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New Board Member Registration Fee


Parsad
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Hi Folks,

 

After considerable discussion and thought about this, I finally had to implement a one-time $10 fee for new members.

 

First, I resisted the idea after originally posting about it here and hearing from many of you, so I started changing the registration questions every couple of weeks...that helped briefly, but after one spammer gets in, they start flooding the registration with the correct answers.  Normally, I clear out the registrations every week that made it past the forum spam filter, but my brother got married last week, and I was briefly on and off on here, and there was suddenly over 80 registrations piled up...and those are the ones that made it past the filter!

 

I finally had enough and had to implement the one-time fee for new members, as I cannot spend so much time running through the posts and registration.  I don't think a $10 one-time fee would be onerous to any potential membership that will be able to use the board for free for the next 10+ years.  But it is high enough to stop spam registrations!

 

New members will follow the normal registration process by clicking on the "Register" tab above the log-in.  After they have registered, they need to click on the "Donation" tab and pay $10 through Paypal.  The email of the member registration and the email on the Paypal payment should match.  If they don't, then the registrant should just note in the payment that they registered under which email address.  Once the payment is received, the registration is approved and the member can use the board forever. 

 

Thanks very much!

 

Sanjeev

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Since $10 sounds really high and is probably out of the range of many potential board members given these tough economic times when they need to decide between super sizing for the week or joining the board, it might have sounded better to try and soft pedal it a little.  You could have gone the Ron Popeil method and told people that use of the board for 10 years is a $1,000 value, but they're not going to spend $1,000.  They're not going to spend $500.  They're not going to spend $250.  Etc etc.  Or perhaps you could have gone with the "4 easy payments of $2.50 each".  Or you could go the "would you pay $.00003 cents a day for use of the board for 10 years?"  So many options.

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Since $10 sounds really high and is probably out of the range of many potential board members given these tough economic times when they need to decide between super sizing for the week or joining the board, it might have sounded better to try and soft pedal it a little.  You could have gone the Ron Popeil method and told people that use of the board for 10 years is a $1,000 value, but they're not going to spend $1,000.  They're not going to spend $500.  They're not going to spend $250.  Etc etc.  Or perhaps you could have gone with the "4 easy payments of $2.50 each".  Or you could go the "would you pay $.00003 cents a day for use of the board for 10 years?"  So many options.

 

Ha, ha!  I know Kraven, I guess it could have been higher, but the main point was to just eliminate the spam.  Besides, they are better off giving up 5 supersizes at McDonalds and using the board instead.  More meat, less fat!  ;D  Cheers!

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I'm skeptical. $10 sounds fine to those who use the forums already. But to prospective users who aren't quite familiar with the site to know its value, it'll drive them away I think.

 

But you can still read the threads to inspect the quality before you register for an account. If you can't figure out from the reading the board that its worth $10 for a lifetime membership to be able to participate in the discussions then you probably won't do well as a value focused investor IMO.

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I'm skeptical. $10 sounds fine to those who use the forums already. But to prospective users who aren't quite familiar with the site to know its value, it'll drive them away I think.

 

But you can still read the threads to inspect the quality before you register for an account. If you can't figure out from the reading the board that its worth $10 for a lifetime membership to be able to participate in the discussions then you probably won't do well as a value focused investor IMO.

You could always have a free registration window at random time intervals. That way you would only have to deal with spam in those select periods.

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I'm skeptical. $10 sounds fine to those who use the forums already. But to prospective users who aren't quite familiar with the site to know its value, it'll drive them away I think.

 

But you can still read the threads to inspect the quality before you register for an account. If you can't figure out from the reading the board that its worth $10 for a lifetime membership to be able to participate in the discussions then you probably won't do well as a value focused investor IMO.

 

+1

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$10 is very reasonable, just don't go getting ideas and end up doing a Biglari on it by jacking up the fee later on ;D

 

Since you have a few bucks to play around with, why not run a competition in the Investment Ideas board? To make things interesting, you can use all that registration cash to put up a token prize ($20 or something similar) for the best idea. Just a thought to maybe generate some more discussion.

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$10 is very reasonable, just don't go getting ideas and end up doing a Biglari on it by jacking up the fee later on ;D

 

Since you have a few bucks to play around with, why not run a competition in the Investment Ideas board? To make things interesting, you can use all that registration cash to put up a token prize ($20 or something similar) for the best idea. Just a thought to maybe generate some more discussion.

 

I don't think prizes are necessarily a good incentive for people to post.  For those who feel $20 or $100 or a book is worth it, they will post, but I don't think it will incentivize those for whom those items aren't as valuable.  For example, there are people on this board that buy a book almost every week, who are incredibly intelligent and very good investors...why would they be incentivized to compete for a book they already own and have read?

 

I've always found that the best incentive is approval by your peers and other investors you admire.  The people who post on here, do so because they have a sense of community, they find value in the ideas themselves, and are passionate about finding nuggets of value.  I'm not interested in getting the lowest common denominators competing for $20 because they would not be incentivized to contribute any other way.  We attract good investors and ideas, because we like the people we are sharing them with...whether we agree or disagree...there is a level of respect for other investors on here and those that read the board.  They don't post and share their ideas here for the possibility of nominal prizes.  The prize is finding the idea and seeing it unfold before other investors eyes...especially if they couldn't see it!  ;D  Cheers!

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I don't think prizes are necessarily a good incentive for people to post.  For those who feel $20 or $100 or a book is worth it, they will post, but I don't think it will incentivize those for whom those items aren't as valuable.  For example, there are people on this board that buy a book almost every week, who are incredibly intelligent and very good investors...why would they be incentivized to compete for a book they already own and have read?

 

I've always found that the best incentive is approval by your peers and other investors you admire.  The people who post on here, do so because they have a sense of community, they find value in the ideas themselves, and are passionate about finding nuggets of value.  I'm not interested in getting the lowest common denominators competing for $20 because they would not be incentivized to contribute any other way.  We attract good investors and ideas, because we like the people we are sharing them with...whether we agree or disagree...there is a level of respect for other investors on here and those that read the board.  They don't post and share their ideas here for the possibility of nominal prizes.  The prize is finding the idea and seeing it unfold before other investors eyes...especially if they couldn't see it!  ;D  Cheers!

 

Amen. It's more important to keep the incentives and disincentives well aligned to promote a quality community than to hope to win some 14.99 book or whatever.

 

As long as the board is readable by non-registered users, people should be able to lurk and realize that it is worth a lot more than $10, so that shouldn't keep out too many good people, and that's what's most important to me (allowing new blood in easily -- we know from experience that even very small barriers to entry can keep a lot of people out, even the best kind, just because going from 'zero' to 'something' can feel really significant to people, even if the actual amount is very small).

 

It would be my preference that some other way was found to keep Parsad from wasting time on spammers, and that registration was still free, but if that can't be done right now, then this seems like a good choice. I would just advise to keep the option open to switch to some other method of dealing with spam down the line when/if one is found.

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Ten bucks is more than reasonable and it still costs nothing to read the posts.

 

I know that it has taken a lot of work to set up this board, a lot of time to moderate it and very likely some expenses in maintaining it. Surely no one would object to the board producing a small amount of revenue to be used by Sanjeev in whatever way he wishes. The fact that the fee will discourage scammers and trolls is also a benefit.

 

 

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I would have gladly paid much more than $10 for a membership. Thank you for all your hard work Parsad and I'm sorry spam has become such an inconvenience. This board has been invaluable to me and has helped me learn a lot about wealth management. I am looking forward to meeting many of the board members in person at a future Fairfax shareholders meeting pre-dinner.

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Sanjeev, thanks for granting us grand-father status.  But there is a downside to the new "Lifetime Member" tag on my name.  The problem is that I read the board before going to bed at night.  Seeing that tag makes me feel so important that my head swells and I can't get my T-shirt up over it to put my pajamas on.

 

 

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Sanjeev, thanks for granting us grand-father status.  But there is a downside to the new "Lifetime Member" tag on my name.  The problem is that I read the board before going to bed at night.  Seeing that tag makes me feel so important that my head swells and I can't get my T-shirt up over it to put my pajamas on.

 

It's ok, now you know how Kobe Bryant feels!  ;D  Speaking of which...I'm pretty excited to see this Lakers team in action...another ring!  Cheers!

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In regards to the "Lifetime Member" tag.  Everyone is a lifetime member once enrolled, but I will switch over Regular Members to Lifetime Member status once they hit the required number of posts.  It doesn't mean anything different for members, other than how much you've contributed to the board by posting...which is really the foundation of the board, and does mean alot.  Cheers!

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First post! Thank you to Parsad and to all posters for this fine board. I've learned a lot from the discussions, and it is good enough that at times I was excited to post(couldn't get registered at those times though!).

 

With that said, I am going to have to admit some responsibility for this $10 fee. I got frustrated with being tagged as a spammer and eventually donated hoping that would help along the registration. It worked, but also prodded Parsad towards this idea  :) .

 

Considering most brokerages have minimums to open an account, and charge 5-10$ per transaction, $10 for a lifetime membership shouldn't be cost prohibitive for most investors, and should be viewed as a prudent investment with a very high potential return. Maybe there are some kids or young people that have yet to invest that might find it excessive, but they can still lurk and read all the posts they want for free. I don't know of any free and open boards that rival this one. I tend to doubt there are any, since I've looked, but this one is definitely worth $10 to participate in. I would suggest dropping a penny though for more mainstream pricing, 9.99 just seems like so much less, right?  :)

 

-Nathan

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This has got to be one of the best (probably the best) forum out on the world WILD web for amazingly well informed, civilized and any other appropriate superlative I can think of (and many that I can't) - the only other one that I think comes close is Greenblatt's Value Investor's Club.  $10 seems a small price to pay to preserve the incalculable value of this forum.

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This has got to be one of the best (probably the best) forum out on the world WILD web for amazingly well informed, civilized and any other appropriate superlative I can think of (and many that I can't) - the only other one that I think comes close is Greenblatt's Value Investor's Club.  $10 seems a small price to pay to preserve the incalculable value of this forum.

 

The thing with VIC is that you have to be invited, and you have to submit an idea.  There are many people here who do not want to post but just read and lurk, so they would not be able to get into VIC. 

 

The forum is also a way for us to organize events or gatherings for board members in specific cities, such as Berkshire's AGM, Pabrai Funds AGM, and especially the Fairfax AGM where about 110-120 of our board members attended in April.  I expect that number to hit closer to 170-180 at next year's dinner.  Cheers! 

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