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Be careful what you wish for - it might come true.In my very first post to this board (28437) I asked if there was a Gimme My Rec's. Five months later, there was. No thanks to me, of course, but there it was! So I'm going to suggest a few more things in this post and see what happens. Bear with me, you might have to scroll down on this message!First I want to say how much I value my friends on GMS and being part of this group. In real life, I have a tendency to avoid becoming a full member of any community and prefer to roam as a bit of a lone wolf. I thought maybe that was a fear of commitment or a fear of getting stuck in a rut, although those are really two sides of the same coin. However, I realised that I deliberately chose a career in a field where being part of a team is crucial, although those teams change all the time. And maybe that's what I've really been afraid of - not commitment but change. Nevertheless the Fool is going to change and so is this board and so are the people who post here.I believe the real reason people come back to the Fool day after day, week after week is the community spirit, the feeling of belonging to a group and the comaraderie and friendships that develop on each of the different boards, and sometimes spread out into the real world. More often than not, TMF is the first website I go to every time I log on. I think it is for nearly everyone who becomes a regular on this site. And I think that is the key to the site's long term success. The Fool acts as a massive communications portal of a particular kind, providing interaction with real people in a virtual world, with community members providing personal views, anecdotes and humor, links to sites across the web and overall contributing to a huge amount of information held within the Fool archives.To my mind, the next logical step for the Motley Fool is to seize on these communication and information features and keep people here as much as possible. That means integrating the features we go to our other favorite sites for. I think TMF needs to get a powerful webwide search engine, email and instant messaging facilities. Private club rooms should be considered which could be rented out to professional groups. Personally I'm can't be bothered to read through all the email groups I'm a member of where many messages have little relevance to me. I much prefer the searchable format of TMF boards, so I'd see that as a good thing and it should bring in revenue.Anyway, I've digressed. When I first came here, I initially resisted the lure of Gimme My Stars and the British Invasion boards, not wanting to be pigeonholed as a member of any particular community on TMF as I wanted to post freely on any subject on any board. However, I've since reflected that nearly all the boards are primarily social, as FoolTools points out in a lot of those initial posts. Also, those who make judgemental comments about a board and the regulars on it usually haven't taken the time to read it or get to know the people who post there. They're just tarring others with a broad brush to build links and status within their own particular group.Most importantly, though, I've since realised that I really like the people who post on Gimme My Stars (and on BI). They are witty and informative, they know as much as posters elsewhere but choose not to dwell on life's serious, heavy issues all the time and I think that's a very balanced outlook. Funnily enough, the only people who have ever asked me anything remotely serious about investing on fool.com are Norm - the first person who spoke to me on GMS - and gwgross (you know who I mean!), the second person who spoke to me here.GMSers have taken an interest in me and I was very touched to find Palmer had created a page for Ascalon on the GMS website. With that I felt like I belonged and it meant a lot to me to feel that, because I love hanging out here. Sometimes I mock the system with blank posts, surreal insights, one liners and Python quotes. Sometimes I get incredibly serious. Somtimes I post very different things on other boards and I totally enjoy the freedom to express various facets of myself that TMF gives. There's plenty of space on the Fool for all of that. But you know what? My heart is very warmed to be able to say I'm a member of this community, the group of Fools who I've gotten to know as friends through the Gimme My Stars and British Invasion boards.Thanks for listening.Yours in GMS,Ascalon
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