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SeekingAlpha turns Evil


Graham Osborn
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Has anyone else noticed how all the articles except the most recent are now locked behind the PRO subscription?  At first I thought it was some kind of sick joke, but it literally seems they are now expecting everyone to pay $75/ mo for access to virtually all their articles.

 

I'm just curious, is there anyone out there who is going to pay that kind of money for a site where 90% of the articles are of dubious quality?

 

But what is even more upsetting is how the site has now basically stolen content from authors who put in 10s or 100s of hours on pieces that are no longer creating value for those authors.  The author compensation policies were always a joke, so presumably authors were writing in order to gain recognition or perhaps introduce some efficiency to the market (obviously there were some manipulators as well, but my sense was that these were in the minority).  That's all gone now.  Unless your portfolio is big enough that a $900/ year charge doesn't matter, SeekingAlpha has now declared that you don't deserve the same access to information that the big guys do.

 

It would be like Gmail deciding to charge you $10/ month for access to your existing email.  So.. fundamentally.. wrong.

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You described the issue. You used to get paid the same regardless of whether you spent 100 hours researching a company or if you summarized recent news. SeekingAlpha eventually had to tier payouts and recoup money. Thus PRO subscriptions. The problem of rewarding quality still exists at SA and there are other avenues to monetize good research.

 

Even on this board there is decreasing incentive to share ideas. You can see it in post quality. Some of that is due to folks stealing ideas on this site to write on SA.

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They have some turrible articles, imop.  I should start just ripping three charts and some quotes from x company's latest quarterly supplement on my blog (of course I would have to figure out how to accomplish that technically.)  I do like the earnings transcripts.

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Just fyi, when I access from the app (mobile/tablet) it is like it used to be.

 

That reads absolutely ridiculous, if SA here hasen't tightened the ship totally, kab60! [ : - ) ] I just looked at the website, I could not see a link to an app anywhere. Is the app that you're using an app that you have downloaded from somewhere, kab60, or is it that you're ["just"] browsing the site from mobile/tablet?

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Yea, I'm not gonna spend $75 a month for earnings transcripts. Most of the articles are crap.

 

The earnings transcripts are still available and don’t disappear behind the paywall. That is the main thing that attracted me to the website in the place.

 

I thought that they were starting to put old transcripts behind the paywall.  Only the latest quarter available for free.  I am also having different experiences on different platforms.

 

If you can only access the latest articles, that greatly reduces the value of the site to the free user.  As you mention, many articles are far from great.  However, when you can go back a couple years and see all of the articles about a particular company, plus the transcripts, that adds up to some value.  Think about the value of the threads here if you could only go back a week or month.

 

Hope they reverse the decision.  Not tempted to pay for a subscription at current pricing and quality.

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I found the SA articles to be uneven but some of them were very good.

At times, found it helpful to look that way in order to continue validation of an already researched investment thesis.

Even in the less than stellar articles, there were sometimes details which could be helpful in terms of potential outcome assessment.

Not sure it made a significant difference though.

Perhaps time better spent elsewhere.

 

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Just fyi, when I access from the app (mobile/tablet) it is like it used to be.

 

That reads absolutely ridiculous, if SA here hasen't tightened the ship totally, kab60! [ : - ) ] I just looked at the website, I could not see a link to an app anywhere. Is the app that you're using an app that you have downloaded from somewhere, kab60, or is it that you're ["just"] browsing the site from mobile/tablet?

Just browsing the content via SA app

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Most of the articles weren't that useful but I did really like the earnings transcripts as it was faster to read through them than to listen to them.  Looking at MSFT, GOOG, and AXP as examples, all but the most recent transcript is now behind a paywall.  It looks like the "Pro Research" subscription tier at $20 a month would unlock it.

 

Ex.

https://seekingalpha.com/symbol/MSFT/earnings/transcripts

 

 

Mike

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After SA put the transcripts behind the paywall I signed up for BamSEC.  $35/mo or less if billed annually and they give you access to Thomson Reuters earnings and event transcripts.  Still learning my way around the other features but this is a really useful service, and the best value you can find at that price.

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Even on this board there is decreasing incentive to share ideas. You can see it in post quality. Some of that is due to folks stealing ideas on this site to write on SA.

 

I posted an idea here on ticker EXTN on Nov. 5th, 2015. It was picked as a "top-idea" on Dec. 1st, 2015 on Seeking Alpha by another author. Plagiarized? Not exactly, but it did seem a bit sketchy to me. For reference, there has been a grand total of two articles written on EXTN on Seeking Alpha, one of which was the article written less than 30 days after I posted here. Granted, I didn't write the article myself on Seeking Alpha, (which I suppose I could have), but I doubt the author could tell you with a straight face he didn't "borrow" the idea from my original post here. I much prefer this site because it isn't run like the bottom feeding losers run Seeking Alpha.

 

http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/extn-exterran-corporation/msg252343/#msg252343

https://seekingalpha.com/article/3719086-exterran-corporation-undervalued-underfollowed-spin-100-percent-upside

 

Edit: The author's first bullet point: "contracted compression business provides stability through the cycle"

I said in my writeup: "Complemented by historical stability, fourth quarter Contract Operations revenue"

 

Frankly, I posted it publicly on purpose, but the fact that someone else might be "selling" the idea on Seeking Alpha does bug me. That site should not benefit from my original write-up by selling it to others.

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After SA put the transcripts behind the paywall I signed up for BamSEC.  $35/mo or less if billed annually and they give you access to Thomson Reuters earnings and event transcripts.  Still learning my way around the other features but this is a really useful service, and the best value you can find at that price.

 

I like that site a lot too.  I didn't know about the transcripts.

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Just fyi, when I access from the app (mobile/tablet) it is like it used to be.

 

Your post got me thinking and I logged out of my account.  Interestingly, I can now view a number of articles without a paywall prompt.  For example if you google "Seekingalpha + ticker" you can go straight to an article without getting the prompt to create an account.

 

So maybe there are some workarounds.  I guess I just won't log in anymore - lol.

 

I've complained to the editors in the past about the plagiarism problem.  If they ordered articles based on comment recency (as happens on COBAF) it wouldn't be an issue.  As things are, the few good articles get buried in a sea of poor articles and never get re-promoted when anticipated price action materializes.  The cereal-box authors have learned to capitalize on this by stealing content from the older articles and re-publishing it shortly after price action occurs.

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Yea, I'm not gonna spend $75 a month for earnings transcripts. Most of the articles are crap.

 

The earnings transcripts are still available and don’t disappear behind the paywall. That is the main thing that attracted me to the website in the place.

 

They are putting the transcripts behind the paywall as well, just not all of them all at once.

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I've complained to the editors in the past about the plagiarism problem.  If they ordered articles based on comment recency (as happens on COBAF) it wouldn't be an issue.  As things are, the few good articles get buried in a sea of poor articles and never get re-promoted when anticipated price action materializes.  The cereal-box authors have learned to capitalize on this by stealing content from the older articles and re-publishing it shortly after price action occurs.

 

Exactly.  Half of the articles are just copy and paste from the most recent conference call slide show or investor day presentation.  They literally copy and paste the graphics from the company presentation, and that is the majority of the article.

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Have any of you - writing client letters - managing other people's money or not - considered to "recycle one of your upbringings" from your client letters, or whatever you may call it, - and thereby submiting it to SA for release?

 

- - - o 0 o - - -

 

Tim [fellow board member TBW] has already done this with KMI to get SA Pro status.

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Have any of you - writing client letters - managing other people's money or not - considered to "recycle one of your upbringings" from your client letters, or whatever you may call it, - and thereby submiting it to SA for release?

 

- - - o 0 o - - -

 

Tim [fellow board member TBW] has already done this with KMI to get SA Pro status.

 

Hey all:

 

Years & years ago, I wrote a guest posting on the blog "Ragnar is a Pirate" about Rurban Financial.  This is a small bank with most of it's operations in NW Ohio.  They have since changed their name to "State Bank Financial Group" (SBFG) and have done reasonably well. 

 

Anyways...Seeking Alpha REPOSTED THE ARTICLE FROM RAGNAR'S website.  They had an agreement with him that they could repost articles on his website that they were interested in and thought were quality pieces...so they republished my article.  They acknowledge that I am the author, but I can no longer gain access to it, as I don't have a premium membership to "Seeking Alpha".

 

 

 

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Sometimes, one here on CoBF, asks questions - "out in the open", so to say ... "without knowing which pot you stir" - one thing is sure: You never know whitch response you get.

 

Always educational and enlightning [- at least for me].

 

- - - o 0 o - - -

 

rb, do you care to elaborate - just - a bit? [Yes, I dared here to ask...]["No" will also do...]

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No, I wouldn't consider posting a client letter or a good idea on SA. The site is pretty crap. Full of wannabe analysts that have no idea what they're talking about. (Granted there are some smart people posting, but how do you separate the wheat from the chaff without spending a lot of time). Posting a good idea there or letter would just be a waste of my time. What do I have to gain?

 

I'd much rather post something like that here. One big advantage this site has is that it's a forum where others get to chip in, criticize me, try to poke holes in my ideas. That's valuable.  This site also has a bunch of people that don't know what they're talking about. But it also has some really smart people. Over time you figure out who falls into which category. When someone who's smart tells you that you've done something wrong that's valuable.

 

Lastly, I tend to be pretty lazy. So if something doesn't bring me enjoyment or make me money I won't really do it. So... No on Seeking Alpha.

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