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RSS Pick: Calculated Risk

If you are interested in keeping a finger on the pulse of national real estate, I can’t recommend Calculated Risk highly enough.  I’ve been following Bill McBride since the mid 2000s, when he was sounding the alarm about NINJA loans and subprime mortgages.  He was also anonymous for years, which lent a sense of mystery.  His co-blogger at the time, Tanta, wrote an especially illuminating series of posts on the mechanics of mortgages.  She makes it fascinating with her knowledge and tone.

His specialty is graphs and commentary on those graphs.   He covers a disparate set of data sets (the hotel industry, the trucking industry, restaurants, architectural billings, demographics), as well as more traditional ones (Fed reports, Case Shiller, housing starts).  He also posts a weekly schedule of upcoming economic reports and events.  The two problems I have with the blog are: there are a lot of ads on the site (which you can avoid by using an RSS reader) and that he’s too prolific and that you have to either commit a substantial portion of time or skim along all the data he’s made available.


RSS Pick: Bill Gurley

Bill Gurley writes at Above The Crowd.  He doesn’t write often–7 posts in 2014–and often they are simply “Welcome XXX to the Benchmark Capital family”.  (He is a GP at Benchmark, a VC fund.)

But when he dives in and covers a topic, it’s very informative.  Some of the meaty topics he covers:

The rarity with which he posts make him a perfect addition to an RSS reader–you probably won’t visit his site regularly, but when he does post, you’ll want to know.

I don’t see any evidence of him writing on Medium, but he does tweet.  (Incidentally, his twitversation score is 52.)


RSS Pick: Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky only posts once every few months, but when he does, he posts excellent long form articles about the intersection of the internet, journalism and society. Like Dion, he has also posted to Medium.

One of my favorites:

The most important fight in journalism today isn’t between short vs. long-form publications, or fast vs. thorough newsrooms, or even incumbents vs. start-ups.

If you are into big thinking about how the internet is going to change how information is controlled, distributed and charged for, Clay is your guy.

RSS Pick: Dion Almaer

dion almaer photo
Photo by marcosfernandez

I think that the RSS reader is such a fantastic invention. It lets me monitor many bloggers and news sites, and see new content.  This lets you have an eye on lots of writers, including some that haven’t written for a long time.  I’m going to be highlighting blogs that I follow, one per month.

The first is Dion Almaer’s, who, unfortunately, has moved most of his writing to Medium.  But Dion is a great technologist.  He currently is employed at WalmartLabs Mobile.  He’s written such gems as:

Your coding voice:

When people ask me about Java and why I don’t often write applications in it, my answer is not that I think “Java sucks”. I think the JVM is amazing technology, and there are a ton of fantastic APIs. Using Java is a great answer for many situations. However, the least amount of fun that I have had programming has been when using the Java language. It isn’t just that it feels frustratingly verbose, although that is part of it.

and Browsers are Finally Catching Up (in 2009):

But, the browsers are finally changing. The new crop come with technologies that show that the browser vendors are thinking about building a platform for desktop quality applications. The Chrome comic book was full of this.

Remember the Chrome Comic Book?

Dion, thanks for sharing your knowledge, please resurrect your blog!  (Dion, I know this is an old photo–feel free to send me a new one and I’ll update this post.)