I have mixed feelings about the plan to charge board users to access theposts. I have gained much from the Fool site, including the Boards. Alot of my education has come from fellow posters, and a lot has comefrom the articles prepared from Fool staffers.If I knew that I would still get the same amount of education from myfellow posters, I would not have a second thought and would gladly ponyup $30.00 per year. While 1000 free memberships are being given out tofrequent posters and those who make substantial contributions to theknowledge base, I can't help but feel that a lot of smart people that Iwould learn from may be put off by the fee. That concerns me a lot. Iam afraid that we will lose a lot of potential information and insightdue to the loss of Community members that do not want to pay for theprivilege of putting their two cents in.For example, not that I've been a particularly prolific poster, butthere have been times where I have taken the time to report on an annualmeeting or a conference call. Some of these posts can take an hour ortwo to prepare. The cost to me (aside from my time) has been zero. NowI will be paying my own money to share my insight or experience. Idon't mind sharing that information with the Fool Community, but it'stough to digest the thought of having to pay to contribute. It will bewell worth it, though, if I will still be able to learn from others justas much as in the past.I certainly hope the free memberships being given out include enoughpeople that will cover the Boards I am interested in. I think a lot ofthe Stock Boards that only have occasional (but still valuable)participation will fall by the wayside. That's not good!The content from the rest of the Fool site is extremely valuable. Thearticles, features, Fool School, quotes, Ports, etc. to me would be wellworth paying for. They are a great alternative to the mainstreamfinancial press that has little interest in understanding or havingtheir readers understand serious issues related to company ownership. Iknow I would benefit from that content. I'd rather pay for thatcontent, and keep the Boards free.It is a question mark to me at this point as to whether I will benefitas much as I have in the past if a lot of the intellectual capital feelslike it's being chased out of Fooldom. I love the Fool, but I am veryworried about this move.I guess I can look at it this way: If I decide to sign up before Feb 14, I will be spending $15.00 per year (for the first two years) to access the boards while I decide if I'm getting my money's worth. But I hope that the Chief Fools will realize that the success of this change rests on whether the quality and quantity of information is sufficient to allow some decent interaction.I want the Fool to survive, and I hope this works, but I will bewrestling with this question for the next two weeks.Infowonk
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