No. of Recommendations: 107
Although I am not a "senior partner" on this board I will say this anyway:

IMFO* the snide tone I see directed toward newbies by certain regulars on this board is unwarranted. It reflects worse on the person being snide than it does on the newbie. If you feel the need to be snide, confrontational or even rude to a newbie, please show the rest of us the courtesy of doing so in private email.

*In My Foolish Opinion
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No. of Recommendations: 25
Chris319 observed:

IMFO* the snide tone I see directed toward newbies by certain regulars on this board is unwarranted. It reflects worse on the person being snide than it does on the newbie. If you feel the need to be snide, confrontational or even rude to a newbie, please show the rest of us the courtesy of doing so in private email.

Chris:

It is hard to argue with your courteous contention. However, I would like to add that the occurance of Newbie bating (especially by board regulars) is IMO -- at this point on this Board -- notable as the exception, not the rule. Sure, there are instances (usually by the same few folk) when some members can't seem to restrain themselves. However, they are increasingly rare. As I have previously observed on this board:

Manners must adorn knowledge, and smooth its way through the world.

This community embodies the above quote by the Earl of Chesterton. The overwhelming majority of regulars on this board are notable for their extreme generosity, devotion to MI, and remarkable erudition. Nothing negative.

Ganymede
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i agree, i found the same thing when i first came to the FOOL. i normally use caps because it's easier to type and read. but a bunch of whiners think i'm screaming or some sort of computer nonsense.
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Couldn't agree more.
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>>i normally use caps because it's easier to type and read.

Well, actually, lowercase is vastly easier to read than uppercase (especially with serif typefaces)--I remember that from my days as a magazine editor. And it's a standard convention in fiction that uppercase is used for yelling in dialogue--I saw an example tonight when I was reading a chapter book to my daughters at bedtime. It doesn't have anything to do with "computer nonsense," although I might wonder if you have an Apple II if the whole message is upper case. :->

Still, I think we should do our best to be nice and try to take the quirks of others in stride. Gently reminding people to move beginner posts to the other board is the way to go.
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<<IMFO* the snide tone I see directed toward newbies by certain regulars on this board is unwarranted. >>

Well, chris319 (a registered fool since May 2000), maybe the regulars are exasperated by the newbies coming to the advanced board and a) asking basic questions that are of a level appropriate for the non-advanced board (i.e., Foolish Workshop), b) not bothering to click and read the FAQ link prominantly displayed at the top of the page, and hence c) wasting our time. Oh, yes---and asking questions that have been asked and answered about once a month for the last two years.

So, you think you should be able to just walk up to Tiger Woods and Ernie Els while they are working and ask them newbie questions like "what's a birdie?", and they should drop what they're doing and attend to your every desire and whim?

Sure baby, anything to please you.

Ray
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No. of Recommendations: 96
<<i agree, i found the same thing when i first came to the FOOL. i normally use caps because it's easier to type and read. but a bunch of whiners think i'm screaming or some sort of computer nonsense. >>

The use of either all caps or no caps at all is evidence of an attitude of rude disregard, disrespect, and arrogance to your reader. It is a way of saying, "My time is so important that I can't be bothered with making to attempt to hit the shift key or to follow the rules of English writing and grammar---but *your* time and the additional effort it takes for you to read my writing is of no value whatsoever."
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No. of Recommendations: 42
Well, chris319 (a registered fool since May 2000), maybe the regulars are exasperated by the newbies coming to the advanced board and a) asking basic questions that are of a level appropriate for the non-advanced board (i.e., Foolish Workshop), b) not bothering to click and read the FAQ link prominantly displayed at the top of the page, and hence c) wasting our time. Oh, yes---and asking questions that have been asked and answered about once a month for the last two years.

So, you think you should be able to just walk up to Tiger Woods and Ernie Els while they are working and ask them newbie questions like "what's a birdie?", and they should drop what they're doing and attend to your every desire and whim?

Sure baby, anything to please you.

Ray


As for your comment a), it has been pointed out many times in the past that the names for these boards can be misleading. It is likely that, from time to time, a new person would come to the "advanced" board first. Regarding b), it is a matter of opinion whether the FAQ link is prominently displayed. Point c) might have more credibility if it weren't for all the posts about Belize, the rah-rah types, etc. The occasional single question by a newcomer and a single courteous answer take far less time to click through than all of the sanctioned noise.

Would I walk up to Tiger Woods while he was working and ask him a question? Of course not. On the other hand, if Tiger Woods was participating in a message board like this, when he wasn't working, it would be fine. Especially since I have the impression that Tiger Woods is a nice person. I'm not sure that applies to everyone here.
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No. of Recommendations: 39
Chris,

could you give any examples to what you are referring? If you have certain people in mind write them an email and tell them your complaints. Attacking "certain regulars" wouldn't change anything.

I am from Germany as you might have noticed and I made the personal observation that this board is IMHO one of the finest and nicest board in regard of dealing with newbies in both of our countries. There might be more like this but I have seen many boards which are very rude and not only to newbies. I do not participate on any of these, because flaming and fighting is not what I am looking for.

Newbies are welcome and they are directed to the FAQ and the FW board. The friendlier a newbie is the friendlier comes the answer. Quite normal. Unfriendly newbies get unfriendly answers. Maybe not the politest way to deal with people but there is nothing to complain about that.

Newbies coming to our board like greyhelm did some messages earlier are looking for trouble and there is no need to give someone like him a warm welcome. WilliamLipp was the first regular to spot him and he did the wright thing.

Newbies coming to our board and firing away questions are not much better. The attitude "why should I bother reading all this stuff or start thinking by myself if I could ask the oldtimers?" is very impolite and unfriendly and should not be answered with a warm welcome.

I think it is kind of a self-defense. I guess if you are still around here next year at this time you will have changed your mind and understand why this is done.

Mostly this board deals with these people in the spirit of this board (nearly unemotional). Not everybody who is feeling attacked was really the aim of an attack.

I started with TMF in october 98, bought my first screen in december 98 and sent my first message to this board around september 99 and I am already way behind your amount of messages.

Yesterday I had a problem with computing CAGRs for manual backtests of MSS screens (Jamies engine does not allow to plug in blends as high or low screen, so I had to this by hand using excel and not his engine). I was not able to reproduce the CAGR and GSD and +-1,2,3 S. So I started searching around, looked at LaPropDocs Guide, and went to the FW board. I finally found was I was looking for, although I do not follow the FW board, got some formulas and finally reached to reproduce the numbers and get my own calculations done. Not a single posting was sent, not one question asked, and this whole thing took me quite some time.

You did the opposite thing. You fired right away a question at Jamie about his backtesting engine although you could have answered your question by yourself. Taking a look at LaPropDocs MI guide page #30 and #47 and a deeper look at Jamies site would have answered your question too. And you asked your question here and not at the FW board.

Get the difference? (Please do take this example as a personal attack it just come handy)

We don't want any newbies who want us to do their homework!

Volker

P.S.

Maybe everybody who wants to post to this board should pass kind of an MI exam which could not be answered by a newbie but easily by anybody who read the FW FAQ or the MI guide?
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In this context it seems appropriate to mention LaPropDoc, whose responses to newbies are invariably gentle and helpful. I've often wondered at his willingness to take time with yet another poor soul that has blundered into this space, sending her off to begin her instruction full of hope and excitement.

As for the link to the FAQ: only a couple of days ago, I clicked on it in order to post the link to my daughter and her husband, who had expressed an interest in MI. Among the many references on the page, I could find no link that expressly identified itself as the Workshop or MI FAQ. If it's there, the signage is not what it needs to be.

Oyster
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As for the link to the FAQ: only a couple of days ago, I clicked on it in order to post the link to my daughter and her husband, who had expressed an interest in MI. Among the many references on the page, I could find no link that expressly identified itself as the Workshop or MI FAQ. If it's there, the signage is not what it needs to be.

Dear Oyster,

Thanks for thinking of us. Doc follows one of the Ten Commandments for this board which I wrote about, i.e., Honor the Newbie. However, Ray's comments earlier in this thread, as well as comments by some others, express the frustration that we feel when newcomers approach us looking for basic information without having done any research. MI is HARD work, and we are just now reaping the benefits of our investment of time.

Regarding the FAQ, if you scroll down about halfway down the Fool Reference Page, you will find a section titled "FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions". This area contains links to many other sites and postings which provide various FAQs. Tis true that there is no formal FAQ for this site, but it will provide most of the information needed to answer any questions.

Regards,
StanL
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... comments earlier in this thread, as well as comments by some others, express the frustration that we feel when newcomers approach us looking for basic information

The crux of my original post was, flame all you want, just do it privately off the public board. This is common etiquette on this or any board, and in life in general.

Regarding the FAQ, if you scroll down about halfway down the Fool Reference Page, you will find a section titled "FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions". This area contains links to many other sites and postings which provide various FAQs. Tis true that there is no formal FAQ for this site

The first problem with the FAQ is that the link to it doesn't appear with the message headers; you have to get into a message body before it appears. Second, the FAQ isn't a FAQ at all, it's an array of links which would bewilder any newcomer. The first link in large type after the fine print is ... a link to the latest post on the MI board!!! If anointed by the Gods of the board I could redesign the existing FAQ to siphon newbies off to the FW site, but since I've only been a registered Fool since May 2000 I might not be up to the task.
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If anointed by the Gods of the board I could redesign the existing FAQ to siphon newbies off to the FW site, but since I've only been a registered Fool since May 2000 I might not be up to the task.


I think, if you look back at what's been done on this board, you'll see that almost all improvements have been done on someone's own initiative. No one said "LAProcDoc, would you answer newbies with some links you keep handy" or "Sparfarkle, would you give us a 3-month lesson in options?". If you think you could design a better FAQ, do it, mention on the board that you've done it, and people will look at it, and if the consensus is that it's better, it will get used.

--Terry
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asking questions that have been asked and answered about once a month for the last two years.

Anybody else remember the time somebody asked whether people on this board had thought about using ValueLine?

Baltassar
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I remember "playing" security at the MICON 2000 get together(at the door).Looks like the reigns have been passed to Rayvt.But I do agree with him,for the reasons so stated.
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If you think you could design a better FAQ, do it

With all due respect, I wouldn't undertake something like this on speculation only to have someone say "Thanks but no thanks, the FAQ we've got now is fine the way it is". At the end of the day it's the Powers That Be who have to approve it and place it on the TMF server.
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No question about it, it is annoying to have the uninformed who have not done even a modicum of homework ask someone else to do their work for them. But that's only half the problem. The other half of the problem is that someone on this board might consider themselves to be in the same league as Tiger Woods! I'll buy that when any of us can get $30 million a year just for their investment advice or product endorsements.

arezi
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>>With all due respect, I wouldn't undertake something like this on speculation only to have someone say "Thanks but no thanks, the FAQ we've got now is fine the way it is". At the end of the day it's the Powers That Be who have to approve it and place it on the TMF server.

If I had your attitude, there would be no CAPRS or RSCAP or RSWEPS. Why would I want to work on developing screens if I was not assured that they would be followed in the weekly rankings and put in the backtesters? (RSWEPS still hasn't caught enough attention to make the weeklies, although it's my favorite screens. These things need to be fought for. They don't just drop into your lap.)

Just go for it. I think the FAQ, while it was useful when it was made, sorely needs to be redone. Do it! Thinking of all I could learn making a FAQ almost makes me want to do it. In fact, if you don't I will. What do you say?

--Toast
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jtatman:
A couple of days ago I read something you put on the board re this thread.I thought those were your remarks and reacted accordingly.
It has come to my attention that you were quoting someone else on the LMS board.My apologies.Wayne
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>>The other half of the problem is that someone on this board might consider themselves to be in the same league as Tiger Woods!

This has occurred to me as well. It took over a hundred years of golf for a Tiger Woods to appear. It would be spectacularly presumptious of us to assume we had one near that level now. Our sport is in its infancy.

However, one thing I really like about Tiger Woods is that he's shown that in these days of incredible competition in a huge world, someone can still be a standout. I hope we get some kids that see Tiger and work that hard to become stand-out teachers, politicians, scientists, moral leaders, and ambassadors.
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TMF MI is generally a very polite board. Just look a the Yahoo boards for examples of "Conduct Unbecoming".

Newbies visit the MI board for several reasons: the high message count, reference in the current Workshop Article, or a mention in one of the TMF email newsletters (my first exposure).

It is not obvious to a new visitor, that MI is for advanced discussion, or that FW is more appropriate. Sure, this is in the FAQ, but the FAQ is a long post, and isn't always read first.

Is it possible to modify the board title (yes, that's been discussed before), or message heading to redirect newbies?
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If anointed by the Gods of the board I could redesign the existing FAQ to siphon newbies off to the FW site, but since I've only been a registered Fool since May 2000 I might not be up to the task.

We don't annoint in this community. When people see a task that matches their skills and interests they tackle it and tell us about it later. There isn't any way to stop people from doing this anyway.

And we don't pay much attention to longevity. Many great things have come from people we never heard of. We anticipate many more.
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No. of Recommendations: 58

..a suggestion from a relatively new fool...

..many newbies (I am using myself as the generic newbie) find the mechancial investing board most likely by first going to the fool homepage, and then to the investors roundtable... from there one scans the various topics until one finds his/her topics of interest..

..since I have always been a mechanical investor (in my own fashion.. for the past three years), the topic listed ...mechanical investing... would be my first click... why would anyone pick foolish workshop and expect to find basic mechanical investing information??

..only because I tend to read and research first before I ask questions, did I know that there was an elementary board...

..my simple solution... change the names of the two boards....

...one could be Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced

..this would, in my foolish opinion, make navigation between the boards easier and mistakes less likely..

..regards...

..Marjory....

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only to have someone say

Who do you imagine has this power? If "most everybody" feels this way, that's the community will. But there isn't anybody that can impose their will on our community.
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>>...one could be Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced

Way back when the board split several of us supported names very similar to that. I think a lot of our problems come from the way the boards are named.
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So, you think you should be able to just walk up to Tiger Woods and Ernie Els while they are working and ask them newbie questions like "what's a birdie?", and they should drop what they're doing and attend to your every desire and whim?

Sure baby, anything to please you.

Ray


No but nor do I think Tiger Woods or Ernie Els or anyone else for that matter has a right to swear, curse or do anything else inconsiderate just because some naive person might have done something that was inappropriate.

There a professional way to deal with such situations and there is a jerky way to deal with such situations. IMO you almost always better off taking the high road vs the low road.

Moe
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...one could be Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced

Message 30669 convinced me this was a bad idea. Nothing since has changed my mind.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030013006249023
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The use of either all caps or no caps at all is evidence of an attitude of rude disregard, disrespect, and arrogance to your reader. It is a way of saying, "My time is so important that I can't be bothered with making to attempt to hit the shift key or to follow the rules of English writing and grammar---but *your* time and the additional effort it takes for you to read my writing is of no value whatsoever."

I agree 100% with Ray but I hope he realizes that the discourtous answers that people give to questions they don't like espcially from newbies have the same effect on many readers (most of whom are not the writer of the question) as Caps and non-caps have on others.

Moe
PS As for my grammer in posts until there is a grammer and spell checker as part of the boards your stuck with it.
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>>...one could be Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced

>>Message 30669 convinced me this was a bad idea. Nothing since has changed my mind.

>>http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030013006249023

Yes, but we have the problem anyway. And it would be lot simpler to just say, "Take this to the beginners board."

As it is now, people are ambushed because they don't even know there's a place to ask beginner questions. I'm convinced that a lot of these posts are coming from people that would prefer to post in the appropriate place, but don't know where it is. They aren't a bunch of annoying Unix kids. They are people trying to figure out a better way to invest their hard-earned money. many of them are probably sweating and intimidated even as they hit "Submit Reply."
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If you think you could design a better FAQ, do it, mention on the board that you've done it, and people will look at it, and if the consensus is that it's better, it will get used.

I will even volunteer space on my site.

FF
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You know, it's not realy about the "newbie" blundering in here at all. Yes, my "start" time here is recent, but, I've been a MI trader for almost 2 years, long before I posted anything here. I've traded stocks and funds for over 10 years. A newbies start date doesn't necessarialy indicate thier knowledge level.

So, what s/b done IMO is the board name should be changed. People enter the fool, having heard about "Mechanical Investing" styles. So, where do they go? The MI board. Logical, no? Mabye the name should reflect the level of knowledge and experience of the members. How about "mechanical Investing - No basic questions please".(tongue in cheek of course!)

How excluvie do you all want this place to be?

cat
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...one could be Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced

IIRC, there was an awful lot of bandwith occupied by the multiple threads suggesting new board names. Although the decision (after much deliberation) was to maintain the status quo, I thought that the advantage to new names would outweigh the disadvantages. Perhaps, this decision can be reviewed in 2001.

During the original debate, I proposed that the Newbie posting problem could be ameliorated by simply including on the initial MI post screen an instruction that basic questions, etc. should be posted on the Foolish Workshop (not MI) board. Although the idea was pursued at Fool HQ, I believe it was Elan who reported that the Fool programing could not support such a modification. Perhaps, such a change could be included in the next update of the Fool boards (which appear to take place fairly regularly).

Without such a modification, I do concur that occasionally "people [get] ambushed because they don't even know there's a place to ask beginner questions." Although I have the utmost respect for Ray -- and the others who disagree with my views -- I do believe that a kindler, gentler approach to newbies is always preferable.

As always,

Ganymede
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My last post on this thread.

1. There have been many more posts in this thread than there have been newcomer posts. If we really care about the bandwidth ...

2. Beware of uninteneded consequences. For every newbie that gets a stern redirect, there are twenty lurkers wondering if they should ask their questions. If they see beginner questions getting polite, complete, courteous answers here, they will figure that's what we do here. The number seen here now is the barest tip of what could emerge. Anyone who doubts this can review a few days messages from before the board split in July 1999.

3. Beware of static analysis. On the name issue the conversation

Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced

> Message 30669 convinced me this was a bad idea.

>> Yes, but we have the problem anyway.


I believe we have managed to skip 80-90% of the problem, and the occasional newcomer that ends up here by mistake is a tiny trickle compared to the torrent that would show up here on purpose if the names made it clearer.

I'll be watching how the thread winds down.
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I also hate to prolong this thread ... but I'm going to do it anyway ;)

2. Beware of uninteneded consequences. For every newbie that gets a stern redirect, there are twenty lurkers wondering if they should ask their questions. If they see beginner questions getting polite, complete, courteous answers here, they will figure that's what we do here.

On the other hand, if those same twenty lurkers see one polite and informative redirection to the Foolish Workshop board, as proposed by LAPropDoc and others, everyone feels good for very little effort. That's what I call leverage!
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<<..my simple solution... change the names of the two boards....

...one could be Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced>>

We've already had this discussion a number of times. And you want to know why newbies are not treated with courtesy? rob
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<2. Beware of uninteneded consequences. For every newbie that gets a stern redirect, there are twenty lurkers wondering if they should ask
their questions. If they see beginner questions getting polite, complete, courteous answers here, they will figure that's what we do here. The
number seen here now is the barest tip of what could emerge>

And, of course, the other side of the coin, is that with stern redirects you will scare potentially good people away. These may be people who can down the road bring new ideas to the board. Is that what the board wants?
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Some regulars on this board are consistently patient when newcomers ask questions that belong at best, on the FW board, and direct them there. There are others that are consistently rude. It takes no more energy to be nice than to be nasty. I am new to MI myself and learned that most questions can be answered by doing a little digging and reading on your own. I also have the benefit of a friend involved in MI who is more knowledgeable than me and answers my questions. I know better than to post elementary questions here. But there are those that are not familiar with the rules of conduct and it wouldn't hurt to treat them with a little more kindness. Either don't respond or direct them to where their questions belong.
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<<..my simple solution... change the names of the two boards....

...one could be Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced>>

We've already had this discussion a number of times. And you want to know why newbies are not treated with courtesy? rob
-----------------------------------------------------

..rob..

..actually, that was a pretty rude response and comment to a post that was submitted with good intentions.... which goes to the heart of this whole discussion...

..my suggestion had absolutely nothing to do with whether this was discussed before ... it was in response to an ongoing topic....and to characterize it as an example of a "newbie" rehashing discussed topics was,imfo, out of line.... obviously, if the MI board wants to have newbies go to the Foolish Workshop board, the powers that be should have a better definition of what Foolish Workshop is in their index..

..unless you are psychic...Foolish Workshop does not tell you a whole lot.... and obviously, since the first post on the Foolish Workshop board was not until July 1999 (over a year ago.. the topic of different names for different boards is not that current!!!)..

...unfortunately, it is still an issue... because those new to mechanical investing who wander here in mistake are still irritating some of the community members....and those irritated members should be aware that it is basically due to the poor naming of the boards not the poor newcomer...

What I don't understand is if you don't want to answer a question, why submit a reply???? ...certainly one of the TMF will answer and direct the newcomer to the correct place... and they do that with the utmost courtesy....which encourages newcomers to feel welcome and want to learn more....

..I was just going to e-mail this response to be less public, but I just couldn't let it go....

..I apologize to all who are contributing productively to this discussion... ...however, expect investors new to the fool's method of mechanical investing to gravitate here first due to the non-existent definition of what Foolish Workshop is....

. unless the newcomer was backreading and read a post by some other poor newbie who was either being gently educated as to which board is which or yelled at for not intuitively knowing there was a second board.... these occassional flare-ups will inevitably occur...

..marjory....



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>>...one could be Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced

Way back when the board split several of us supported names very similar to that. I think a lot of our problems come from the way the boards are named.


I agree with this but, alas, we carry much baggage. The web page for the area is called Foolish Workshop. Numerous references in other web pages, older articles, and old messages on the boards, refer to the current names. We can change some of these with a lot of work, and some can never be changed which will cause eternal confusion.

Apart from that, it's not my decision to make.

Elan
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if those same twenty lurkers see one polite and informative redirection to the Foolish Workshop board, as proposed by LAPropDoc and others, everyone feels good for very little effort.

It's not a "lurker" problem, it's a "dimwit" problem. Anyone who has spent even a few days following this board will get the picture quite clearly. The posts most likely to inspire aggrevated responses are those that are based on no effort whatever to find out what's going on here. In any case, Doc is right: the best solution is the same as for trolls, spammers, OT provacateurs, etc.: one brief, straightforward re-direct, then silence.

"If you have to kill someone, it costs nothing to be polite." (Winston Churchill, defending the rhetorical gentility with with Britain declared war on Japan)

Baltassar
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Beware of uninteneded consequences.

This board is suffering even more grave "unintended consequences" right now. Today I learned that a major contributor to the board is actually withholding legitimate, valid screens because he is annoyed by the general level of static here. I will not divulge the identity of this person but it is a name every regular on this board would recognize.

When people become alienated into non-participation it's a problem because insights don't get shared in the general discussion and people (such as me) decline to work on new FAQs. But when people start withholding materially valuable contibutions such as new screens, THAT is a major, major problem, a problem which far outweighs any inconvenience caused by the stray newbie who flies into our air space.
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Just go for it. I think the FAQ, while it was useful when it was made, sorely needs to be redone. Do it! Thinking of all I could learn making a FAQ almost makes me want to do it. In fact, if you don't I will. What do you say?

I hope this remark isn't about the Foolish Workshop FAQ. If it is, I'd welcome any good suggestions for improvement. Just remember that the FAQ isn't a substitute for LAPropDoc's great introduction to MI. I can easily post an update when there's enough new stuff to justify it.

Elan
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>>If it is, I'd welcome any good suggestions for improvement.

I just tok a look at it again, and I realize that the problem isn't that there's anything wrong with the FAQ, it's that I can't even find the FAQ. What I see is a page of links. Am I not finding the real FAQ?

This is the page I get when I click on the FAQ notice:

http://www.qis.net/~manymice/foolweb/index.htm

That's an index, not a FAQ. There are no Questions and no Answers. There are references to four FAQs in the middle of this index, but none of them sound like an overall MI FAQ.
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Harebrained idea alert!

How about some sort of 'passkey' to posting on the MI board?

Something as simple as perhaps someone not being able to post to the MI board unless they have already posted at least once to the FW board?

-Russ
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Hi
one could be Mechanical Investing -Beginners and the other Mechanical Investing-Advanced

I'm a newbie ploughing my way through the maze of postings and I came across this about 800 back from the present so I don't know whether anything has come of this suggestion. All I can say is that I wholeheartedly support a newbie board of some sort. I'm keen but demoralized at the enormous wealth of stuff on the present two boards. A simple newbie board which would re-start annually would be a great help. After you have lurked around it for a year you should be able to progress to the pro boards without difficulty.
A thought for consideration.
Harmy


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No. of Recommendations: 9
<<With all due respect, I wouldn't undertake something like this on speculation only to have someone say "Thanks but no thanks, the FAQ we've got now is fine the way it is". At the end of the day it's the Powers That Be who have to approve it and place it on the TMF server. >>

And just how do you suppose the Powers That Be became the P.T.B.????

FYI, you have the capability to become one yourself. But ain't nobody gonna just hand it to you.

Well, perhaps I should say, "...you have the theoretical capability.....". With that attitude ("I won't do any work unless I know beforehand that it will be gratefully accepted."), you aren't likely to be joing the club any time soon.

Ray
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No. of Recommendations: 7
Wow what a thread. I hate to add to it (how much bandwidth was killed to make this thread? :) ) but what the heck...

A) best response to a newbie who enters here: welcome them into the fold, politely point them towards the Foolish Workshop board and other resources, and give a brief answer to their question, with the obligatory "you can get more details at [Workshop board, Elan's FAQ, etc.]" I think the key to that last bit is "brief". A less than complete answer, enough so they learn a little, but also enough that they realize there's more they should know, and the other resources are the best place to get it.

B) board names. I still think the distinction isn't really "beginner" and "advanced", but rather (as Elan described in one of his intro posts or in the FAQ) that one board is for asking questions and learning the mechanics of MI, while the other board is for continuing R&D. I realize that this is' in essence, a distinction between "beginner" and "advanced", but that's not really the distinction we're aiming for. Many "advanced" MI people may have issues come up that they think are more appropriate to be aired on the Workshop board. The boards should be driven by the type of content, not by the "credentials" of the poster. The more we adhere to that, the better we can do at pointing newbies in the right direction without making anyone feel bad about themselves.

In saying this I realize that being able to keep your ego out of investing, admitting when you're wrong, and calmly accepting the cruel stings of the market are all traits we need to be successful MI'ers (why all this "feelings" stuff, the market don't care if your feelings get hurt), but those traits aren't developed overnight. And yes, if you're the type of person who looks before you leap (or lurks before you post), you're much closer to having the right mindset for MI than if you just barge in without doing any homework. But hey, we all make mistakes from time to time, I think people should be given the chance to learn from their mistakes.

Last bit: if someone clearly shows over time that they are unwilling to learn or become antagonistic or whatever, then hey, all bets are off. But those people are likely few and far between.

Or we can all just remember the MI commandment that Stanley mentioned earlier: "honor the newbie"

-synchronicity
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I hope this remark isn't about the Foolish Workshop FAQ.

I think this is in reference to the MI FAQ. It goes to a private website that is almost a year out of date. Any chance of getting it to point to your workshop FAQ?

FF
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I just tok a look at it again, and I realize that the problem isn't that there's anything wrong with the FAQ, it's that I can't even find the FAQ. What I see is a page of links. Am I not finding the real FAQ?

I obviously failed to make myself clear. I meant the FAQ on the Foolish Workshop board -
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030063001715000

Elan
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...I wholeheartedly support a newbie board of some sort. I'm keen but demoralized at the enormous wealth of stuff on the present two boards. A simple newbie board which would re-start annually would be a great help. After you have lurked around it for a year you should be able to progress to the pro boards without difficulty.

The Foolish Workshop board is the newbie board. Any question can be asked there, while the R&D is done over here. What more do you want? (Not being sarcastic, but curious.)

You might also want to look at LAPropDoc's Introduction to MI.

FF
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No. of Recommendations: 6
I hope this remark isn't about the Foolish Workshop FAQ.

*********************************

I think this is in reference to the MI FAQ. It goes to a private website that is almost a year out of date. Any chance of getting it to point to your workshop FAQ?


I agree with FoolishlyFree that Elan's list of Q&A about MI, called the Workshop FAQ, would be much better as the destination of the link at the top of the MI Board message pages. (There is no "MI FAQ," per se.) As many have pointed out, the link currently leads to a very out-of-date mishmash of resources, containing not even a link to Elan's real FAQ.

It would also be nice, as others have pointed out, if that FAQ link could appear on the message-list page, where a newbie could see it right away.

-Jim
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I just tok a look at it again, and I realize that the problem isn't that there's anything wrong with the FAQ, it's that I
can't even find the FAQ. What I see is a page of links. Am I not finding the real FAQ?

I obviously failed to make myself clear. I meant the FAQ on the Foolish Workshop board -
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030063001715000

Elan


IMHO this is the main problem. I think the FAQ at the top of this page should point to Elan's FAQ over at the FW board.
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Good idea.

John
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Elan,

The Foolish Workshop FAQ looks fine.

--Toast
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No. of Recommendations: 7
Well, this one has been a bandwidth burner.

One more perspective from someone who is a relative "newbie," having just joined the discussions recently. It seems there are two newbie types, really... folks who are new to MI, and folks who are new to electronic bulletin boards.

I came with 20 years of computer experience, and dutifully read the FAQ's, long threads of backposts and the like before even considering posting. The distinction between the two boards was obvious, and most general questions were answerable. A few things were not clear... like the MI community norm of hitting the recommend button for "applause" and support of data posters. And I still can't figure out "IIRC." But that's part of the fun.

I think it's the folks who are new to electronic bulletin boards in general who get some of our Irish up. That's the all-caps crowd, who don't know that it really _does_ mean SHOUTING in e-land; who don't know to check the FAQ, and who probably would be hopelessly lost trying to navigate the MI FAQ and backposts anyway. There is a certain "community etiquette" to electronic forums that takes some time to learn. For this group, the board names are a real issue too, I think.

I'm not sure there's any magical key to preventing incursions of the latter. Perhaps a prominent, unavoidable "rules and etiquette of posting" for each board in place of the first-message alert (though I seem to remember the first-message alert being quite blunt).

I will echo Volki's comments, though. My general impression of the conduct of the regulars toward the incursions of "newbies" is that it's exemplary. The redirects tend to be friendly, and there's an incredible effort by some of the regulars to frequent FW and answer questions... really a first on most boards I've seen. Yeah, folks get a bit snippy at times, but that's a natural reaction to the perceived discourtesy. It should be tolerated and forgiven as readily as the regulars should forgive the incursions of those new to the electronic world.

And thanks to everybody who has been patient and helpful to this newbie!

-gelasmus
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And I still can't figure out "IIRC." But that's part of the fun.

www.acronymfinder.com
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I think this is in reference to the MI FAQ. It goes to a private website that is almost a year out of date. Any chance of getting it to point to your workshop FAQ?

For that matter, how about adding a prominent link to the FW board, with text that makes the newbie want to look there (questions answered rudely here, but free donuts at the other board).

- Jamie
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In our last episode, BassAttack wrote:
[an apology]

Oops. I wish you had posted that in the original thread. So, when you see my post, please ignore it.
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FF
Thank you for tell me that the Workshop board is the newbie board. I didn't know that it was because there is nothing to indicate that it is a newbie board. You guys have progressed to such a point in MI that you don't actually know what a newbie requires to get started and yes I have read LaPropDoc's report - and very helpful it is too.
If you want to screen out (no pun intended) newbies from wasting your time I suggest you start a board along the lines that TMF Mycroft runs for Nokia - its a pleasure to post and do business with him.
In the meantime I'll hopefully keep learning about MI and asking dumb questions.
Harmy
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You guys have progressed to such a point in MI that you don't actually know what a newbie requires to get started ... If you want to screen out (no pun intended) newbies from wasting your time I suggest you start a board along the lines that TMF Mycroft runs for Nokia.

I doubt anyone here really wants newbies to just go away. IMO, and expressed by many others, we do seem to do a good job of handling those who wander in accidentally and intentionally.

Sometimes though a newbie will ignore the gentle promptings of "Please check out the Foolish Workshop Board" and continue to post beginner questions here on the MI Board. It does seem that a few think it just doesn't apply to them. I believe that was the point of William's post which started all this fuss. The newbie in question had not taken the hint. All of us here expend a heck of alot of effort over MI, and when someone can't show the courtesy of respecting that hard work, of course sometimes someone will get alittle gruff.

Yes, we need to clean up the links on the various outdated FAQs, and make it abit more newbie friendly, and I'm sure that will have high priority for this Fall, but you know this thread really burnt up enough bandwidth.

Not to be a grumpy old man here, but back to the research at hand. Please...

doc
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I hope this remark isn't about the Foolish Workshop FAQ. If it is, I'd welcome any good suggestions for improvement. Just remember that the FAQ isn't a substitute for LAPropDoc's great introduction to MI. I can easily post an update when there's enough new stuff to justify it.

Elan, I don't think it is. Last time I looked at the Foolish Workshop FAQ (from the FW board) it was pretty well organized. But here on the MI board, there is a link to "Fool Workshop Frequently Asked Questions" (I've always wondered why it wasn't titled MI FAQ), which takes you to:

"The (Unofficial) Fools' Reference Page
A Do-It-Yourself reference site for readers of the Motley Fool Message Boards
Last updated November 12, 1999"

This page is not nearly as well organized. For those of us who understand that one entering a new newsgroup/board/forum has the responsibility to check out rules & history (including looking through a FAQ which is sometimes not designed by a FAQ expert) it is not a big problem. You work through it. But TMF has always sought to attract a large audience, many of whom don't know these established courtesies (and some who do but ignore them), and these people have the technology to post anything they want no matter who it bothers. If we want to minimize the irritation, it would probably help if the FAQ were reorganized. Or better yet, have the link go the the FW board FAQ, with additional links (such as the existing MI FAQ) for further study.

--Terry
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Among mrtoast comments, it was stated:

",,,,I think a lot of our problems come from the way the boards are named"

IllinoisGEM adds:

I totally agree with Mrtoast. When I first became interested in MI, I avoided the Foolish Workshop as I mistakenly concluded it was a place where all the advanced research and experimenting with new and improved methods of MI was being performed. I thought the Mechanical Investing board was the place to go with any questions I had. It didn't take long for me to learn otherwise though :-)

FWIW and IMHO, the current names of the boards can, are and will continue to be misinterpreted, thus causing confusion for the newbies. It is because of this that I think we must be patient with the new people.

Also, to the uninitiated, Mechanical Investing implies results are all produced automatically with little human intervention. The new person does not understand the amount of reading, backtesting, and "back link chasing" and "homework" that is required to thoroughly become comfortable and confident with this style of investing.

On the other hand, changing the names now would possibly cause more confusion, since IIRC, all of the links to historical posts will be destroyed?

For what its worth?




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Just my experience...

I found you guys through the Workshop. No, not the message board, because when I started I pretty much ignored the message boards. (Yes, I know - *gasp*gasp* here's a glass of water for y'all.)

The Workshop was talking about mechcanical investing and various methods, so I looked at those.

I'm not even sure how I ended up at the boards, but I think it was because I finally followed one link too many :) So I started reading messages on the Foolish Workshop board and one day, realized that a lot of links led to the MI board. I think it only took a few months of links...

For what it's worth, I found this thread interesting and rather funny - Everyone here works so hard for FREE but some people thinks that those people don't contribute enough already and that every piece of work produced must be published. Funniest thing I've ever read!

As for MI, love everyone here, love all the work, and I even think the extremely few incidences of crankiness are just that - mad scientists venting <g>

Okay, back to my more normal lurk and leech mode.

-V.

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