No. of Recommendations: 73
Isn't it funny: Here we are, a bunch of landlords collecting dividends off the rents squoze out of tenants of every sort across the nation, and we're howling because our cyber landlord just raised the rent by $15 per year!

Well, $15 may not sound like much, but in percentage terms, it's infinite.

As my Uncle Joe once said: "Jimmy, there is no bigger difference in the world than the difference between some and none."

The question for me is, is there a decent substitute? Obviously, the board is worth more than $15 or $30/year. Everything I buy is worth more to me than I pay for it, or else I wouldn't spend the time to make the purchase. This computer is worth probably $75,000 or more to me. But, I wouldn't pay that, because there are equivalents on the market for $1000. So, I am enjoying $74,000 of consumer surplus from my computer. We're so used to our consumer surplus we've even got a nasty term in the language for when a supplier tries to reduce our consumer surplus: "Price gouging." That's taking advantage of market power to make a bigger supplier surplus (profit). Why don't we call it "consumer surplus gouging" when we pay less for a thing than the utility we derive from it?

There isn't a readily available decent substitute. To save $30, I'm not willing to accept ANY reduction in quality or spend any significant time searching for, or creating, a substitute. I did consider trying to get the group to migrate to a free board, but quickly rejected the idea in my mind. The free boards lack some of the features, like recommendations and a powerful search function. It might be fun trying to maintain and build a community on our own, but it's easier to stay here and "renting rather than owning" leaves more time to concentrate on the subject matter as opposed to housekeeping.

Maybe we should try collective bargaining. United we stand! They can stick us up for $30 one by one, but if we form a union then we have countervailing power. If there are ten of us, that's a potential $300; if 100 join the posters' union, that's a potential $3,000. And here is what I propose our price to be: BRING BACK TMF YORICK!

For those of you too new to know him, Yorick was our host, and his legacy is the tone of civility, intelligence and good humor that still marks this board. One day, he disappeared mysteriously without a word. Yet, rumor has it he still lives, and enlightens others, out there somewhere. So, Mssrs. Gardner, what have you done with him? Improvement number 1 is BRING BACK YORICK!

Improvement number 2 is abandon the silly idea of turning the "recommendations" function into a juvenile popularity contest. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, go read about the planned awarding of "Charms" (why not just call them "gold stars" like my kindergarten teacher did?) based on everyone's post-to-recommendation ratio. Now this would be just silly and harmless, if they did not also plan to ration the number of recommendations you can give, to prevent "recommendation inflation." And, the rationing will be done according to a secret and varying formula. So, you will never know in advance whether you have the power to recommend a post tonight or not until you try. Say What?! Does this have something to do with adults managing their investments? Please. Don't do this. The recommendation feature is perfect, just the way it is. If helps me find good posts when I am in a hurry. And it helps me guage which of my posts have been most helpful to others. That's all I want it to do. Spare me the awarding of charms and don't mess with anyone's right to hit that "recommend it" button.

Improvement number 3 should be correct treatment of dividends in the "total return" column of the "my portfolio" function. Not only would this help REIT investors track their portfolios, it would also help me doing the annual stock picking contest.

Improvement number 4 should be a way to set up portfolios that we all could look at on a continuing basis, so that the contest could be tracked in real time. This would also be useful for other types of discussions -- for example, our Bluest of the Blue could be a portfolio that could be generally accessed and tracked against a Brownest of the Brown portfolio, to see if our stock picking means anything. Another portolfio could track Realty Stock Reviews buy/sell/hold recommendations. But, you can't do this without a proper measure of total return. Price-only won't cut it for this board.

So, brothers Gardner, here's $30 of my precious consumer surplus. I'll be watching how you spend it. And don't get greedy -- I just might get serious about forming that union.

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No. of Recommendations: 3
If its good enough for Jim, its good enough for me. I agree with Jim that we need TMF Yorick back on the job and we need total return charting! What good is a REIT chart that doesn't know the total return of an company.

You've got my $29.95! Don't screw it up.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Improvement number 2 is abandon the silly idea of turning the "recommendations" function into a juvenile popularity contest. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, go read about the planned awarding of "Charms" (why not just call them "gold stars" like my kindergarten teacher did?) based on everyone's post-to-recommendation ratio. Now this would be just silly and harmless, if they did not also plan to ration the number of recommendations you can give, to prevent "recommendation inflation." And, the rationing will be done according to a secret and varying formula. So, you will never know in advance whether you have the power to recommend a post tonight or not until you try. Say What?! Does this have something to do with adults managing their investments? Please. Don't do this. The recommendation feature is perfect, just the way it is. If helps me find good posts when I am in a hurry. And it helps me gauge which of my posts have been most helpful to others. That's all I want it to do. Spare me the awarding of charms and don't mess with anyone's right to hit that "recommend it"
button.


I agree, the charm idea is not only ridiculous, with the "rationing" it potentially degrades the value of the very useful recommendation feature. I agree with Jim, I don't care if they keep the silly charm idea if it makes some folks happy, but don't screw up a very useful feature.

I am e-mailing this reply to Tom Gardner to make sure he is aware of the strong disapproval of at least Jim and me, and probably many others given the large number of recommendations on Jim's post. Please, anyone else who hates this idea, e-mail your sentiments to Tom Gardner at TomG@Fool.com.

Regards
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No. of Recommendations: 5
I just paid my $29.95, and wanted to share a few thoughts on this board. First, the high quality of postings here has resulted in me making investment decisions that have compensated for that amount substantially more than a thousandfold; less than 0.1 percent of the return is not too expensive. Secondly, this board is almost unique in the investment bulletin board universe at having a high content-to-chaff ratio, as well as being permeated with courtesy and good will. That's worth supporting because community building is a harder task than it at first seems; you only have to look around to see all the failed counterexamples out there.

Enjoying all your company,

Rashomon
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I have also paid my $29.95 and look forward to this board continuing to be an excellent source of information, good fellowship, and place for discussion of common interests.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I will probably pay the $30 but I am very sad. I suspect that I will not be reading this board in 2 years.

Most of the posters that I appreciate will still be here, so that is not the reason.

I just do not think this will work.

If all their boards were of the quality of the Real Estate board, it might work, but from my observation, they are not and those boards are where the real defection will be.

There are not enough of us real estators to make this work. Maybe the initial payments will keep it going for a while, but I suggest that there will be very little coming in after that.

I dont have any idea what TMF makes off of advertising but it surely is more than they will get from new subscribers.

To me, this sounds like the beginning of the end for TMF and thus this board.

I hope I am wrong for this is sad...very sad.
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