP has made changes and neglected to tell anyone how to access the prior menu items that existed there. How very nice and considerate of them….NOT! >:(

I guess they thought these changes would be so “intuitive” that all the answers would just come naturally. That certainly wasn’t the case for me as I felt pretty lost.

I was fortunate my browser saved the location of “Dashboard” so I was still able to access it, but I was angry that I wasn’t able to find it directly, so I set to work trying to figure it out.

I finally did, and will present it here in case you too are having issues with finding it. You be the judge on if this “new upgrade” makes it “easier and faster” to find things as WP  claims…..

Step 1: Locate the “All sites” toggle on the top left side of the screen (see red circled item):

 

WP_info2

Step 2: Click on “All sites” list if closed to show the list of sites available (green circle):

 

WP_info3

 

Step 3:  Click on the site you wish to use. This will reveal a list of additional menu items:

 

WP_info4

Step 4: Click on the “Menus” button (red circle):

WP_info5

Step 5: Okay, now you are almost there and you see a screen that “looks” like the old dashboard, but you have to make one more selection – click on the “Dashboard” button located on the top left (blue circle):

 

WP_info6

 

And there you go – so MUCH easier and faster now, right? :/

 

WTF WordPress?

soullfire:

My nasty surprise by WordPress today- no Dashboard button- I’m still looking for it! >:-( Good thing I had the location saved on my browser.

You would THINK they would provide the info on how to access the items they removed, like “Dashboard”, but nope…

Give me a break with these lame changes already- with NO warning!, WP! >:(

Originally posted on Cordelia's Mom, Still:

InterrobangWhat is it with all these WordPress changes?  This morning I went on to check my stats, and the format has been revised AGAIN.  It took me about 10 minutes to find my own Dashboard, and I only managed it by reading WordPress’ instructions at the top of the page, and then scrolling through numerous options on the left side of the screen.  None of those options said “Dashboard.”

Settings” only took me to the administrative pages that include such stuff as my account information.

Finally, in desperation, I clicked on “Menus.”  That took me to a screen that looked amazingly like the old Dashboard – until I focused my eyes on all those drop-down options in the middle, one of which was — wait for it — “Menus Structure.”

Where the f* is my Dashboard, people?  I just want to check my…

View original 216 more words

Trading Update: The Knowledge Trap

As I continue to work with my trading system and observe how it performs – both on the sim and live accounts, my thoughts begin to wander as to why it’s taken me so long to arrive at this trading system solution. I don’t believe it’s super complex, although I have to keep in mind that even complex things can feel more simplified when you are working with expanded knowledge about that topic. It can be compared to math or science courses in school. The first level of calculus can seem difficult to comprehend at first, but at the end of the term, the concepts taught can feel pretty clear and straight forward compared to starting the class teaching the next level of calculus.

As I thought about it longer, I came to the realization that the bulk of my progress happened over time as I applied observational insights to my system over what I had learned in technical analysis books. It dawned on me that all the information I had picked up on how to apply technical analysis to market data had become a main hindrance and block to my trading system progression. It’s like the saying goes, “To the man who only has a hammer, everything starts looking like nails.”

While TA books gave me a sizable set of new analysis tools, it also directed my mind into thinking along certain paths that fit in with those tools. This turned out to be both a good and bad thing. One has to start somewhere, and just watching market prices bounce around with no guidelines at all isn’t going to magically turn into a trading solution. On the other hand, the danger is letting that framework of knowledge you start from constrain your mind from branching out to other solutions- basically trapping you in the “box” you have unknowingly created.

The term “sophomore” is used to describe second year students in school. The literal Greek translation of that word is “wise fool”, and it’s an apt one. It describes the state of the student as having learned enough to move past the freshman stage, but now has the potential problem of believing they know more than they really do. This is the knowledge trap – thinking we have enough information when we really don’t. When caught in this trap, our minds are limited to only what we know, and this leads to consciously and subconsciously making decisions that dismiss alternative paths to solutions that should be explored.

We can feel confident enough to attempt to answer questions when we should be looking for more information and confirmation. This happens all the time in all areas of life and business. Think of all the stories of how doctors can miss correctly diagnosing a patient even though all the tell tale signs were staring them in the face. Most businesses miss the jump to the next level to a competitor despite their head start advantage.  A current classic example of this is Apples “iPhone” series, which allowed a non phone company to dominate a well established cell phone industry both in hardware and software operation.  Another example is Blackberry, formerly the undisputed dominant leader in business smartphone sales, but got crushed by the iPhone to the point where some question Blackberry’s survival going forward.

All the TA books I’ve read were a two edged sword. They allowed me to start the process of analyzing chart data but they were also unconsciously chaining me to certain solutions paths as well. The fact that the majority of folks using TA still have trouble trading/investing should have served as a warning to remain open minded.

I read articles on trading about having to “free your mind” to master trading, but most of them present it in a way that suggests you just need to be calm and relaxed – which I believe is a false lead. What they should be focusing on is opening one’s mind to accept new solutions and realize that what is written is only a piece of the puzzle with other pieces needing to be discovered.

In my case, I would eventually get stuck at a level and keep running into walls. Perseverance kept me at it despite the lack of progress. During this time my subconscious mind was processing the market data I saw day after day and I would start seeing natural patterns form, so eventually I started creating new analysis methods to capture these patterns and they would wind up being more reliable than the TA book listed ones. However, my mindset was still primarily locked in “book TA” mode so I spent much time trying to marry my natural solutions to the ones I read about.  This put me in a repeating loop of progress and failure as I just couldn’t lock down the consistency I was looking for.

Over time, a LONG time, and a ton of hours working through and rehashing my actions looking for insights for improvements, the book TA methods starting fading one by one and the natural ones started being the driving force. Although I feel very fortunate that I was able to arrive at effective solutions in the realm of the high probability of failure traders face, had I listened to what my mind was telling me and not dismissed it with my “sophomoric” trading knowledge, I believe I likely could have arrived at this solution much faster.

Our minds are really super computers – if we feed it information and give it good observational data, there’s no limit to what solutions can be processed as long as we remove our “knowledge bias” – this is the true Zen of trading and solution solving in general. We just have to be open to listen to what our mind is saying without the problem of automatically rejecting based on “prior knowledge”.

 

If I could ask a million questions…

That would leave me wanting more

That’s why I let you do the talking

Maybe that’s what talking’s for

I do my best to learn to listen

Since you have so much to say

If I connect with your position

I will learn so much that way

The Secret Language of the “Zig Zag”

The volatile market can be very choppy, in that the graph of a price chart seems to be all over the place. Some notable examples of the past 2 weeks (main portion of trading day circled in blue):

9_5_14

zz1_9_5_14

9_8_14

zz2_9_8_14

9_15_14

zz4_9_15_14

 

9_17_14

zz5_9_17_14

 

Most chart analysis books present charting examples that are much smoother and easier to analyze. But the real world market movement can be anything but “smooth”.  It’s frenetic nature can pose as a difficult riddle to solve for many traders/investors.

However, all that “zig zagging” represents a language, the secret language of the market as it tests resistance and support. Understanding that language is a key to accurately reading market behavior.

So while all the zig zag “chop” is practically universally disliked by traders, it does present opportunities in gaining a deeper understanding of market behavior, which translates to moving up the ladder of trading skill and performance.

 

xanga2

Xanga 2.0: 1st Year Full Review: The “Anti-Social” Network

xanga2

About a year ago, Xanga Inc, shut down “Xanga 1.0″ and launched “Xanga 2.0″ on a “WordPress” platform, which was billed as a bold new upgrade to its aging predecessor. The new version has a pay-wall so users have to pay $48 a year for the privilege of blogging.

The initial launch of “2.0” was anything but smooth with many people not even aware Xanga 1.0 was shutting down- due to Xanga not sending a global email or creating a global splash page informing users of what was being planned. My two initial reviews on this transition can be seen here: (1) Preliminary Review, 2) Review). The prevailing hope of all those optimistic about Xanga’s “upgrade” back then was that things would improve over time and they would soon have their own comfortable and familiar Xanga back.

Well, a year has come and gone and unfortunately the poor quality of the site has barely improved, if at all. Users who have paid $48 to blog have had to deal with a system that operates far below the replaced Classic Xanga and even free WordPress. In addition, users also can’t communicate to any other blogging networks outside the Xangaverse environment and now see their subscriptions times nearing expiration, forcing them to pay up once more to continue operating in this deeply subpar environment.

The “Xanga 2.0 is Now a Reality” banner is turning out to be more of a “Mission Accomplished” moment instead.

 

To bring everyone up to speed or refresh one’s memory to how we got to this point, the timeline of events is as follows:

____________________________________________________

May 30, 2013 – The Xanga Team posts a message on their blog announcing that they are contemplating either shutting down Xanga in July, or porting it over to a more modern WordPress platform “if” users would be willing to contribute a total of $60K before the July deadline.

This created a big stir from all those who got the message. The problem is the message was just posted on their blog, so users who don’t visit the front page to look for a small section that had Xanga Team updates never got the word, which included Xangans in “Hong Kong” who don’t have a Xanga Team update section. This meant the vast majority of folks had no idea Xango 1.0’s days were numbered.

The pressure of just having a six week deadline for the community to raise the funds felt more like a gun to everyone’s head to either pay up or have their online blogs wiped out. Folks wondered why there was this sudden move to urgency rather than getting an earlier message from Xanga to allow more time to respond.

Their fundraiser message included the following:

“Through July 15th: We will contact our registered members to let them know about the fundraiser, and also allow any and all users to download their blogs and media files for free.”

This NEVER happened. I don’t know of any user who received any email notice of Xanga’s impending shutdown or fundraising efforts. You have to ask yourself why wouldn’t they notify everyone? It could have been done with just a simple startup splash page when the user logged on. You would think that they would want to reach as many current and former users as possible for their pledge drive. This was just the beginning of many questionable moves by “Team Xanga”.

After this bombshell of an announcement, and the pledge drive/deadline being only six weeks long, “Team Xanga” went into a media blackout with no new updates for over two weeks, leaving that to a volunteer not employed by Xanga, EdLives. This is followed shortly by a newly created hashtag, #wearexanga to promote the pledge drive.

Why would a firm in crisis seeking pledges from their community under a tight deadline not assign some PR type of person to communicate other than a non company volunteer? Answer: they clearly either do not understand how to run a business or they don’t care enough about the community to address their concerns in a timely manner.

Can you imagine if this were attempted in professional circles? Picture this: “CNBC reports that Xcorp has no one available to answer questions about their announced crisis, but someone not employed with the company is willing to try and field questions or pass them onto Xcorp staff”. Can you imagine how much negative backlash that would generate?

During this time non Xanga employee Edlives  promotes the pledge drive on a daily basis and extolls the virtues of what “Xanga 2.0″ would have over the current free blogging sites as told to him by “Team Xanga”.  He also arrives at the conclusion and begins “preaching” that ad-revenue based websites are not viable for long term survival, trying to justify Xanga’s switch to a pay-only website.

I can tell you without any doubt or reservation that his conclusion is just WRONG. He used failed websites and the poor ad revenue state of “Xanga 1.0″ to support his case, but glossed over successful ad-based revenue websites like Google, YouTube, WordPress, and Facebook to name a few. He even stated that Facebook was on the decline phase of its corporate life cycle. At the time he wrote that, Facebook stock was in the low $20’s. Now a year later Facebook’s stock value is in the mid $70’s and etching out all time highs. Assuming he is also reflecting on opinions given to him from “Team Xanga”, it suggests they are unwilling or unable to address the true problems of their business weakness and in turn, just assign the fault to an outside force rather than their own actions. This is a key reason many businesses fail – refusing to accept blame and take action to improve.

Xanga was given a gift in having a “volunteer” being such a cheerleader for their new product as it gives them legal protection since he’s not employed with the company if all his glowing expectations of the new Xanga fail to pan out.

Despite the more realistic and negative warnings about Xanga’s pay-wall business plan by myself and others like former Xanga bloggers Cagey and CoolMonkey, he always had a positive counter to them. Unfortunately, enough people were convinced to support the plan rather than try to get “Team Xanga” to change course at a time when potential pledge payers had the most leverage.

June 17th, 2013 – “Team Xanga” CEO John Hiler finally reappears for an official update. The excuse for the delay in updating was “personal issues”, which brings up the question- aren’t there other employees who could have provided updates? After all, Xanga isn’t a one person operation, but from the lack of response you might think it was a “no man” operation.

It includes a Q&A segment – here’s an example:

____

How are you going to reach other members?

It’s going to be tough to reach a lot of our members from earlier years, since in most cases we don’t have their latest email address. So in addition to press outreach, we’re also working on a marketing campaign that will help us virally send out the word on what’s going on!  More on that soon.

____

Does anyone know what that “viral” marketing campaign was? I for one didn’t see it nor did anyone else I’ve spoken with.

 

June 30th, 2013- Xanga CEO John appears on Blogtalkradio. During the radio show he mentions that all current and former premium user’s blogs would be transferred over and was researching to see if all “TRUE” user blogs could be transferred over as well.

Portion of transcript of conversation:

______________

Alex: Clarify which accounts are automatically transferred.

John: Focusing on bringing over all Premium members. Also going to [bring] over all accounts that have been Premium at one time. It will be a lot of work to transfer accounts over. All user accounts will be transferred even if blog doesn’t transfer. Users can still log in, read their subs and comment.

Alex: What about the True members?

John: We can look into whether we can support that. It’s a question of numbers; how many we can transfer over. We want to move over as many as possible.

Alex: There may be people who decide they want to continue on xanga after July 15. Will they have lost all their entries or will their old blog still be somewhere?

John: Have they ever been a Premium member? First we’re going to move over the current Premium members. Then we’ll move over those who have been Premium in the past. Then we’ll get as many transferred as possible.Others can download their archives in the XML format and transfer them.

______________

This turned out to be FALSE – with the only blogs transferred being current premium members and folks paying the $48 ransom fee. There was never an explanation or apology for the change of plans.

Pants on fire

 

July 8, 2013 – With just one week left before the pledge drive deadline, “Team Xanga” finally issues another update to answer some of the questions all the community members have. The update mentions the importance of the “Xanga community”:

Whenever anyone asks me what Xanga is all about, I always answer: “blog community.” To me, that’s what makes the site fun: you can blog, and there’s a community of people generally excited to read your posts (and vice versa).

I know a lot of people who have tried other blogging platforms, and they’ll often say that they feel they’re publishing into a vacuum… and that nobody is reading their blogs. We’re working to keep that warm community feeling on Xanga…”

You will see the utter IRONY of that statement as we continue…

The July 15th deadline is extended to the end of the month.

 

July 9th – July 30th – Another data blackout with “Team Xanga” keeping users in the dark about its fate as the deadline clock winds down. Not one update during this time and the pledge drive amount received at that time is far from the $60K goal. Things look pretty grim. Most Xanga users move on to other sites.

 

July 31, 2013 – On the last day of the pledge drive, a new update is finally posted from “Team Xanga”.  John the Xanga CEO announces he is making a contribution of $10K, effectively lowering the pledge goal to $50K. The pledge drive deadline is also extended, again, to end of August.

With about $48K in pledges at the time, it’s pretty much a done deal that reaching $50K by Aug 31 won’t be a problem- ensuring “Xanga 2.0″ will launch.

Question: Would a company that really cared about their community/customers let them twist in the wind and worry about their future right until the deadline date when they had to know earlier about extending the deadline as well as reducing the pledge amount needed?

Aug 1, 2013$50k goal reached.

Aug 29, 2013 – Xanga makes a surprise announcement that this will be the last day of “Xanga 1.0″ and will be shutting down around midnight EST for the transition to “Xanga 2.0″.

Sept 3rd, 2013 – Xanga 2.0 is launched

____________________________________________________

So here we are a year later – so let’s see what the current state is since my unofficial update last November:

1)  Still no front “Community Page” that old Xanga 1.0 had.

2) No easy way to find current users or new blogs.

These two problems alone have effectively DESTROYED the Xanga community as we knew it.

What was that they were saying about the “Xanga community” being so important again? :/ What a joke that turned out to be.

3) “Team Xanga” continues to ignore the community.

Xanga’s splash page has not been “Xanga Team” updated since Sept 2013- a YEAR ago. It still states they are “starting Xanga 2.0″ at midnight. :/

Ditto for Xanga’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

No updates closing in on a year and counting? Is this the action of a company that truly cares about the community they asked to donate money?

Is this their version of “warm community feeling?” It’s like they collected their money and then gave those who donated half a peace sign. The level of community disregard and disrespect is absolutely amazing.

4) Functionality remains far below “free” WordPress and other blogging sites

Here are “Team Xanga’s” words:

Here are some of the new features we’d be able to offer out of the box:

* Custom themes – you’ll be able to use custom themes we’ll pull from around the web, as well as add/edit CSS.
* Plugins – We will provide a library of powerful plugins that you can activate and configure on your site.
* Group blogging – At long last, you’ll be able to allow others to blog on your site… and share moderation rights on your blog.
* Threaded comments – We’ll look into threaded comments, which would allow readers to reply to comments in a threaded manner
* Better spam controls – Every user would have their own spam queue that they could configure and manage.
* Moderation features – You would be able to put keywords, IPs and usernames into moderation on your blog.

I crossed out the features that were not only MIA “out of the box”, but are STILL absent today.

The best way to describe “current” Xanga is like an “alpha” version of WordPress that lacks all the modern features and makes “Xanga 1.0″ functionality look like state of the art blogging.

 

obama-then-i-said4

 

5) Xanga is still “landlocked” with being unable to see or leave messages on other blogs outside of Xanga including “free” WordPress- leaving folks trapped in a fishbowl that has gotten considerably smaller.

Even worse, there are no search options of any kind so good luck finding other users.

6) Net traffic volume is in the basement

Most people blog to have their posts be seen by others on the web – the more the better. Xanga’s “1.0” net traffic wasn’t that great, but in “2.0”, it’s abysmal:

Healthy Net Traffic of “Free” WordPress  Over a Year:

Wordpress Metrics 1yr_7_2014c

Monthly unique user traffic is averaging around 34 million…giving the site a ranking of being in the top “31”.

 

Here’s the Net Traffic of $48/mo Xanga Over a Year:

Xanga Metrics 1yr_7_2014c

Xanga’s monthly unique user traffic dropped from over 200k in “1.0” to under 40K now, giving it a ranking of “50,607”.

You sure wouldn’t blog on Xanga to be “discovered”, although it might be good for a witness protection program.

Witness_Protection_Program

 

5) For the “privilege” of working in this ultra degraded environment, “Team Xanga” is still treating this as a working service worth paying for and running the clock on everyone’s subscriptions.

When I requested subscriptions be extended until the site is fully functional, I was politely told to send in $48 and directed to a paypal site for renewal. They feel their current level of service is worth charging $48/yr for.

joke

7) No respect or consideration of any kind for their most loyal customers

Those who remained on Xanga through the years and didn’t jump ship to the newer platforms like Facebook got the shaft as their reward.

Their most loyal and active base of community, the TRUE users, were just cast off like garbage. The real sad part is how many of these users went to great lengths to help raise funds for the pledge drive- some even buying multiple year memberships, only to be forgotten and ignored once the monies were collected.

Xanga_True_Strike

So much for any significance or appreciation of the badge of loyalty……

Here we see yet another ENORMOUS mistake – getting rid of all their built in beta alpha testers.

As subscriptions expire, why on earth would anyone be motivated to renew in Xanga’s current abysmal state, and who would be encouraged to join when they can get far better service from free blogging sites? Free WordPress is worlds better than “WordPress powered” $48/yr Xanga. So the active bloggers list on Xanga shrinks even more.

The end result is blogging content on Xanga will decrease further, making it even more boring and unattractive to current and potential users. For being one of the senior blogging companies, Xanga is forgetting the prime reason why free blogging started in the first place. Blogs represent content, which attracts more people. Xanga now thinks that people want to blog on a site that has minimum user blogging content. Yeah, this will be as popular as folks wanting to go to an empty night club.

 

There seems to be just one person who remains strongly optimistic about Xanga- its number one “volunteer/cheerleader” Edlives. Ed still maintains that the site is just in “transition” and will be eventually improving, even though a YEAR has passed with no significant updates. That’s a heck of a transition timeframe- especially when folks are being charged during this period.

opti

 

The actual pledge drive site to “Save Xanga” has been taken down, but as we know, nothing on the internet is truly erased- here’s a final archived snaphot: Xanga Crowdhoster

They raked in over $68K to charge folks $48/yr for a site that is far inferior to free blogging sites. Nice.

 

joker_bail2

 

Something is missing on that final Crowdhoster snapshot – the section for all the “Under $48″ donors- but not to worry – there’s an older snapshot that has it. Here’s what it says:

Xanga Crowdhost Rewards2

So everyone who contributed $1 and up should have been on a “Thank You” post created by “Team Xanga”. This also NEVER HAPPENED – just another broken promise.

Feel Cheated

Surprisingly, quite a few folks who have paid $48+ to blog continue to be good natured and patient about the persistent state of non functionality that resembles NOTHING like the beloved Xanga of old, classic “Xanga 1.0″.

But for the majority of paid users as well as former “free” community members, we know a hot mess when we see it. Compared to “Xanga 1.0″, “Xanga 2.0″ is the XANGAPOCALYPSE.

This is the standard reaction when someone from “Xanga 1.0″ checks out “Xanga 2.0″:

 

Trading Update: Progress Continues On Trading System

Making steady progress in coming up to speed on my modified trading methods.  The more I use it the more I realize it’s the real deal for me. Any trading mistake I make is no longer system related- meaning that the error comes from me failing to properly apply the system.

When properly used, the system provides excellent entries and exit targets with no fear of getting stopped out via whipsaws. As I grow more familiar with it I get a greater awareness of just how accurate it is. Am I excited about this? You bet! I’ve reached the phase where I have made a working and tested system and all that remains is getting proficient, which is happening daily.

I say these things knowing any experienced traders reading this may think “Many traders have claimed they had a ‘working’ system, only to have it not perform as stated.”  If I were reading this blog as a stranger, I’d probably think exactly the same thing, haha. =) Fair enough, but time and performance results will prove me right or wrong.

I have to say though when you have a line on how the market is supposed to move, you really start seeing all the “fake” market moves that trick so many into making bad trades. It’s not like the market is just “random” and hard to figure – it’s actively moving in a way to entice you to make an error. I see the market dance around resistance and support lines to “fake” resistance or support, only to reverse and move in the other direction. Anyone trading on the fly without having a system to keep them grounded is bound to have problems getting accurate reads on market moves.

Here’s Friday’s ES Chart:

Chart of GLOBEX~@ESU4_8_22_14b

When the market opens, the market price moves all over the place with no clear direction. A notable bar is a 7am when prices spike up, reverse, spike down sharply, then jump back towards the center in a span of 2 minutes (candle bar timeframe). Very easy to get whipped out of a position with movement like that. On the other hand, there is a good amount of volatility that can produce good profits if properly traded. There’s almost 10 points difference between the high and low points of the day.

 

 

 

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Science Points to the Single Most Valuable Personality Trait

Originally posted on TIME:

Research is pointing to conscientiousness as the one-trait-to-rule-them-all in terms of future success, both career-wise and personal.

Via How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character:

“It would actually be nice if there were some negative things that went along with conscientiousness,” Roberts told me. “But at this point it’s emerging as one of the primary dimensions of successful functioning across the lifespan. It really goes cradle to grave in terms of how people do.”

What is it? Basically, it’s being “efficient, organized, neat, and systematic“:

Conscientiousness is the state of being thorough, careful, or vigilant; it implies a desire to do a task well. Conscientiousness is also one trait of the five-factor model of personality, and is manifested in characteristic behaviors such as being efficient, organized, neat, and systematic. It includes such elements as self-discipline, carefulness, thoroughness, self-organization, deliberation (the tendency to think carefully…

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Trading Update: Practice and “Patience” Makes Perfect

I initially thought I could incorporate my newly discovered market movement behavior into my system. But as time went on it became clear that I had to modify my system instead to make it compatible.

As such it’s taking some time to get familiar with the updated system. It’s a little frustrating since I’m anxious to master it but I reluctantly realize that there’s a learning curve involved. It’s taken me years to get to the point where I’m at, so I can’t sweat the few extra weeks it will take to come up to speed.

The big difference is now I can map out perfect EOD solutions based on the new system- detailing the signals my charting would have provided for the best entry and exit signals. It serves as the answer key to my real time plots and the challenge is mapping the real time plots with enough speed and accuracy to make use of the signals.

The market has taken on a very “choppy” nature which is what makes real time mapping a challenge. Lots of zig zagging to confuse you as to its future direction.

An interesting revelation I noticed is that all the “market chop” may appear random, but when you have a good idea where the market is headed, all the chop reveals itself to be quite devious – dancing along different paths seemingly intentionally to lure traders in with false signals. It basically neutralizes all the standard “textbook” support/resistance rules you see in most TA books. If you make a mistake with your support and resistance lines, the market will still “react” to them via “chop” to make it look like one’s plot is correct, only to have it fail going forward. All the chop basically forces one to be accurate with their plots to avoid the traps.

 

pratice

The Summer of Milestones

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WordPress lets me know in big bold letters what my current post count is whenever I publish a blog. My last blog was #99 and this one is the Big 100! Of course I’ve published 100’s of posts on my Xanga Account, but Xanga never heralded stats to make me aware of the running count.

Since WordPress made me “aware” of my impending 100th post, I starting thinking that maybe I should include some major news or something else significant to mark the event- which explains the time gap between my last post and this one. I was waiting for something worthy to put down for the big 100.

First off, I have to say that I’m not a fan of the new editor format WordPress introduced. I got used to the old one and they moved things around, changed some naming conventions, and didn’t even give a warning or grace period for folks to check out the changes before the switch. As a result, I made my first big error yesterday where I lost an entire blog of edits because I didn’t press the “Update” button. I was looking for a “Save/Save Draft” button, but the new editor version doesn’t have one. Instead they have “Update”, but I missed the connection. What’s worse is that there are no “auto-saves” so you MUST press the “Update” button to save your work. >:(

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Onward to “Trading Updates”, where these are some pretty significant milestone events to discuss.

My last trading update mentioned that I had finally tailored my trading system to a point where I felt I was rapidly closing in on consistent quality trading. Well, my system was accurate enough to allow me to make a ginormous discovery/realization- finding what I call “immutable action-reaction” chart patterns.

Okay, to bring everyone up to speed- technical analysis (TA) deals with analyzing chart data such as price and volume using mathematical or graphical tools in order to help forecast future price movement. It can be as simple as noting support and resistance levels to complicated math equations and algorithms run on computers generating buy or sell signals.

The biggest problem with technical analysis is that its accuracy is limited – sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t, which lowers its reliability. This is why in the trading/investing world there are many advertisements for “sure fire” trading systems that all but guarantee success. Of course, common sense asks the question if these systems were so good, why would their owners be selling the plans as opposed to using them to make money?

The majority of traders dream of finding an accurate technical trading signal that would take all the work out of deciding when to be buying or selling. Well, this month I found something pretty close to that.

What I discovered is a market action-reaction that acts the same way with my TA set up. What I mean is if prices act a certain way to my set up, then the following reaction has a certain characteristic that also repeats. So if one sees the action, one now knows what the coming reaction will be. This is as close to a guaranteed forecast signal that I’ve seen. 

I consider myself very fortunate to have made this discovery- I was going through the end of day charts and reworking my analysis to see what the best trades would have been when I made the connection. The movements are so subtle that it’s easy to miss, and I’ve seen the behavior numerous times over the years, but never made the connection until now. The market moves in so many twists and turns, looking for such a connection is like the proverbial needle in a haystack. Without the right TA set up, I would never have noticed it.

This is a huge discovery in many ways. First, it’s a near guaranteed trading signal. Next, it serves as a reference point when making system adjustments. Normally, adjusting a trading system is difficult because you never know if any adjustment you make will break another part of your system. By having a known action/reaction, all adjustments can be made using that result as a constraint. It also works over many time frames so it can easily be used for longer term investing.

The discovery is pretty new so I’m still working on incorporating it into my system. I thought about waiting until I was using it and generating a stream of profits for confirmation, but that might take a few more weeks and didn’t want to keep from blogging about events that long. This is where I write about my journey of day trading proficiency and this is something worth writing about! =)

The next few weeks will tell that tale of whether I know what I’m talking about or if I’m suffering from delusions. ;-)

Trading Prowess: Mental Ability or Mental Stability? Action or Attitude?

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This year I’ve read several blogs or articles mentioning trading ability with the focus on emotional control over having a specific working trading plan. By “working”, I mean a plan that that has proven itself to be profitable over time.

Today I read another article that went along these lines- here are some excerpts:

On why traders have problems:

No, it is not your fear of losing, it isn’t your inability to read the market correctly, nor is it your lack of charting knowledge that causes your trading difficulties.

In a nutshell: The number one reason for all your problems revolves around the fact that you have reality back to front.”

The author then goes on to explain what they mean – that our mind is focused on the wrong things- that we are weighed down by preconditioning.

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