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A compendium...

If only we all possessed intellects as scintillating as you think yours to be, goofy. But alas. . . .

How would it be possible for you to identify any level of intellect? Every post you make includes the subtext that all intellect is beneath yours. It all must look pretty puny from up there on Olympus.

Sorry to have offended you so. You told me the same thing, in quieter words, in private e-mail. Is it that I have disagreed with you about the reality of an ad downturn? Or now, that I noted the classlessness of your post about the "hankies in hampstertown"?

And, given the level of vituperative criticism I have seen flowing from your keyboard for the Fool, do you not find it ironic that when criticized it is you who react like a stuck pig and issue such personal invective hereabouts, even while you criticize them for their handling of criticism?

You told me "I didn't understand the 'spirit' of the place. Perhaps you are right. I came here to comment on a post which came up on the "Best Of" board, and was engaged in some other conversation about 'media', which is where I live and happen to know something about.

Others on this board have apparently found at least some value in what I have said even if you have not:

My apologies for pointing you to a list of "recs", however here at 6:00 in the morning I am simply unable to divine any other objective standard by which some measurement might be made.

No one else, save you, jps, has told me "You don't understand the place", so, in effect "shut up". I have never reacted well to petty tyrants or dictators and I'm not likely to start now.

I'm particularly likely to respond to silly accusations and clueless missives like this one:

Not that it's worth thinking about, but--who would even be able to leak something to the press other than TomDave/Jeff? If there's one thing the Fool does well, very well, it's media placement.

Here is a partial list of the people who would likely have had advance knowledge of the layoffs:

Tom / David
Tom and/or David's secretary
The CFO or whatever the equivalent is.
Their secretaries.
The Human Resource Manager, or whatever they might call that function.
The HR assistant.
Two or three people in accounting, who had to prepare to "draw the checks"
Someone at the law firm, to instruct on 'non-discriminatory' layoffs.
Someone's secretary at the law firm.
A management consultant, perhaps.
All department heads who had to decide who lived and who died. That may be 3 or 12, I don't know how the Fool is structured.

So I count maybe 12 to 20 people who likely had some fore-knowledge. It's difficult to tell a dozen people a secret and keep it a secret, as the other written example about the bank-layoffs in this thread demonstrates.

Could it have been handled better? Maybe. Do I think that the Fool is blameless? No, as I said here, "a management failure of great proportion"

I can't understand it either, but I doubt some privvied hampster would have been able to leak anything to the Post without the post writer calling TomDave to say "what's up, anyway?"

And those are the phone calls which are not immediately returned. The news first showed up on f****ed I doubt they bothered to call.

from elsewhere
<<One thing that has struck me is that 350 people isn't all that many people.>>

Compared to the population of New York, California or Pennsylvania, no. Compared to the payroll of GE, no.
Compared to what it takes to run most media type companies, it is a hell of a lot.

Perhaps. It is fewer than a major market television station is likely to have, and 90% of their airtime is filled coming down the pipe from the network.

It is fewer than a typical cable network, and (with the exception of the news channels and 'Food') 100% of that product is created by independent producers and FedEx'ed into the building.

It is far fewer than even a mid-size newspaper is likely to have, and a substantial amount of their product comes from the wire services and syndication companies.

350 sounded like a lot to me, too, but then they were running a radio show (probably slightly profitable, IMO), a newspaper column (maybe), research reports (apparently not), Soapbox (obviously not), writing books (?), and the Fool site itself. And without knowing what the revenue side looked like, I couldn't make the following determination:

The thing that shook me to the core when I toured TMF was the amount of money an hour the place HAD TO BE hemoraging. If I knew it in 20 minutes, a few managers with decision making power should have been canned.

In my tour I saw cracked linoleum floors, old desks and falling apart chairs shoved together without even the amenity of a Dilbert cube, a building far out of the high-rent district (well, as reasonably far as you can be given the city), and fraying rugs. An elevator from 1920, entire areas in need of paint, and I even peeked into the CEO's office, which, as I recall, was smaller than my bedroom. In short, a plant which was not impressive nor lavishly appointed. All I saw was "people", and, as I say, without knowing the "revenue" side, that's not enough for me to have formed any such opinion.

Still, the managers surely should have known that side. They were just enthralled with their apparently neverending seven year expansion and assumed it would continue unabated. It happened to a fair number of people in the past decade, entrepreneurs especially.

You probably know, Scuba, what fraction of the messages on the site are investment-related and what fraction "lifestyle". I don't, nor do I care. Except, if the failure of the investment part causes the whole site to fail. Then I'd care a lot.>>
I think that summarizes where most of "us" here are. I only read the investment part for amusement. I'm not sure that's what was intended.

Not originally, but it appears to me there has been a concious effort to build up "the lifestyle side". The "Best Of" board now contains perhaps 5 "stock boards" and 20 "lifestyle or politics" boards in the default position. If they wanted to concentrate on "finances" the default would be "Stocks A-Z". They showcase posts from those "other" boards in ever greater numbers in the "Post Of The Day" and "Hot Topics", all the better to recirculate audience (and thereby generate additional pageviews from the same people.) That creates traffic to "non financial" boards, and the cycle repeats over on the "Best Of" board.

It may or may not be "a mistake", but if it is "not conscious" then it certainly is an error as it changes the focus of the site as surely as expanding "letters to the editor" to half the magazine would change the tone of Newsweek.

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