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Here is yet another opinion, but this time from a slightly different perspective. I have read through a good majority of these posts just wanting to check people's different opinions (which is one of the great things about this board) and a lot of the people writing have a lot of posts and experience behind their usernames. As you may (or may not) notice on mine - no stars, no anything. This is actually my very first post.

Now, I have been lurking for a little bit just doing some learning. I received the TMF (is that redundant?) Investor's Guide as a Christmas gift, and it really opened my eyes to a whole new world. And while it did open my eyes, I realize that there is a lot to see and learn in this world - which is where this board and internet site come in. I am just out of college, and make good money so that the thirty dollars doesn't bother me too much. I will admit this though - when I first read the announcement the first phrase to pop in my head was "Wow, that sucks!" But then I started thinking of things in terms of value - what will that thirty dollars get me?

Not everyone will be able to answer that question the same. Heck, maybe not anyone. But I know what it means for me. Like I mentioned, I have a lot to learn, and this is one of the primary places to do it (again for me...) Learning is an iterative process - you learn by reading, by asking questions, by doing, and by asking questions. After following some of the discussions here, there are some people that flat out know their "stuff," or have great ideas to look at, or anyone of an infinite array of possibilities. Now, it comes down to the question are they going to stay around? I truly hope so - because again hopefully they see the value in this. That is the risky part of this - but there is risk in anything we do. Life is one big risk, filled with a bunch of smaller ones. There are ways that this risk can be minimized however, on all ends. If you have a friend that is valuable to the boards and is "on the fence" about this - try to convince them to stay. As "paying" members, we have the responsibility to bring in and keep quality people. I did the whole fraternity thing (there was a post earlier with this same analogy) and quality people bring in quality people. If you want to step back from that though - people bring in people (what's quality to you is different from what is quality to me.) In this case, the key is to bring in different opinions - because hey, that is what makes this place valuable. On the other end of things (i.e. the board managers etc.) they HAVE to listen to some of the suggestions that have been made and be willing to ADAPT and EVOLVE quickly. There have been some really good ideas made in these posts - and they really need to be thought about. Doing these kinds of things will keep people and attract new...which benefits everyone (as an example - I'm not a huge fan of how the board is layed out in terms of displaying messages. I think the forums at Anandtech, for example, are extremely well done and very "user-friendly.")

Another side for me though is the ability to contribute, which is something I plan on doing more and more of as time progresses. I want to become one of the "irreplaceable" members by teaching and helping with the things that I have/ will have learned. We truly get what we put in to it. Creating value for someone else? Great! But it will also create value for me (they say to show you learned something, teach someone else...) Plus, it gives the ability to forge new friendships with fellow Fools. Added bonus.

So right now I am learning heavily towards "sign me up!" (I have until the 14th, and who knows what may happen between now and then). But I look at it in terms of what I have to lose/what do I have to gain - 30 dollars to lose, an infinite amount to gain (but only if I try to achieve it.) I'll take that chance. Hopefully you will too. Geesh, I should be paid for this :) There is a financial commercial that says "The biggest risk is not taking one at all."

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