So this is how it really got going.
September 15, 2008. Lehman's going down. Markets are crashing. But business goes on, especially our business. We have a meeting - editors, designers, web developers, data specialists - to see where we're at with the new Globe Investor website. We want to take our 10-year-old website - a very good one, in fact - and make it best in breed. Our team has been at work full-time since the spring, talking to users, overseeing several rounds of market research, studying the best financial websites in the world, and playing with designs. And now it was time to start building.
But it's Sept. 15, and the financial world is suddenly on its head. None of us can get market information quick enough. My meeting notes are simple: "GI must be fast." On that historic day. we knew that this site must be as fast as any in Canada. We also decided it must be friendly and it must be informed.
What's fast? It's getting you the news, ideas and data you need as soon as you decide you need them. The site should be intuitive, and technically quick. We needed new software and information architecture, and were backed by The Globe and Mail's owners who agreed to invest heavily in just that, even when the economy was sliding. They're investors, too, and they want Globe Investor to be a strong franchise for years to come.
What's friendly? It's a site that provides what's called a good "user experience." You get what you want when you want it. You get help when you want it. And you get news and ideas delivered in ways that are understandable and useful. Our site won't frustrate you. If it does, let us know and we will change it.
What's informed? It's credibility. It's what we believe in at The Globe and Mail. We believe it's what any serious investment website should be based on. Lots of sites can tell you what the market's doing. Not many can tell you credibly why the market's doing what it's doing - and what might lie ahead. We have many of Canada's best investment writers. Our site is also run by a full-time team of Globe and Mail editors.
The new Globe Investor will be loaded with great tools to slice and dice the market, dissect your investments, and analyze your options and choices. There will be videos, an education centre, personal finance tips, mobile alerts - and of course some of the best investment voices in Canada, from Rob Carrick to David Berman, and a host of new names that will help you manage your money better.
It's taken us about a year to get here, and we're not done. This weekend, we'll launch a beta version that will allow you to begin testing our new site. Tell us what you like and don't like. Help us make improvements. Over the next three months, we'll put the final touches on what we think will be the best financial website in Canada - and among the best in the world.
We want it to be your site, so please join us. It's a great way to start to take control of your investments.