I recently made significant changes to RunToGold and will show you how to best benefit from them. If you are reading this in your email then I recommend visiting the RunToGold website for this article as it includes a video which will walk you through these changes along with some suggestions.
RunToGold veteran readers have seen the website mature by getting cleaner, crisper and increasing in usability. Like yourselves I read many websites. Therefore, I want the experience of RunToGold readers to be the best possible experience.
Website operators can gather visitor data. This data ranges from the general to specific. When contemplating and implementing the recent changes I analyzed some of this data to understand the readership's needs. The privacy-minded may consider a sneak peak at a new website that my friend Bill Rounds, J.D. and I are toying with called HowToVanish.
I used to spend a lot of time personally educating friends or family about financial and economic issues. I constantly addressed similar issues. A few friends and family suggested I start a website where I could explain these topics or provide answers such as how to buy gold or silver, where to buy gold coins, etc.. I got the hint that they were probably tired of my loquaciousness so I started a new hobby with RunToGold.
As the articles accumulated and the readership grew I started receiving requests for a book. When I asked the general readership I received a few comments and many emails. Because The Great Credit Contraction took a couple hundred hours and a few thousand dollars to develop the hobby needed to become self-sustaining. The book has sold decently and funds are now available for and have been allocated towards improving RunToGold.
When I started RunToGold I made a few mistakes with lasting effects. For example, I used Google's Feedburner because it was free. I have since added a paid email delivery service which is much more flexible and provides a better experience. I can send announcements without making a new post, attach files, customize the design, etc.
I launched the new email delivery service about four weeks ago and RunToGold is growing fairly quickly adding an average of about 70 new email subscribers per day. With 138 articles currently, how do I inform these new readers of most important past articles in an organized fashion without alienating veteran readers?
The new email service has a great feature where I can send out archived articles. I have added some of the best articles to the series including Federal Reserve Will Fail At Quantitative Easing, The Derivative Illusion, Gold Privacy and Constitutional Rights, Global Quantitative Easing, A Problem With GLD and SLV ETFs, Another Problem With The GLD ETF, Silver In Backwardation and several more which are delivered every 3-4 days.
There are a couple minor downsides though such as not receiving the entire new article, requiring a single click to visit the website, etc. but I think this is a minor inconvenience that is surpassed by receiving the notifying email of an update in a much more timely fashion.
Overall, as I am signed up both ways I think the new email delivery service leads to a much better user experience. If you want to test out the new service then just join via one of the numerous forms on the website. You will then receive updates from both and can easily unsubscribe from whichever one you find less effective.
CHANGE FONT SIZE
I have added two buttons that when clicked either increase or decrease the font size of the articles. While it does throw some of the other design elements off it gets the job done and should be a welcome addition for some readers.
I use the search on a pretty regular basis to find past articles to elaborate on points or issues I discuss in new articles. I have added a search bar which I have found much more accurate than the previous one.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The chart of the last 500 visitors shows that about 300 use Microsoft's Internet Explorer. If you want to RunToGold in all it’s glory than view it in Firefox. Using Firefox will probably make your Internet experience better with other websites as well.
IE 6 is eight years old, a dinosaur! If you like using IE, about 240 of the last 500 visitors, then at least upgrade to the latest version. IE 6 does not support a majority of CSS properties that are common in modern web design and making websites compatible with IE is like walking on water. Websites beautiful in Firefox and Safari often look absolutely horrendous in IE 6. I avoid the headache altogether and just give people the opportunity to upgrade. Firefox is free, easy and I will outline eight simple reasons.
FASTER AND TABBED BROWSING
Firefox is open source, free and has developed a large cadre of developers that cater to it resulting in the fastest browser available. Having multiple windows simultaneously open can be perplexing and annoying.
With tabbed browsing you can open links in background tabs and read them when ready. For example, you could load five different YouTube videos in separate tabs and let them all load while you watch one. When finished just click on the next tab and it is already downloaded. TIP: To open a new tab hold CTRL while clicking the link with your mouse.
INTEGRATED SEARCH ENGINE AND CLEANER INTERFACE
Google is built into Firefox and occupies little toolbar real estate and is easy to use. With a single click you can change it to Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Ebay, Amazon, etc. Firefox is cleaner and crisper without excess clutter and buttons. It dedicates 4% more space to actual webpage content than Internet Explorer.
POPUP AND IMAGE BLOCKING
With RunToGold I try to be extremely respectful of your time and attention. As mentioned there is a book for sale and any advertisements are generally not very intrusive or distracting.
Some websites are not nearly as respectful of your time and attention. When visiting a website landfill littered with advertisements your visit is slower and usually very annoying. Worse are distracting popup advertisements that distract your attention.
Firefox's blocking capabilities are unparalleled. You can block or unblock images with a single click and if you need to see a popup window then you can easily access a list and choose which ones to allow.
SECURITY AND DOWNLOADS
Because Internet Explorer has so many vulnerabilities most malicious plugins or viruses target those users. Firefox helps protect you against those crashes and slow performance. Firefox's download manager allows you greater control by being able to pause, receive notifications, and store information like size and location.
If you are currently using the Feedburner email delivery then I recommend trying out the new email delivery system. You can do this by filling out any of the forms on the website.
If you are currently using Microsoft's Internet Explorer then I recommend getting Firefox for free. This will likely make all your Internet browsing activities easier and more enjoyable.
I do not take the time and attention of any of my readers for granted. I am amazed that every article I write occupies hundreds of hours of people's attention. Therefore, I try to make the articles as informative, relevant, and useful as possible. I am very appreciative of your attention and support. For those who have purchased The Great Credit Contraction thank you for providing the means to keep improving RunToGold.