Here are a few of the changes and updates that have been made to the Amvona site in the last week (still working out bugs).
New Site Design
The site now features an entirely new design with emphasis on simplicity and that hopefully reflects the nature of the over 50 critical articles published in the “Featured” section. Unnecessary elements were removed, the back-end completely overhauled, and the site improved for html 5 and display on mobile devices.
Hopefully this simplifies the content on the home page, and makes finding new articles faster and easier. Articles from all of the sub-categories appear in the section view (e.g. “Stream” or “Featured”). Section content is updated every four hours.
“About Us” updated
The "About Us” page has been expanded and elaborated beyond the history of the site, and now includes important sections on “Performance” and “Readership and Influence”. The development of the page continues to be in response to the large number of questions received on the topic.
1. The “Find us on Facebook” app was updated to include the stream of posts on the Amvona Facebook page
2. A tag cloud was added in the right nav. Just below the Facebook App. The tag cloud consists of the top 50 most used tags (keywords) on articles in the “Featured” section – the larger the tag in the box, the more often its been used. This is also an easy way to search for articles by Tag.
3. Category view and articles pages now include a simple 5 star ratings system to rate articles.
4. The “email” and “print” functions on article have been improved.
5. At the bottom of each article there is now a short “Author Bio”, and “Latest From” and “Related Items” for the author.
6. A link to the category the article has been published in and the related Tags is now shown on the article pages.
* Note: the update wiped-out Facebook and Twitter shares when the URL's changed.
There is a new section for the latest news in Albanian "Lajmet e Fundit". There are only three categories in this section so far, but expect to see the number grow along with more news feeds in the upcoming weeks. This brings the number of sections to four; “Stream” (Latest News), "Featured” (Amvona Articles), “Τελευταία Νέα” (Latest News in Greek) and “Lajmet e Fundit” (Latest News in Albanian)
Section and Category Name Changes
Many of the section and category names have changed to more accurately reflect the specific content. For example, “Foreclosure” is now “Property Rights”. The categories in the primary “Featured” section now include “Orthodoxy” (previously “Faith), "Finding Alpha" (previously “Investing”) "Economic Analysis" (previously “Economics”), and "Innovation" (previously “Technology”). The "Notes" and "Updates" categories remain unchanged.
Continued focus on relevant content is key to the site, and in accordance with its purpose to in some way help others.
On the topic of “Property Rights”, we have maintained for years that the issues in securitized mortgages (some 7 trillion in value), and the related problems of clouded-titles is likely the single largest economic threat to our society and in many ways is the most important factor in a much larger array of global derivatives carried at extraordinary leverage. Although we recognize that there is often low awareness or indifference towards the topic, we believe this will change in time by necessity, and thus our on going interest in helping to expose the problems of the mortgage securitization industry are growing rather than diminishing with six critical article published on the topic since the category was created.
Criticism of these articles and their positions has been harsh in the past, but has already started to soften greatly as the “spirit of the times” changes, and the views expressed in those article become more widely accepted.
We continue to modify and sculpt the content which appears on the Amvona site. New authors are regularly added (there are now over 41 feeds). We look for content that is not easily found, and has an unadulterated take on news apart from what could be found in otherwise mainstream news media. We will continue this effort over time to ensure Amvona is a site with a dynamic aggregation of otherwise hard to find news.
A note on “Featured Articles”
Amvona does not produce a high volume of articles (about two per month on average), nor are the articles produced according to anything that might be recognizable as a schedule. Articles are published when there is an important issue that either:
a) Others will be helped by the commentary and analysis
b) Brings greater awareness to an underappreciated issue
This can be said of any of the categories that Amvona works in.
Further, we continue to be grateful to the readers who have made some of the articles far more popular than we had imagined. We are also grateful to the bloggers and other publishers who have re-posted either links or the articles on their sites helping to garner widespread recognition. For example, the Amvona article on the Bevilacqua ruling was referenced thousands of times online within a week of its publication, featured in the mainstream financial media, shared about 4,000 times on Facebook, and received overwhelming support for the controversial thesis - the result was that this one article alone appears to have reached about 1/2 million people.
We continue to look forward to serving our readership so long as there is an interest in what we are doing and invite any and all recommendations on how to improve the site.