Fool.com REHP membership and comps

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ben
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Fool.com REHP membership and comps

Post by ben » Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:52 am

Wauw looks like the other FIRE board at fool.com suddenly losened the purse strings and gave out comps left and right! :shock:
I can imagine the panic meetings in management when they realized what would happen should they not comp.

I have not renewed - and no comp... :cry:- ah, am actually ok with that - already spending too much time on FIRE boards as is. :lol:
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hocus2004
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Post by hocus2004 » Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:16 am

I can imagine the panic meetings in management when they realized what would happen should they not comp.

There are a lot more lurkers than there are posters. I think it may be a 10 to 1 ratio or something like that. So I think that management there is happy to have anyone who posts a lot on board (so to speak) for free. Each comped poster provides free content that draws in lurkers (who pay).

Lurkers matter. People forget about lurkers because they don't see evidence of them (other than in "read" counts or in some cases in "rec" counts). But lurkers are what give a board community life. We all can see what posters do. But posters are just a small group of people who could just as well be trading e-mails amongst themselves if it were not for fact that there are 10 lurkers listening in for each poster posting.

I think that posters, particularly those who post frequently, sometimes have a tendency to get too full of themselves and become dismissive of the interests of lurkers, who in reality probably comprise nine-tenths of the board community. More power to the lurkers!

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ElSupremo
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Post by ElSupremo » Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:56 am

Greetings hocus :)
There are a lot more lurkers than there are posters. I think it may be a 10 to 1 ratio or something like that. So I think that management there is happy to have anyone who posts a lot on board (so to speak) for free. Each comped poster provides free content that draws in lurkers (who pay).

Lurkers matter.

That's right. And that's only one of the reasons TMF SU%$S! :roll: Now, the only ones there will be the active posters who get a comp. Most of the lurkers will be history. Their extortion money will dwindle and then who knows. They really don't have a clue. :roll:
"The best things in life are FREE!"

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salaryguru
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Post by salaryguru » Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 pm

I haven't thought about the Fool in years. I stumbled onto their site several years ago and became an avid lurker for many months. I took one of their online courses on retirement plannning and started posting fairly regularly. I got a lot out of TMF. When they decided to charge a fee, I struggled with what I should do. Then they decided they would comp a fairly large number of people. I wasn't one of them. That pretty much made my decision for me. I knew that if I paid for posting privledges while others were free, that I would feel like a second class citizen every time I visited the site. And I don't like the idea of subordinating myself to anyone. I'm nobody's second class citizen.

I thought I would miss the boards when they were no longer available to me, but I haven't. There is plenty of good content and plenty of helpful people without the Fool. I feel sorry for people who pay to be a part of those boards now. It's kinda like a child paying someone to be their best friend. :D
-SG-

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ben
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Post by ben » Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:17 am

SG; never thought of it from that angle (for me the REHP, dory, NFB and raddr boards are now plenty to keep up with timewise) but a valid point too. Cheers!
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unclemick
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Post by unclemick » Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:35 am

Hmmm

As far back as my faulty memory goes - my mailbox still gets "reasearch reports" touting this or that 'below the radar' stock - penny or very low level Nadaq. My understanding is that often the touter(if he has any name recognition) or the publisher of the flyer would often get comped with benificial/or below the market priced stock.

Cynical me suspects Motely Fool thinks their comp gambit is intended to boost the rest of their site - in a variety of subtle ways.

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ElSupremo
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Post by ElSupremo » Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:09 am

Greetings salaryguru :)

That's an excellent post that makes the point in a way many can relate with. Well said SG!
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peterv
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Post by peterv » Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:04 pm

Hocus said:
Lurkers matter


As a dedicated lurker who's trying to reform I appreciate the complement.
Where's the 12 step program for this problem?

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Post by hocus2004 » Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:16 am

Where's the 12 step program for this problem?

I know you are kidding around, Peterv. But I am going to give a little bit of a serious response.

People trying to build a board always want the lurkers to participate more. Boards where there are not many people participating get boring fast. You need that back and forth to give the thing life and blood.

Once you get some back and forth, the momentum just builds on itself. Getting a board started is like getting a fire started. The first spark is hard to come by. But once you have a solid flame, the thing just builds by itself. So the trick is generating that initial back and forth. And for that you need to get lurkers to cross the line and become posters.

My guess is that the question that the lurker is asking when he debates with himself whether to post or not is, What's in it for me? All of the information provided on a board is available by lurking. So you need to come up with some extra incentive beyond just getting access to the information.

The incentive that seems to me to work is the incentive of building a community of people with similar interests with whom you can trade ideas. Lurkers cannot influence the direction in which the community heads with its discussions. Their role is largely a passive one. Posters invest their time and energies in building something that they hope will have lasting value to them. Different posters do this to different degrees, of course. But I think this is in general terms the motivation that gets many people to shift from lurker to poster.

If you hope to entice people to make this sort of investment, you need to provide assurances as to how their investment will be protected. If every day all of the rules of the road can get thrown out and replaced with new ones, then most people are not going to see much benefit in building up the community. Why put six months of efforts into building something up if it can be torn down by someone else in six hours?

Discussion boards are NOT like television programs. What you hear some people say is, "Oh, if you don't like the way a board is run, just quit it and go to another one." That way of thinking makes sense when you are dealing with television programs because there is no loss of investment in changing the channel. It does not make sense when you are dealing with boards because each time that a good poster leaves a community, it makes the community weaker. The very act of "switching the channel" causes the program to start to stink.

Just as boards grow through momentum, they decline through momentum. One poster comes along and violates the community norms, no one dares to say anything, and then six good posters leave, and then six more leave because the first six left, and so on. If board administration is handled this way, we will all spend the remaining years of our lives building up boards that will be effective for short periods of time and then destroyed when the first abusive poster shows up on the scene.

I say that the people who have invested their time in building up a board should have a say in the future direction of that board. That's the payoff for participation, that by posting you gain a say in deciding where the board will be headed in future days. This is my "twelve-step program" for turning lurkers into posters--letting them know in advance of their participation what the rules of the road are and then ENFORCING those rules so that they become a reality and not just empty words. I think that people who give to us of their time and energy to make our boards successful are entitled to that much back from us in return for their contributions.

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