No. of Recommendations: 180
Does it seem to bother most, or is it just me?

I'm getting a little concerned about all the banner ads and suggestions to sell books by the "TMF"Named individuals that frequent these boards. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE THE FOOL and their message boards.

Would everyone (who agrees of course) please recommend this post so that 'maybe' it will get the attention of the Fool staff? I'll post this message to a couple of my favorite boards so that those that agree can link over and recommend as well.

IDEA:
Current number of Fools: 3,000,000
Number who would pay $1/Month (12/year) to read the Fool minus the banner ads and book-pushing: Probably 50%
Revenue: $18,000,000/yr

I'd gladly pay today!!

This has to be a MUCH better way to make up the cost of running this site since most software companies are just now starting to realize that subscription service is the way to go since it guarantees a steady revenue stream (see Microsoft .NET and Hailstorm initiatives)

Plus, the added benefit would be that the Fool would not be in jeopardy of losing their rebel status "Of the People, For the People, By the People" that is slowly eroding with each banner ad.

H E L P!!!!
Please recommend and post the link to your favorite boards.

Thank you for your consideration.

Peachy
Live Long and Prosper(Longer)
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No. of Recommendations: 63
The biggest problem with that is: No new users!!!

I would gladly pay to keep my FOOL status, now that I'm an addict. But it took me several months to really get into the message boards. Furthermore, the pay status would completely kill any rebel appeal.

I confess to having a full service broker. But ever since I started on the fool, I've become 10x more savvy about his advice. In fact, looking back on some of the things he's done validates the fool's anti broker sentiment. Don't focus on this part of my message though.

What counts is this: if the fool wasn't free to begin with, I would never have learned anything. What a shame it would be to cut off the rest of everyone :-(

Pete@PeopleWon'tLogOnIfItAin'tFree.com
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No. of Recommendations: 19
I say keep it free. If you don't want to see the banners, select not to auto load images. They are not an annoyance to me, and I am very happy to look at them in exchange for this excellent site. If you want to support TMF, why not buy their premium reading materials?
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No. of Recommendations: 7
IDEA:
Current number of Fools: 3,000,000
Number who would pay $1/Month (12/year) to read the Fool minus the banner ads and book-pushing: Probably 50%
Revenue: $18,000,000/yr
//
Actually it'd probably be closer to 25% than 50%. Sending out $1 a month is quite a nuasance you know. Are you going to mail it to them every month? Or perhaps write a check for $1 each month (what a waste!) Or are you going to trust some internet company with your credit card information for automatic deduction?

I don't think most people will bother with all the hassle. People don't like hassle, in fact there are tons of people complaining about the give me my recs board as I type! If there is a free and a pay site, there is no way more than 25% is going to sign up to pay. If there is only a pay site, you might get up to 50% but the other people will be totally poed.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
I don't care for banners and junk mail since I know how to ignore them.

I have good concentration and see only what I care to see and the rest is just a decoration.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
I have used a net meeting service called Paltalk that is free but offers a pay option that eliminates advertisements. Maybe the Fool could do something like that.
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No. of Recommendations: 17
What's wrong with the banner ads? This is the internet. They are everywhere. Ignore them! I don't see how it affects your browsing of TMF. I'm not paying $12 a year if I don't have to.
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No. of Recommendations: 10
I never took notice of the banner ads and shameless adverising until you brought it to my attention. As long as they don't put popup or popunder ads on the site, I have no complaints. I can effectively ignore the current advertising, just like I tune out ads on TV.

KEEP THE FOOL FEE FREE.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
IDEA:
Current number of Fools: 3,000,000
Number who would pay $1/Month (12/year) to read the Fool minus the banner ads and book-pushing: Probably 50%
Revenue: $18,000,000/yr

I'd gladly pay today!!
===*===

Figure at least 50% inflation of the subscriber numbers [gives us 2mm] and assume that only one in four would pay to play [gives us 500m] @ a dollar a month and we get 6mm a year. If that were really true TMF would have already gone that route, don't you think? Which leads me to believe that the subscriber data is WAY overestimated or the number of folks who will P to P WAY under 25% [5%? maybe less?] or $12/year is WAY more than "fair value" for services received.

Something's outa whack. Over at "Improve the Fool" we're running this poll http://leviticus.boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15428193 concerning what folks will do if the Fool closes shop. Come vote in our poll and check back this evening as we pose the results to Bogey.


Raggmopp
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Banner ads don't bother me; I can ignore them as I can all ads.

Typical conversation at home:

Wife: "Did you see where XYZ store is having a big sale on _________?"
Me: "No, where did you hear that?"
Wife: "You just got through reading the paper!! Didn't you see that 2 page ad in the first section?"
Me: "In today's paper? Uh, no; I guess I missed it."
Wife: "How could you miss it? It would have bitten you if were any closer!!"
Me: "Uh, I dunno. I guess I wasn't paying attention."
etc, etc.

jtmitch
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No. of Recommendations: 7
IDEA:
Current number of Fools: 3,000,000
Number who would pay $1/Month (12/year) to read the Fool minus the banner ads and book-pushing: Probably 50%
Revenue: $18,000,000/yr


Two major problems with this idea:

1) It won't get rid of the banner ads. After a suitably respectful interval (maybe 6 months?) the Fool will develop a need for more revenues, and raise them by re-introducing ads.

2) The value of the community will actually decrease as we have to pay. If we lose one person who would otherwise write a post that makes me think, the service is worth less. If, as I believe would happen, we lose a whole bunch of such people, the service becomes essentially worthless. By this I mean it would not only be worth less than $12 per year, it wouldn't be worth my time to log on.

Count me among those who are gone if it's a for-pay site.

Disclosure: My wetware is programmed to ignore banner ads . . .

Patzer
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I have used a net meeting service called Paltalk that is free but offers a pay option that eliminates advertisements. Maybe the Fool could do something like that.

That is an excellent idea!
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No. of Recommendations: 1
> The biggest problem with that is: No new users!!!

On a side note, have any of you noticed that new people now need to register and log in before they can read the message boards.

I think that's also a deterent to new users.

Stephan
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No. of Recommendations: 1
On a side note, have any of you noticed that new people now need to register and log in before they can read the message boards.

I think that's also a deterent to new users.


I agree it's a huge deterrent. I lurked here for a long time before I registered. I've seen what the Usenet groups and messages boards at other places were like, and I wouldn't have bothered to sign up if I hadn't been able to lurk for a while first.

Amphian
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No. of Recommendations: 3
entivore said "or are you going to trust some internet company with your credit card information for automatic deduction?". I have been a carefree purchaser of "stuff" on the internet for years. Many friends were horrified that I would be so careless and open myself for fraud and theft. Never had a problem. Then, it happened. I use a separate credit card for just internet purchases and when the bill came, there were 9 charges on there that weren't mine. I was irate!! and shared my irateness with anybody who would listen to me. I was shocked at how many people said they were too afraid to charge anything on the internet. I would bet the percentage was about 80%. Well, the bottom line to the story of everybody's worse fear coming true is that it cost me not one red cent. In addition, I went on the Credit Card discussion board on TMF to discuss it and was reminded that I had an account with Egghead and I had been notified by them they they were hacked and I did nothing about it. It was my fault.

I now use another card specifically for internet purchases and actually feel better about it. Perhaps one of the problems that the FOOL has is that 80% of people are afraid to buy anything on the internet. My experience showed me that the risk is even less than I thought. (I thought I would be charged $50 by my credit card company).

Incidently, something else I do often is recommend FOOL to my friends. Everybody seems to be involved in investing these days and have appreciated the referral. I would very willing to pay $1 a month. I have paid a whole lot more for a whole lot less entertainment and education. Seems like we all pay for internet access on credit cards....what's the difference?
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Perhaps one of the problems that the FOOL has is that 80% of people are afraid to buy anything on the internet.

I'm astonished this figure is so high. If those 80% could somehow be persuaded that internet commerce is no less safe than ordinary mail order, and safer than using a debit card (online or otherwise), imagine how much better the prospects would be for online retailers. (Heck, Amazon Books might even turn a profit!)

(I thought I would be charged $50 by my credit card company).

In my somewhat limited experience, you don't get charged the $50 if it's a clear case of fraud.

I do a fair amount of shopping online, but ironically the only two cases of fraud I've encountered resulted from non-online transactions: once at a nightclub (erroneous or fraudulent double-charge -- I never found out which, but MBNA removed the charge without hesitation), and once when someone made a bunch of AT&T long-distance calls on my corporate Amex (I used to work at a Fortune 500 company; never again, but I digress). Amex asked me to read a four-digit code from the front of my card (non-raised letters) to confirm I still had the physical card. Once I did that, they removed all the charges, no questions asked.

sydsydsyd
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No. of Recommendations: 1
"If you want to support TMF, why not buy their premium reading materials"



I agree, will it hurt you once a year to purchase one of their books or take one of their self paced seminars? You might even learn something!

just my thoughts.....
parhead
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