I'm excited to announce that Seeking Alpha has passed 1 million members, and is adding over 2,000 members per market day. In other words, we've doubled our size in less than two years, and at our current growth rate expect to double again in even less time. This is important for five reasons:
1. Seeking Alpha is one of the handful of new media startups which has built an outstandingly valuable product. Our goal is to help people invest better, by presenting them with valuable insight and information, allowing them to choose between different perspectives, and empowering them to discuss ideas with other smart investors. To do this, we combine financial content from a broad contributor base with oversight by a team of human editors. We add our own real-time news coverage (Market Currents). And for members, we offer personalization (watchlists and portfolios, the ability to follow authors, customizable email alerts), discussion tools (comments, StockTalks, and Instablogs), and communication (direct messages). Hitting a million members shows it's working.
2. Seeking Alpha has become the largest publishing platform for finance professionals and other financial commentators. We now publish about 250 articles per market day, after editorial selection, from about 900 active authors per month. People contribute articles to Seeking Alpha for various reasons: to build exposure and reputation, generate customer leads, and supplement their income (we're one of the only businesses paying meaningful amounts to a large number of contributors, currently $10 per 1,000 page views). There's a virtuous circle here: as our readership grows, our value to contributors rises, they contribute more articles for our editors to select from, and that increases our comprehensiveness and value to readers.
3. Seeking Alpha articles are increasingly moving stocks. Our impact on the market is a direct function of our rapidly growing readership. We have 5-7MM monthly unique visitors (about 9.5% of whom are finance professionals), but our 1MM registered users are significant because they're far more engaged than occasional readers, and tend to be committed investors.
4. Seeking Alpha has become the leading platform for intelligent discussion of stocks and the markets. We publish about 80,000 comments per month, after moderation. Unlike "Web 1.0" message boards, the intellectual framework and tone for comments are set by articles, and article authors actively participate. This results in comment discussions that are higher quality and more valuable to investors.
5. Seeking Alpha has become a critical platform for communicating with investors. Registering on Seeking Alpha allows users to send and receive direct messages to contributors and other readers. Investors are using Direct Messaging on Seeking Alpha to form business relationships and privately discuss investment ideas. IR and PR professionals are using Direct Messages to reach authors who write about their company, industry, or sector. There are strong network effects in communication, which is why hitting 1MM registered users is important.
On a personal note, I want to say a huge congratulations and thank you to the Seeking Alpha team. A ton of work has gone into hitting this milestone. Every day, our team works hard to deliver value for our readers, our contributors, and our partners -- and you've succeeded. You guys rock!
But this is our contributors' and readers' achievement as much as ours. As a tribute to our amazing contributors, we asked our editors to name their favorite Seeking Alpha articles, and we asked each of our contributors to nominate the best Seeking Alpha article that they wrote, and the best Seeking Alpha article written by another contributor. Here they are: