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Author: PeterRabit Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 36696  
Subject: No Brainer Date: 1/29/2002 12:07 AM
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Recommendations: 9
Read all the posts on "Fools Start Charging" and some of the others. It seems to me that this change boils down to two questions:

1) Is TMF worth $30 for two years of access?
Yes! (That's the "no brainer.")

2) Will TMF and Short Term Trading survive this change?
Well, the jury is certainly out on that one. I share everyone's concerns that traffic will drift away and the board will become less and less vital.

My inclination is to sign up and give them the benefit of the doubt. Then start thinking about how to make it work.

One approach would be three months of free access. I think that is a reasonable amount of time to judge whether one would get one's money's worth.

Jakob Nielsen is a fairly well known expert on web useability. For years he has been making the case for "micropayments":

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/980125.html

He made this observation on perceived cost and usage:

less than a cent per minute and people use as much as they need (electricity)

10 cents per minute, and people ration their usage a little (long distance phone calls)

40 cents per minute, and people ration their usage a lot (international calls)


He also points out that if a web page is not worth a penny to you, you shouldn't be wasting time reading it.

If you can keep the cost low enough (and value high) people will use it.

Four cents per day is nothing (pro rated cost for first 2 years). But $30 for the second month is a stopper. So another possibility is a low hurdle (say $10 for the next nine months.)

I'm arguing that we should pay the $30 and then start an active dialogue with the honchos here on how to keep members and attract new ones.

Yes, we can setup another board for free (for now) somewhere else. But it won't substitute for the entire TMF community. I'm just starting to post on the other TMF boards and I do it because it's easy. No signup necessary because I'm already a member of the TMF community.

(I was actually thinking about this fact before the proposed change.)

If I want to find discussion on a particular stock I can just type in the ticker symbol. Plus I do enjoy the articles.

I'm a premium member of a FoxPro programming discussion group (the Universal Thread) and I pay about $100 per year for that. Important point about the UT: you can use it with less bells and whistles for ever.

Remember, as they liked to say in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein, "TANSTAAFL!" (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.)

Peter

(Not wanting to say goodbye.)




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