Wednesday, December 30, 2020

With The Financial Times' FT Alphaville Going Behind the Paywall, I Am Torn

We try very hard to respect the FT's terms and conditions, they are the scrappy fighter going up against the Bloomberg billions and the Murdochian mechanations at Dow Jones, not to mention Reuters with their fancy machine readable and low latency feeds and all the loot from Refinitiv, but over the years we have taken to copy/pasting paragraphs so our readers can garner enough information to decide if the story at hand is something the information imbiber wishes to pursue. 

I hate blind links and even though a right-click, open in new tab, backspace button sequence only takes a few seconds it seems, like a microwave oven reheating your coffee/tea, to take forever. So what to do?

Haven't decided.

But for now here's something for the archivists at the Financial Times who may not have this stuff after some tech changes. And here's hoping they cut me a little slack if I snip more than the attorneys think is proper commercial conduct.
(note to barristers and solicitors: this blog is a long, long way from being a commercial venture)
From the last time Alphaville made a major change:
They aren't truly missing. Some people have them. GCHQ and the NSA have them. The Israelis and the Russians do too. The Chinese are probable, as are the Swiss and Norwegians.
So the question becomes how much of the Markets Live output is accessible to the average investor?
The answer to that is quite a bit.

With the penultimate post, starring Bryce Elder as Master of Ceremonies/Ringmaster being published on Thursday, November 7, 2019; and the final post reuniting Paul Murphy and Neil Hume on November 8 we now have the born - died dates.

Mr. Murphy, FT Alphaville's founder puts ML's lifespan at 13 years and 18 days which seems so short.
And because of a quirk or five in the URL's there are two possibilities for the date of the first post, October 22 or October 23, 2006.
My favorite tech guy, Siva, a streetwise Hindu boy (CalTech postDoc) says this is probably because the first post was written on Sunday the 22nd and posted on Monday the 23rd.

And speaking of tech, you'll note the sweet innocence of Paul's take on the platform in this first post, something common among young prodigies which, while true at the very moment of launch, embedded the problems which became apparent with each successive upgrade until, as we saw in today's final sign-on:
PM is this thing bloody working?!?!!?
Good one Paul.
So let's begin at the beginning, when the earth was fresh and new and said world had never seen anything quite like Markets Live or for that matter FT Alphabille:
Markets Live
This innovative approach to market reporting uses modern messaging technology to provide readers with real-time commentary on which asset prices are moving, and why. The service will commence each day at 11am, initially for one hour, with two of our most experienced market-watchers holding a live “conversation.” Registered readers are invited to join the conversation through an adjacent “Comment” box.
Throughout the weekend we'll post some of the more memorable snips, including the collapse of Northern Rock in 2007 and the Great Financial Crisis of aught-eight - aught-nine. Also scheduled are some of our favorite posts by Bryce Elder and his attempts to keep everyone from getting sued for libel or other forms of definition of character.

Finally, if the passing of Markets Live has resulted in an ineffable, inconsolable sadness, take heart from the observation of a helpful colleague "13 is actually 91 in blog years."

More to come.
(there's the whole fall of Lehman thing plus...)