A Website Versus a Blog: Psychotronic Review Edition

Psychotronic Review - Do You Have a VCR?! Of Course I Do!I just wrote the second blog post over at Psychotronic Review, Do You Have a VCR?! Of Course I Do! But this article isn’t about that. You should go over there and read the article, though. It’s weird to be creating a website from scratch, knowing that the content is really good, yet getting next to no traffic. But I know that will eventually change. The people who visit this site are mostly interested in politics.

But the whole thing has been interesting to me because Pyschotronic Review is a website and not a blog. Of course, it has a blog. But the vast majority of the content is outside of the blog. And that’s why, despite lots of work done on the site, this is just the second blog post. It’s fascinating because the management of Frankly Curious and Psychotronic Review are really quite different.

Frankly Curious is used exactly the way that WordPress was designed to be used. It has a handful of pages for things like the About Us page. And then it has thousands of blog posts. And as a result, when you come to the site, you come to the blog. The first thing you see is the most recent thing that I’ve published (even if it is written by someone else).

Psychotronic Review is a good example of why WordPress is so popular: you can do anything with it. It’s my hope to one day have enough people visiting the site that I can add a forum for it. Here’s an article that’s written by a writer who I work with a lot, 13 Ways to Add a Forum to WordPress With Minimal Fuss. Basically, it’s like everything else on WordPress: there’s a plugin for that.

But Psychotronic Review isn’t that exotic (yet). Still, it’s kind of the opposite of Frankly Curious. While it has only 2 posts, it has 18 pages. And it only has that few because I haven’t given it the love that it deserves. Since there are a couple of hundred blog posts here that I want to turn into pages there, I could probably get the page total up to 100 if I worked at it this weekend.

Of course, given that posts here can become pages there, you may wonder what the difference is. Basically, I’m creating a kind of encyclopedia of film at Psychotronic Review. The idea is that one day, it will be the go-to place for odd films. Kind of like Wikipedia and IMDb, but for and by people who love these films. Also: reasonably well written. I love both IMDb and Wikipedia, but both are deadly dull to read.

Currently, we have only 12 film pages. But one of those page, The Roger Corman Poe Cycle, features eight films. And another, Night Gallery, features two, or five, depending on how you count.

In addition to the film section, there’s a section on heroes of psychotronic film — or more simply: people. That means the blog is left just with articles that don’t deal with the films or the people and companies who make them. Thus far, that’s left me with a discussion of Mystery Science Theater 3000′s mixed legacy in the history of psychotronic film. And this newest article, which is about how important it is to own a VCR. It’s sad that one needs one, but that’s life.

I’ve been thinking of moving all of my political writing to Frankly Furious. I bought the domain name a few weeks ago with the idea of doing that. Now that would be something of a technical nightmare. Not only would I have to transfer over 3,400 articles to the new site, I’d have to create 301 redirects for all of them on the WordPress site, and almost as many 301 redirects from the old Nucleus site. Yikes!

There’s a reason people pay me to do this kind of stuff for sites that actually make money.

Dean Baker on March 2017 Jobs Report

Dean Baker on March 2017 Jobs ReportThe unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent in March, its lowest level since May of 2007. The employment-to-population ratio also edged up to 60.1 percent, a new high for the recovery, but still more than 3.0 percentage points below its pre-recession level.

However, the good news on the household survey was accompanied by weak job growth in the establishment survey. The economy added just 98,000 jobs in March. Job growth was also revised downward by 38,000 for the prior two months, bringing the three month average to 178,000. There also has been some shortening of the average workweek. The index of aggregate weekly hours is unchanged from its January level.

The strongest areas of job growth were restaurants (21,700), building support services (16,800), and health care (13,500). Mining also added 11,000 jobs, as did manufacturing. Retail was a big job loser in the month, shedding 29,700 jobs. This sector is likely to continue to show weakness as several major chains have announced plans to close a large number of stores.

Wage growth appears to be slowing slightly. While the year-over-year increase in the average hourly wage was 2.7 percent, wages have grown at just 2.4 percent comparing the average of the last three months to the prior three months. This should give pause to those concerned about the labor market being too strong. The fall in the length of the workweek, coupled with modest wage growth, indicates there is much room for further strengthening.

–Dean Baker
Unemployment Falls to 4.5 Percent In Spite of Weak Job Growth