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LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT US:

High profile domain name as platform for economics blog to reflect the zeitgeist. www.greatrecession.com

(see 1st comment in NYT article http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/0...

We're targetting the general public, many of who have moderate financial literacy and who have questions that are not being met by the mainstream media or by their traditional financial advisors. We are not affliated with any financial institution and this website will not provide investment advice. Instead, we aim to provide accessible information to help build financial literacy. The blog entries will focus on thought provoking op-ed pieces which present hypotheses on the economic direction of the US, Europe and Global economies over the next 5 years.

While many of the website contributors would describe themselves as liberal, this website is not designed as a political soapbox.

The website will be primarily aimed at those aged between 45 and 70 (i.e. baby boomers who despite their college education are struggling to come to terms with the dramatic impact of the economic crisis on their retirement plans).

HERE IS WHAT WE NEED:

OVERALL WEBSITE DESIGN

Our current website is at the following address: www.greatrecession.com

Theme colors should include dark grey, blue grey and orange. Ideally we're looking for a modern feel with a hint of art deco (to reflect historical references to the 1920s - 1930s). Photos will have sepia tone (rather than pure black and white).

KEY SECTIONS

1. Header with room for banner advertisement

2. Two column structure (with third passive column on the far left with photos - see current webpage)

(Left column - photos)

Center Column - graph and blog entry

Right Column - boxed sections (see below)

HEADER

To include:

i) the title "The Great Recession", the website promise "Our promise to you..." (see current website)

ii) actual graph of GDP from 1929 to 1939 (see current website and use actual data from the www.bea.gov website for GDP from 1929 to 1939 at the following address http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/Tabl...

iii) Single line twitter widget (i.e. have the latest Twitter update from my account - as if it was a stock ticker scrolling across the screen...)

CENTER COLUMN

Space for dynamic graph/map (2 x 3 "landscape" orientation) approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of screen width. Graph will be designed and entered separately. For now, simply insert a placeholder with 4 sub tabs to fit within the placeholder space. 4 tabs will be History, World, Europe, USA (with USA tab on the far right and layered on top of the previous 3 - see tabs below)

Immediately below graph: latest blog entry, following by previous blog entry etc etc etc

RIGHT COLUMN

Following elements to be included - feel free to recommend alternative placement

A) Connecting to readers...

RSS button

Twitter button

Bookmark

Search button

B) 5 - 7 "Featured Posts" (blog articles that will be highlighted depending on the latest events)

C) ) "Beginners Guide to the Economic Crisis"

Buttons to link to following pages "US Economy", "World Economy"

D) Digg column (see current website - automatically embeds digg articles as they are tagged in my digg account).

Should be close to latest blog entry as the articles in the Digg are likely to relate to the most recent blog entry

E) Definitions

Should also be close to latest blog entry so readers can easily find definitions as they read the blog entry

F) "Ahead of the Curve" - direct links to thought leaders (who predicted the economic crisis).

G) Recent Reader comments (see paul.kedrosky.com below)

H) Recommended Reading

J) Tag Cloud

K ) List of blog Archive for past 3 months

e.g. March 2009

February 2008

January 2008

.....read more

OUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS:

WE WANT OUR CUSTOMERS TO SAY:

"Just what I've been looking for, someone who can explain this whole mess"

"You've got to check out this website, there's lots of great information about the economy and there's some predictions about the economy that make a lot of sense"

"Finally, someone who doesn't have an agenda. I reallly feel like this site gives me the straight answers. It's not linked to any financial institution and it's not trying to sell me anything. Every piece of data is referenced so I can check the facts myself."

"Straight shooting analysis without having to worry about whether it needs a parental warning. You're not tripping over foul language like so many other blogs. I recommended the "beginners guide to the economy" page to my teenage grand-daughter to help her understand what the economic crisis means for her."

WE LIKE THESE DESIGNS:

Examples of websites we like (with reasons why):

http://seekingalpha.com/?source=headtabs

Separated tabs (with the current tab showing as white)

http://abovethelaw.com/

Front page layout and minimalist / clean color scheme.

Small but prominent advertising banner

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/world/index...

Clean white background.

Reader comments clearly separated from main text

http://paul.kedrosky.com/

Selected "Recent Comments" section in the second column (which builds a sense of dialogue)

http://www.profootballtalk.com/

Dark grey background but center blog is in white (i.e. easy to read, particularly for older audiences)

http://www.270towin.com/

Example of a dynamic graph

Stylish header (pity the graph doesn't use similar colors / design)

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2009/map.eco...

Example of dynamic graph

WE ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE (or we don't want to see) THIS IN OUR DESIGN:

Dark grey, blue grey and orange

Placeholder in the center column to insert a dynamic graph

(graph will be similar to the following but will need to take up approximately half the space so the latest blog can be shown directly below the graph......http://www.270towin.com/)

Sepia photos as passive left hand column

Logo with graph based on actual GDP data from 1929 to 1939 (does not need to be dynamic, just needs to be "to scale")

MUST BE Quick to download - since this will be accessed mainly on home computers with varying speeds...

MUST BE easy to navigate - most of our target audience will come directly from Google Search for the terms "Great Recession", so the front page needs to be sticky within the first 5-10 seconds.

Materials

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