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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Coming today: A new look for Economy Watch

I hate change as much as you do. One of my favorite quotes comes from the late, great William F. Buckley Jr., who wrote, when launching his National Review in 1955, that his magazine: "stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it."

Change for change's sake is a bad idea. Downsizing or cost-cutting wrapped up in change is just spin. Never believe anyone when they tell you they're "going to do more with less."

All this is being said to warn you that, in about one hour, the look of Economy Watch will change.

Stick with me here.

When we launched this thing back in September 2008, the world was blowing up. Something excessively complicated was happening and it looked like we might be heading into another Great Depression. So we created something that would tell you what was happening minute-by-minute -- The Ticker -- and placed that in in the middle of something that would give you context -- Economy Watch, which provided explanatory video of the origins of the crisis, voices of the recession, consequences of the crisis and so forth.

Even the banner at the top of Economy Watch reads, "Washington Post coverage of the financial crisis."

Even though we have 10 percent unemployment and a soaring deficit and national debt, we didn't fall into a second Great Depression. The crisis part of the crisis is over. Ergo, we've decided that parts of Economy Watch now look a bit dated and others look static -- some features don't change at all.

So we did an overhaul, which will launch this afternoon.

I'm not sure the name "The Ticker" ever took. It doesn't show up high in Google searches, whereas our "Economy Watch" comes back as the second result on Google after, well, EconomyWatch.com, which has been around since 1999.

So we're dropping The Ticker name and just calling the whole new shebang Economy Watch.

The next thing you'll notice is a cleaner design that syncs up the look of Economy Watch with the other Post blogs, such Ezra Klein, Rob Pegoraro's Faster Forward and Valerie Strauss's Answer Sheet.

I think my favorite part of the redesign is that blog postings will be strung one right after another so you can read a bunch of them in a row without having to click on other links.

We've incorporated all the au courant social-media tools, such as Facebook, Digg, Delicious and the like, so you can share my blog postings all over the place, if you're so inclined.

The redesign is keeping popular elements, such as Must Reads, and consigning less-popular ones to the dustbin of history. Hey, the Internet is a tough room.

Also, my blog postings will be grouped by category, so if you're of a mind to read everything I've written on deficits and the debt, for instance, it will all be in one place.

Finally, I'm sorry about the larger picture of me at the top. Nothing I could about that. I tried to minimize the damage by wearing a good suit.

One thing that will not change: Economy Watch will remain your best place for the most up-to-the-minute news and analysis of the economy and Washington's role in it.

Please let me know what you think about the redesign and what we should change to make it better.

A big thanks to the people who pulled this off for me: Andrea Caumont, Kat Downs, Sarah Halzack and Erica Pytlovany.

-- Frank Ahrens
Follow me on Twitter at @theticker

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 20, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Economy Watch, Frank Ahrens  
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