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  • QuickChat #199, August 31, 2011 222 comments
    Aug 31, 2011 4:27 PM


    Solution:  Top line: "Austrian", 2nd Line: "School", 3rd Line:  "Marx", 4th line (wraps around the front under the large "S" in Swan:  "Keynes".

    The Swan is weeping black tears, perhaps for the tiny retail investor clinging to a reed on the right side of the image.
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Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

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  • QuickChat
    , contributor
    Comments (270) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Comment from prior QC by Mayascribe:

     

    On top of Solyndra, and far worse for our economy, is the Justice Department's refusal of allowing AT&T to buy T-Mobile. AT&T guaranteed $8B in US infrastructure improvements, plus bringing five billion off shore dollars back here to the US. Poof! 97,000 great paying jobs just went up in Voldemorte smoke.

     

    So we have old Volde up to his tricks. He's another tactic. Yesterday, he scheduled his September 7 jobs (yeah...right) speech exactly the same time as the Republican National Debate, which, I'll add, has been scheduled for months!

     

    Before anyone jumps down my throat about AT&T antitrust BS, the US goverment did create the Baby Bells way back. They could, if AT&T begins raping their customers, do that again.

     

    Happy for you, Robert, for your Sprint stock. I'm pissed my AT&T got pummled by lack of foresight.

     

    Gotta love Obama; tossing out nearly 100,000 jobs before he stands before the teleprompters Sept. 7, and talks about how private industry is not creating enough jobs, so the government will open up our tax dollars to keep "his" GNP up enough so that we do not go into another recession during his campaign to get reelected.

     

    Just brilliant.
    31 Aug 2011, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    I hope the new QC helps with the site problems.
    31 Aug 2011, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    TB: Greetings. This QC seems to be working just great. I had restarted this machine with a warm boot this morning while I was in processing a new guy. Didn't help. But the responsiveness has been improving over the last two hours. Maybe it's back to normal. I'll do a cold boot at the end of the day which is in about twenty minutes from now. Perhaps by tomorrow the elves will have finished up their magic.
    31 Aug 2011, 05:59 PM Reply Like
  • golfitobob
    , contributor
    Comments (2347) | Send Message
     
    AT&T..So what ! The jobs coming back .. AT&T was tipped and tossed that out there. P/R. 29 bucks now 28 Common !

     

    AND, who has the worst customer service in the industry ???
    How much worse would that make things and how much client base would go to Sprint and VZ ..........15% Sprint should have kept quite !

     

    And the old AT& T wrote that book......Customer service started with them !

     

    PS.. i just found 15 shares of NYNEX.... From before the takeover.. How much are theses babies worth ?? .........And i sold my S on the pop......gb
    31 Aug 2011, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    Golf: You don't have the opportunity to deal with Verizon. I have. I was close to writing my fifth or sixth Verizon rant about a week ago. On June 7 I contacted Verizon about simply switching my mother's account over to me. This has not yet been fully resolved. It's almost Sept^^*^##%%!!!

     

    I have documented conversations with over 20 people and over 11 hours of my time spent on the phone with Verizon. Incredible incompetence. Completely infuriating such that I can't even get mad anymore.

     

    My last bill came in with an over $400 handle on it! I was charged $22 for them having my home phone out of service for over two weeks. When I wanted to talk to billing, I ended up in equipment and repair. If Verizon has a chipmunk department, I've spoken to it.

     

    They realized they screwed up so badly, they gave me $20/month off for the next 24 months, plus free HBO, Cinemax and a host of other free channels for two years. But then ocurse they did begin charging me for all these free "gifts." Of course "part two" is that lots of stuff into the hundreds of dollars has been backed out. But never would have, if I didn't persist.

     

    I cannot tell you how frustrating it has been to get the bill corrected, to talk to anybody who has a clue.

     

    And it ain't over yet, because I'm about to get three more TVs.

     

    On the other hand, every call I have ever made to AT&T has been handled professionally, with the right results.
    31 Aug 2011, 06:05 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    And also, Verizon has been sending my deceased mother statements saying she doesn't owe them anything! Even sent her a couple of checks, which went into the estate.

     

    Curious stuff this is.
    31 Aug 2011, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    FOLKS

     

    Please do me a favor and see if your like totals are increasing. I noticed the last few days my comment numbers rise but not my like totals....I have been stuck on the same number for a few days

     

    I wrote to SA so well see if it get resolved

     

    Thanks
    ACEHART
    31 Aug 2011, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    Yes, I noted the problem several days ago. The big news is that it's not affecting everyone. Some people's totals are updating, others are not, and that raises some obvious questions. I also wrote to Eli today.
    31 Aug 2011, 08:56 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    FPA

     

    If you don't mind including me in your discussion abiut the votes i would appreciate it. I sent an email into the contacts buy i am sure i will get no where. I believe its been going on a while now as well.

     

    I wrote Rachael, David , and a generic complaint. But i honestly would hate to lose those thumbs as i am still new and need everyone of them

     

    Thanks
    ACE
    31 Aug 2011, 10:41 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    acehart and the QuickChatters (sounds like a band, no?),

     

    We made two changes to our comment system a short while back:

     

    1. Owners of instablogs (like QuickChat) can delete comments on their own instablog.

     

    2. Commenter leaderboards are determined by the number of "likes" received only on comments on SA articles. Previously, "likes" to comments on instablogs also counted.

     

    So when you don't see your aggregate score rise, it's probably due to the fact that the "likes" you are getting are to your comments on an instablog (such as this QuickChat).

     

    The reasoning behind the changes was as follows.

     

    - Comments on instablogs can be different in nature than comments on articles. For example, QuickChat is more like a discussion board than a set of responses to an article. So having a single rating system mixes apples and oranges.
    - The comment leaderboards are to help readers know which commenters on SA articles are most helpful to other SA readers. But by counting likes to instablog comments, someone could become a top commenter without ever having contact with the wider SA readership by leaving comments on articles.
    - If we allowed instablog owners to delete comments while counting instablog "likes" to the total commenter scores, we'd be empowering instablog owners to manipulate the commenter rankings. ("How can I rank if you keep deleting my comments?")
    - Instablogs like QuickChat are like a family, and a reference from a family member should count for less than a reference from someone else.
    - Members of tight-knit communities like QuickChat want to show appreciation for each other more so than in less tight-knit communities on articles, and that skews the comment rankings towards members of QuickChat and other mini-communities.

     

    So why did we leave the "like" button on comments on instablogs? Because it's still valuable to show a commenter and other readers whether you liked their comment, even if the "like" doesn't count to their ranking.

     

    David
    1 Sep 2011, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    David: Thanks for the explanation. This idea makes perfect sense. I'll admit that I once enjoyed being on the Top Ten list of commenters. Now I really don't care about my rankings. I care much more about what I learn from my fellow Quick Chatters, the fun we have, and the priceless relationships that have been developed, of which you are one.

     

    A great overall decision by you and Seeking Alpha. Thank you.
    1 Sep 2011, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    David, Jackson: Greetings. It does sound like a 70s band name doesn't it. LOL. Great idea. Thanks to you and the entire staff.
    1 Sep 2011, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Dear David Jackson,

     

    While at first I agreed with you, upon further reflection, I have to respectfully disagree with your move to stop counting the "likes" of instablog comments alongside those of article comments.

     

    Having the "likes" of both instablog and article comments together lets folks know who are the most active people on Seeking Alpha, period.

     

    Most importantly to me, I found the Quick Chat and the many tendrils of related blogs and articles from the folks who hub from this dialogue by taking a look at the comments of the most active people (now most actively "liked" people) on Seeking Alpha. To me, this is an important (though one of many) core community of Seeking Alpha where new participants and old can daily come and learn from each other, find links to relevant SA articles and blogs on different topics, and become better investors.

     

    Since stumbling on the Quick Chat in the spring by looking at those who led SA in comments:
    a) my research of investments has improved
    b) I've become cognizant of the strength and development in investing acumen that comes from participating in an investment community as exists on a large scale in SA and in a thriving microcosm in the Quick Chats and its various blog and article cousins
    c) I've had conversations with CEOs who I am not related to, nor know anyone working for them - something I didn't do before, and now have done multiple times
    d) I've had one premium article published on SA which I do my best to keep regularly updated while I plan further articles
    e) I am, for the first time, taking a trip that is solely for the purpose of researching an investment when I go to Mongolia September 10 for 12 days.
    f) On the research and articles front, I've been gathering ideas and data all summer while traveling so that when I return from Mongolia, I can not only write articles about Mongolia, but also start writing articles about agriculture and emerging markets

     

    So, I have to object to the folks who comment on instablogs "likes" not being counted, because if you had done so from the start, I would not have found this QuickChat, and likely instead would have discovered that most of the leading commenters can be found chit-chatting in the (always good and informative) Wall Street Breakfast column, articles about the macroeconomic situation (also, many good ones), and articles about the larger and most popularly traded companies (SIRI, AAPL, etc). And all these articles also often very very good, but they are also easily found without looking for who is the top commenters on the SA site.

     

    If you counted "likes" as you propose to do from now on from the start, I would not be developing as an investor or author as I am today, and probably would at most look at Seeking Alpha once per week instead of daily.

     

    Please consider well the knock-on effects of your changes as I do not see an upside to them.
    1 Sep 2011, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    Jon: Those are some excellent points of which I did not consider, most likely because I was one of the original Renegades, long before Quick Chat was created. Somehow, all the original Renegades found each other and gravitated into the group it is today. As for me, I was not in the Top 100 when Freya stumbled into me listing some picks in one of John Petersen's energy storage articles, only because I knew of no forum of which to do so.

     

    Yet, I completely agree with you that if Thumbs Up or Likes were not counted in the past, then Quick Chat would not have gained in "membership" with fantastic folks like yourself.

     

    It would be interesting to learn how others discovered Quick Chat's existence. Perhaps that could be some kind of barometer to the viability of Likes being reintegrated if possible, or to continue on with SA's new policy.
    1 Sep 2011, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    I have told the story of my stumbling among the 'Gades, but here it is again...

     

    I was first attracted by Rat's wonderful Swine Flu Concentrator. I had just gone through a near-death experience with 2 bouts of flu (damaged my heart, most likely knocked 2 decades off my lifespan).

     

    At the time I was trying to figure out some commodity-based stocks which would lead into the new wave of technology we are seeing in hybrids, EVs, wind turbines, etc. I was losing money on American Lithium, and Maya (kind soul that he is) suggested I watch out (he was right, of course). Then I saw the rare earth narrative the 'Gades were exploring, along with Great Western, and I dove in there to see if I could figure things out...

     

    Ratings were not involved in my process at all. Pure luck was.
    1 Sep 2011, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    I also disagree with this new policy.

     

    I see the decision to not consider comments on Instablogs as contributing value and indicating opinion leadership in a subject area as wrong and shortsighted. The fact that a comment is posted in an article or in an Instablog is irrelevant with respect to the comments informational value to investors and indeed to the entire sites purpose, "seeking alpha."

     

    Top commenters receive badges, which presumably signify value. The decision to not count comments in Instablogs as an indication of opinion leadership means those comments, and by extension, the Instablogs themselves are considered as valueless. They are rendered valueless because comments made in Instablogs no longer count towards seeking alpha's "Opinion Leadership" .

     

    An Instablog like the Rare Earth Concentrator is Seeking Alpha's leading source of up-to-date investor information on Rare Earth investments. The majority of the informational content in the Rare Earth Concentrator is contained in the comment stream, not the author’s area at the top of the Instablog which is mostly designed to provide background support materials. Yet now, according to Seeking Alpha's management the informational content in Instablogs is rendered as irrelevant with respect to the notion of conveying "Opinion Leadership" in a subject area.

     

    Article Approval Process is Too Slow:
    The article format is too slow to keep up with the fast pace of investment news. It takes days to get an article through the approval process and than we have the bogging down of responsiveness issue when comments in an SA article exceed 150 responses.

     

    The Value of News Concentrators:
    I argue that if you want to find the latest up-to-date information on Rare Earth investments, you are not going to want to wait for an article to appear. You go to a place, which is focused on that particular investment area, and where breaking news AND investor comments on that breaking news is concentrated. That exactly describes the News Concentrators. I think the back and forth among investors on breaking news items defines the very concept of "Seeking Alpha". The problem with the breaking news area on Seeking Alpha is its not focused.

     

    News concentrators are similar to an on-going newsletter. Basic aspects of the subject area are provided in the author-contributed area. However, breaking news and discussions related to that news are discussed in the comments area. News concentrators don't bog down because the authors provide timely replacement concentrators.

     

    I find the notion that comments posted in Instablogs as valueless with respect to defining opinion leadership as ridiculous. To me what the decision renders as worthless is the now edited comment total which now only forms a sum over comments made in articles.

     

    Misleading Labeling:
    As currently labeled, the Top Commenters page, and the accompanying text "Top Commenters, as ranked by their peers" is misleading. The sum of comments is not total comments, its comments on Seeking Alpha articles.

     

    David Jackson said that counted comments are now restricted to comments on articles. That means that comments made on Breaking News are also no longer counted in the opinion leadership count. I suggest that fact be made explicitly clear in the summary top commenters page.
    1 Sep 2011, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    RBF

     

    Who has been getting my royalties??? I betcha Benny and the Obamas!!!
    1 Sep 2011, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    LOL. Good one Ace. Your probably right as they seem intent on getting their fingers into everyone's pie.
    1 Sep 2011, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    As I recall I was just breaking the top 100 for the second or third time when I stumbled across Freya by accident and began following her. She was top ten at the time and it still ticks me off when I think about the whole sordid situation. She was treated very poorly! Speaking of Freya has anyone heard from her?
    1 Sep 2011, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    Good one, Ace!
    1 Sep 2011, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    Since most of us disagree the only way i see around this is we have to have someone write an article and just continue our qick chats under that article.

     

    This way two birds are taken care of with one stone. The article will be a good one for sure and then all of you top commentors can continue your thumbs up..

     

    Now that i know the reason i would rather still read and learn from you all but it is normal to want to be on the top and this is the only way i can think it would work.

     

    Any opinions??

     

    ACEHART
    1 Sep 2011, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    Robert

     

    She pm'd me either last night or today ...So i assume she is ok,,,Probably posting on articles to gather points.....lol...

     

    ACEHART
    1 Sep 2011, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    Back when I started using SA, I found the informational value of many of the comments on subject areas I was interested in as mostly worthless. They were worthless because they were old and everyone was fighting with one another. I wanted to move into trading, and needed access to current information and trading concepts.

     

    The top commenter list at that time was not particularly useful with respect to informational value because that was before Instablogs. In those days the top commenter list was dependent on article comments only. So it took a bit of searching before I hit pay dirt.

     

    Eventually, I found Freya YellowHoard, and OG. I also looked at the list of people they were following. In other words, I looked at their social networks for quality clues.

     

    Then the concentrators were born…. That was it. For me, it was the concentrators that transformed SA from an average quality social networking site into a highly valuable learning and investing tool.

     

    I did not start commenting for some time. I had so much to learn. I wanted to contribute to these wonderful people that were sharing their knowledge and experience, but I had little to offer. So I decided to provide information based on breaking news, and what I saw as important news events. I became a reporter. If something seemed to be of particular interest or importance, I wrote up researched Instablog on the subject. So basically I contributed research in exchange for all the wonderful information I was getting from the group.

     

    The notion that quality and informational value of comments is only worthwhile if the comments are offered in an Article is nonsense and disrespectful of the QC, concentrator contributors, and authors.

     

    From a Social Networking point of view, frequency of communications defines networking strength. Frequency of communications happens because the participants are resonating with one another. What the hell does SA think we are resonating about, the weather?
    1 Sep 2011, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    John and FPA,

     

    Thank you for your thoughtful responses to my post. I wanted to explain the reasoning behind the decision precisely because I knew that the group here would stress-test it.

     

    I'd like to think about the points you both made further before replying.

     

    In the meantime, thank you!
    David
    1 Sep 2011, 03:09 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    I'm with you Ace - the exchanges, learning, sharing our *aggregate* knowledge and researching (i.e. 20 sets of eyes watching for good articles, investments, factors, ... rather than a much smaller set) is much more important to me than SA business objectives or benefits to them.

     

    HardToLove
    1 Sep 2011, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    FPA: "What the hell does SA think we are resonating about, the weather?"

     

    Chill brother! ;-)

     

    In David's defense, I just say that his perspective is from the side of trying to make a successful business and he can't possibly ken all the subtle benefits of the environment we've created (thanks to Freya, O.G, DG, One-eye, ... and all the others that led up to the QC formation) without day-to-day participation.

     

    I view it as a positive that he takes the time to post, listens to our responses and considers how he might blend those concerns with his objectives.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    1 Sep 2011, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    FPA: Greetings. The weather was last week with Irene and next week when Hurricane Katia approaches and the tropical depression in the GOM gives us clues about what it will do. LOL. Still holding Owens Corning (OC) which is up 5%. Seriously though having thought more on the subject I have to agree with you and Jon, Springer. The QC and related concentrators are the most valuable investment tools on the web and the comments are the most valuable pieces of them. Therefore the comments should be just as valuable in the Instas as in the articles. I understand the desire to drive more traffic and top commenter to the published articles but that shouldn't diminish the value of the Instas. Perhaps a weighting system could provide a compromise to the all or nothing solution that has been implemented. Any thoughts?
    1 Sep 2011, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    David

     

    We control this site way more tighly with rules so that NEWCOMERS LIKE ME can learn and ask elementary questions, To have teachers like this take their time to HELP me has been priceless. I have commented on other articles and been subjected to so much negative comments that quite frankly i alsmost just moved onto another site

     

    My assumption is if you continue with this process the group might break away and go another direction. Hell i have brought two new members into our fold and carry a guilt as to how they carry themselves in conversation

     

    Yet the group actually has to desensitise the individuals how we act, and you know what those posters became better analyst because of it. In fact they are making more money.

     

    If the group was loose and had no set of rules like other chat rooms you would not stand out. In fact I, MYSELF, had to tone down my answers that other sites or quite frankly articles on SA allow.

     

    That is where your problem lies. Yet you are penalizing the wrong people. Please think about this as i for one have learned more than any book could have taught me within this core,

     

    But i cannot say that about other articles. Spend some time on those posts and you will see what they get away with, and scare people from YOUR site. I was almost proof of it !!

     

    Thanks in advance as i am middle aged and if i lost these mentors i would not grow, hence i would just tune this site off.

     

    Thanks, and please take my comments seriously. To my friends here i am pm ing this to David as well..

     

    Acehart,,,,,Bill
    1 Sep 2011, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    Folks

     

    I might add that David sent me this message as well and do you know what time it came accross.....9.11 am.....SCARY !!!
    1 Sep 2011, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    Ace: Greetings. Thanks.
    1 Sep 2011, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    FPA

     

    i TOOK a different approach. I 100% agree with you as i am in the middle of what you did, Pretty funny as i feel like the newscaster. I think David needed to be hit over the head to understand what is happening here. HTL, I UNDERSTAND YOUR POST AND PLEASE UNDERSTAND THE STRENGHT OF WHAT I AM SAYING !!!

     

    If he doesn't change his methods he will lose top commenters to another method on line where if points wont matter then it wont matter where we go. So the ball is in his court but he doesn't grasp what he would be losing if we disappear.

     

    I know for a fact MANY people follow what is said here but just don't feel qualified to respond yet. He is sitting on a monster and doesn;t know it because he is so busy. Hell even FOX or CNBC seem to poke their head in and take a gander..We have discussed that recently...

     

    Yes , i read other articles but rarely do i post as i don't need the CRAP thrown my way. Hit the ABUSE button. I rather hit the DELETE button and move on!!!

     

    ACEHART
    1 Sep 2011, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8685) | Send Message
     
    I was a gold bug and was mutually following Yellow Hoard and a converstation between him and either OG or Freya maybe both got me started. That is how I came to be in the Gades. We became the renegades when we fled from Seeking Alpha and went to the burning platform in mass as a group because of the censorship and treatment of Freya. We came back when the previous site administrator was found to be listening in on our Private messages. Not John Quinn. Quinn left too to start his own burning platform site at a later date.
    1 Sep 2011, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    Thanks to everyone who has left a comment on this issue so far. I want to pick up on one particularly interesting point that a few of you made: that the Top Commenters leaderboard enabled you to find and join the QuickChat community.

     

    I wonder whether we can make discovery of communities on instablogs even easier.

     

    What if we ditched the Top Instabloggers leaderboard which currently ranks active instabloggers in order of the number of followers they have, and replaced it with a Top Instablogs leaderboard which ranked instablogs by the cumulative number of comments left on the instablog?

     

    That would mean, for example, that QuickChat would top the Instablog leaderboard, enabling people to more easily find and follow it. This would also give you - the QuickChat community - exposure and recognition.

     

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

     

    Thank you again for your help thinking this through.
    David
    1 Sep 2011, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    David

     

    I am going to give you my opinion from a different angle.

     

    1) You are starting this company, or working for its approval to become number one.

     

    2) as a sports official in college i strive to become the best

     

    3) If a rating system is removed then i can see a core group of intelligent people dibanding ship and moving on

     

    4) Then this will flow uphill to the quality coming from your site and i don't believe you want to lose the exposure

     

    5) as a college official if my rating wasn't important i would not take extra steps to help ween new posters along, i honestly don't believe you are seeing this correctly

     

    6) I am sure you are receiving complaints from some individuals who are trying to gain points. But you know what i see, That same person essentially copying his posts and placing the same post in as many articles as humanely possible. Just to garner votes. His comments are general so they fit any article. Is that what you want. Copy and paste posters???

     

    7) When i moved into the top 100 i felt a sense of pride, and it kept me coming back to post more to learn, Take that away and i might just leave the house and actually spend some time with family. Yes those points do mean that much.

     

    So you have my opinion and i do not believe anyone who says they dont care about the likes as they post they don't care then pm me to vote for them!!!

     

    ACEHART
    1 Sep 2011, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    David, Jackson: Greetings. As I posted on the "What the thumbs up." Blog I have changed my mind about this being a good idea. Adding to what FPA and Jon, Springer have already posted it seems likely that over time the top ten or twenty commenter's would become dominated by authors. Authors frequently respond to comments on their articles which would make their comments on articles and thus their "Like." counts rise disproportionately to those who comment the most frequently on the Insta Blogs. IMHO that would diminish the concept of top commenters making the top authors also the top commenters. Unintended consequences.
    1 Sep 2011, 05:33 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    David: Thanks for reading though all the Quick Chatters' responses. On the one hand I enjoy the anonymity Quick Chat provides. Over time, as you know, we've endured a huge amount of abuse from "thumb downing" Trolls.

     

    When the thumbs down was eliminated, it also seemed to eliminate the amazingly huge amount of time someone or some persons spent thumbing down the top commenters.

     

    After reading through all the well thought out responses, like Robert Ferguson, I'm inclined to switch over and agree with those who disagree with the new policy.

     

    You wrote: "What if we ditched the Top Instabloggers leaderboard which currently ranks active instabloggers in order of the number of followers they have, and replaced it with a Top Instablogs leaderboard which ranked instablogs by the cumulative number of comments left on the instablog?"

     

    I think this is a good idea, except that there is a script loading issue that as the number of comments grow past 75 or so, the Instablog slows down in loading time. Recently, I've experienced quite a few "502 Bad Gateways."

     

    This forces the current holder to the Quick Chat keys (tripleblack) to open up a new Insta every 150 or so comments.

     

    As you know, I have an Instablog based soley on Axion Power and other relative info about the battery/energy storage sector, and I make it a policy to try to open up an new Insta between 125 and 150 comments, before things really start slowing down.

     

    tripleblack's hugely successful Rare Earth Elements Instablog experiences the same issue.

     

    For John Petersen's 500 plus commented articles, I can shave, toast up a bagel, eat it and then I might be able to make a comment; of course this is an exaggeration, but I believe you get my drift.

     

    Appreciate your openess on this matter.
    1 Sep 2011, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    Robert F, before instablog communities like QuickChat took off, the top commenters weren't automatically article authors, unless they commented widely on other people's articles as well and received high ratings. So I don't think there's a concern that article authors would have an unfair advantage in comment rankings.

     

    Mayascribe, we're still trying to solve the problem of poor page load times for articles with lots of comments. Recent "gateway timeout" issues have been due to outages from our hosting provider and huge numbers of concurrent users on the site that exceeded our server capacity.
    1 Sep 2011, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    A few of you claimed that not counting "likes" on instablog comments somehow judges them to be valueless. For example, FPA said "I see the decision to not consider comments on Instablogs as contributing value and indicating opinion leadership in a subject area as wrong and shortsighted." And Robert F said "the comments should be just as valuable in the Instas as in the articles."

     

    But I never said that instablog comments or discussions are less valuable than comments on articles.

     

    My argument was that an instablog like QuickChat is more like a high value, high quality chat room, and is therefore different in characteristics and dynamics than comments on articles.

     

    This leads to a specific problem. Tight-knit communities like QuickChat tend to have much greater use of the "like" button because the participants get to know each other, and naturally want to express appreciation of each other. (Look at the average number of "likes" on the comments on this page.) That dynamic places QuickChat participants at an unfair advantage vis a vis the Top Commenters leaderboard.

     

    Are there other ways to solve this problem, other than not counting "likes" on instablog comments?

     

    David
    1 Sep 2011, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    Perhaps if you explained the business objective of the "likes', or similar facilities, we could offer something?

     

    As, IIRC, we touched on long ago, our objectives as users may not be completely in tune with your objectives as a business.

     

    I don't think anyone has a problem with that, but it does become a problem for you as you try and blend your derived benefits with the benefits the users seek in any kind of rating system.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    1 Sep 2011, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    HTL,

     

    Our thinking about comments isn't driven by revenue considerations, but the simple question of how best to nurture high quality comments on the site, and enable readers to discover them.
    1 Sep 2011, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    I never presumed revenue as the first-order objective, but presumed that would be the end result, desirable as a business objective, from doing what you state as the goal.

     

    "... enable readers to discover them" I think leaves you in a difficult position as to finding a "solution".

     

    Consider that we, as users, still have a different objectives than you have.

     

    Some of us take pride in seeing that what we have to contribute is valued by a group of peers that we respect. That has little to do with "high quality comments" other than maybe modifying behavior slightly by encouraging each of us to contribute as we can.

     

    We want folks who contribute substantially, or at least to their best effort, to participate so we "like" them. If many feel as I do that it's not any single contribution or contributor that makes the difference, but rather the *aggregate* effort of each of us contributing in whatever ever fashion we are able (sometimes limited by knowledge, or time, or ...) that enables all of us to do better, then we want to "like" folks that are willing to contribute even if they are new and at first "take" much more than they give.

     

    Over time, they will contribute much more and we all benefit from the "aggregate power" of the group.

     

    So, in this scenario we may also not be aligned with your objectives.

     

    A final thought before I go to dinner: you are striving to obtain a qualitative measurement out of a quantitative action that will be used by different folks for different reasons. Not an easy thing to do and I'm not sure a 100% satisfactory solution will ever be found in a user-driven rating system because of the different objectives that might exist between us users and SA.

     

    However, I'm not the brightest bulb in the carton (no, no - not fishing for compliments) and there may be some solution available that I just can't envision. Lots of smart people here and maybe one of them sees a solution.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    1 Sep 2011, 07:30 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    David, I sincerely appreciate the listening you are doing to come up with an optimal solution. I think I speak for most of us when I say that you and your SA colleagues are doing a phenomenal job in delivering phenomenal value to all of your readers.

     

    I will say, however, that I think you may be operating under a partially false premise that "communities like QuickChat tend to have much greater use of the "like" button" -- implying a more indiscriminate use of the tool.

     

    I am fairly new to both the REE Concentrator and the Quick Chat, and my perception is that for the most part "Likes" are more frequently handed out because the insight and value of so many of the comments are of a higher calibre than I often encounter in so many of the articles. Sure I am more likely to give a "Like" to Chi who is often teaching me something about rare earths -- or a "Like" to HTL when I learn about a way to apply technical analysis -- or a "Like" to TB when he shares his price targets on new buys -- BUT that is NOT because we share a community. It is because the richness/maturity/depth of the idea exchange in this forum is truly superior to most of what I encounter in many of the articles (with some rare exceptions.) As many others have already expressed -- "newbies" often start slowly contributing comments on these 2 instablogs because we wonder if our own comments will add as much value as those contributed by others.

     

    My primary motivator for adding comments on SA is that it is a way of giving back for the great exchange of ideas others have afforded me. But, I do have a perception that many, many throw away comments, hostile comments, and puff comments, get added to articles -- all of which would be harder to "get away with" in this forum. Perhaps the very "community" you reference has a way of pressuring commenters to add value or else be a silent observer. Visitors here may feel more of an invited guest than an anonymous drive by onlooker. When someone has gotten out of line here -- the group is pretty quick to right the wrong rather directly.

     

    So I now tend to agree with those who think that differentiating the "Like" vote between articles and instablogs may be artificial at best and perhaps even weighted in the wrong direction when it comes to actual value add -- at least IMHO.

     

    Thanks for listening.

     

    Mercy
    1 Sep 2011, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    Hello David,
    Thank you for taking your time to discuss this issue. Here are my thoughts, and I am going to give them to you right between the eyes.

     

    This is a Recognition and Respect Issue:
    Arguments along the lines that article authors would gain a lot more comments is extraneous to the fundamental issue. The fundamental issue is not about article or Instablog authors, it’s about the commenters.

     

    The problem with the new system is that comments in Instablogs are ignored with respect to the primary metric of peer recognition [Top commentator status, and the resultant identifying badges]. With respect to my comment that Instablog comments would be considered as valueless, my observation stands. If the effort of people making comments in Instablogs are ignored from the perspective of Seeking Alpha's so-called "peer" review rating system then they are valueless from the peer review rating systems perspective. This is absolutely a recognition and respect issue.

     

    Parallel Rating System:
    With respect to setting up a separate summary system for Instablog comments, why is it necessary to set up multiple systems for measuring peer leadership? You cannot tell me that site users consider comments made in articles as superior or even different than comments made in instablogs. Comments are comments, and thumbs are thumbs.

     

    If SA wants to break rating thumbs by source, why not designate that thumbs from the Instablog be used to award the peer recognition badges, and thumbs derived from articles be relegated to second place status? Of course that's not fair since as I have pointed out, thumbs are thumbs. But the reversal of the argument highlights the capricious nature of the approach.

     

    Tight Social Groups:
    You have suggested that the reason for the change is that Social Groups with a tight sense of community like Quick Chat tend to use the thumbs up button more and that 'dynamic' places Quick Chat participants at an unfair advantage vis a vis the Top Commenters leaderboard.

     

    I want to make sure I understand managements reasoning here. We are highly social on a social networking site. We respect the time people take to make a comment whether we agree with it or not, and as a consequence we tend to give more thumbs then other not so close Seeking Alpha social groupings. Seeking Alpha is therefor of the opinion that we thumb up any arguments whether we consider them of value or not.

     

    The fact that we also publish a lot more information and instablogs then other social groupings does not apparently enter into consideration with respect to the large volume of comments and thumbs. In other words, degree of active participation with respect to the number of our publications that contribute to the sites informational content appear to be irrelevant. The fundamental issue is that the volume of thumb votes that our social group generates overwhelms the volume of thumb votes that other social groupings generate, and management thinks that's bad.

     

    As a consequence of this, management has decided to ban ALL thumb ratings from Instablogs from participation in the overall peer rating system and its accompanying signs of recognition (the badges). All Instablog comments? Why all Instablog comments? Certainly, Tight-knit communities are not present on ALL instablogs. Why penalize all instablog commenters?

     

    The goal is to encourage high quality comments? You think high quality comments only occur on Articles??

     

    No David, I don't buy it. What is the reason for this policy David? Seeking Alpha is clearly attempting to apply a carrot and stick approach. You get a carrot if you comment and participate on articles, you get the stick if you comment and participate on Instablogs.

     

    I feel targeted here because I am participating in a tight-knit social group on a social networking site, and I produce Instablog publications. All of the thumbs I get in the future don't count towards recognition in the strange peer recognition system, and as a consequence, my position in the top commenter list will slowly diminish irrespective of anything I say or do. Anyone that thinks that high quality comments are only made on Seeking Alpha articles is totally out of touch with reality.

     

    That's the message that I get David.
    1 Sep 2011, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30513) | Send Message
     
    David,

     

    While I love kudos, I think you might want to consider excluding regular contributors from the Top Commenters ranking because it seems to me that the ranking should be reserved for users that are helpful to other users.

     

    I'll send a copy of this to your message box too.
    2 Sep 2011, 01:15 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Co-sign on Mercy's comment.

     

    I agree with a lot of other comments as well, but I think Mercy stated the issues quite clearly.
    2 Sep 2011, 06:32 AM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    Some contributors are far more active in writing comments than articles. And surely contributors who engage with the comments on their articles should be allowed to be rewarded for that by readers?
    2 Sep 2011, 07:21 AM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    Mercy, that's a very strong argument. Mulling it over...
    2 Sep 2011, 07:22 AM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    HTL, you wrote: "Some of us take pride in seeing that what we have to contribute is valued by a group of peers that we respect. That has little to do with "high quality comments" other than maybe modifying behavior slightly by encouraging each of us to contribute as we can."

     

    But maybe that's exactly the right way to encourage "high quality comments" in the long run? In other words, we tend to look at goals in terms of what we're trying to create in the long term, not just the short run, and that should align perfectly with your interests.
    2 Sep 2011, 07:25 AM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    FPA, you have a natural partnership opportunity with Aceheart - he identifies people who "need to be hit over the head", while you're offering to "give it" to me "right between the eyes."
    :-)

     

    More seriously, you seem to be sensing a conspiracy that doesn't exist.

     

    My goal is to listen to ideas and engage in discussion so we can build the best possible website for investors. I don't have any problem reversing a decision we made if we realize it isn't right, and some of the comments here certainly raise some valid issues.

     

    I just hope I get through the process with all my body parts in tact :-)
    2 Sep 2011, 07:36 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    Yes. But discounting comments on instablogs vs. articles discourages that goal.

     

    My policy of "liking", constructive comments, regardless of where they occur or whether they are "exceptional", is my "encouragement" to those that try to participate, within whatever constraints they may have. If you don't weigh these "likes" as heavily as those that appear in articles, ...

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    2 Sep 2011, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    I agree with you David. One of the things that I value with John is that he does take the time to respond to (almost?) every comment - even those which I personally would ignore (but he's a lawyer, so ... ;-))

     

    I think the fact that he takes the time should be rewarded at least on a scale equivalent to normal commenters and maybe even more heavily weighted somehow. This is based on my take (and IIRC John has noted this as well) that often a great deal more of valuable information is revealed in the comments to the article than in the article itself. And much of it comes from the author as his knowledge base is "tickled" into action by the interaction with the commenters.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    2 Sep 2011, 08:15 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    David, Jackson: Greetings. It's a pretty pickle alright. I can see both sides I think in my obtuse fashion. Correct me if I'm wrong. SA staff has determined that QC and peripheral contributors get an advantage from being on those forums by accumulating "Likes." at an accelerated rate apart from non participants. On the other hand those commenting on articles and other forums are likely not to receive the same degree of accolades from other users on those forums. However that really doesn't seem to be the case Many of the comments I make on other forums get higher ratings than on average here. Add to that the fact that anyone who wishes to participate on these forums is welcome to do so provided they mind their manners. Then there are the followers. Obviously the users who are the most popular to the broadest spectrum of users get more followers than humdrum contributors or shills. I don't know how many "Likes." are generated by followers but my guess is that folks with more followers get more "Likes." than those with very few. So how to level the playing field is a more difficult question than it appears at first glance. Any rating system will have some sort flaw that can be exploited for good or ill, accidentally or intentionally. After all the entire system began evolving because a flaw was being exploited for less than admirable purposes. It's a quandary all right but I have faith that we can figure out something.
    2 Sep 2011, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    DAVID

     

    Maybe the anger you see is the conviction we have. Hell half the articles i do read are garbage, the comments are garbage, and if you keep this decision you will eventually fall equal to YaHOO ( GARBAGE).

     

    iNSTEAD you should be trying to push people to our group, not have the group go another venue. AND THEY WILL no matter who says they do not care about there rating. I do not buy that one bit.

     

    Has anyone attempted to attack your knees yet??......lol..

     

    ACEHART...have a good weekend and just reverse this obvious bad decision. Just look at the comments in other articles and compare them to the info flowing from ours. If i was in your position i would be running ads about our group, not setting up rules that we go on our own. Maybe charge a fee to join, and compete. Gotta tell you the info from these pros is priceless...
    2 Sep 2011, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    Ace: I want to clarify something. I really do not care about my top ten ranking. Did for a while, and thoroughly enjoyed that marker when achieved. That was then. Now I care much more about what I learn from all QCers. Rankings "Schmankings." I'd gladly swap my ranking for yours.

     

    However, I do enjoy receiving Likes if it's something of which I researched, related, or provided on individual comments.
    2 Sep 2011, 07:03 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    MAYA..Hopefully you will understand that i assume one day you did care and that is the point i am at now. So it seems a split between the top ten..Wonder how they would answer just yes or no. It is your oulet!!

     

    ACEHART
    3 Sep 2011, 01:21 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    David

     

    Its ACEHART,,,,,,,ACEHART
    4 Sep 2011, 03:12 AM Reply Like
  • thistimeitsforreal
    , contributor
    Comments (445) | Send Message
     
    David,

     

    If you base merit on the number of posts one puts up, you will be encouraging a lot of wasteful posts by those only concerned with making the top 10 list. This should be a forum for learning not a place to rank the biggest babblers. By rating those who post the most you are merely giving us a list of people who need to find a hobby.

     

    The true value of these forums come from intelligent posts and sound advice, not the amount of posts by any one or more participants. One of the members in here (Moon) probably has among the fewest posts in the group yet his content is probably to most profound. Others in here simply post for the sake of doing so and try to accumulate like votes.

     

    Quite frankly I never saw much value in the likes voting. Hitting the like button seems to be as much a result of friendships as it is approval of good posts. That's all nice and everything but an inaccurate measure of value in the content. I think if you rank people simply on the number of post numbers and/or likes, you will have a popularity contest combined with an abundance of useless posts by those trying to pad their totals.

     

    The forums should be focused on good content, quality over quantity. Please do not reward number of posts because then you only encourage garbage posting. As for the likes, nothing wrong with those. They seem to promote a "feel good" atmosphere and I suppose are good for some egos. I could care less since my primary, in fact, my only reason for reading these forums is to seek out intelligent discussion about the market so I may learn. Some of my favorite authors in these forums have average like amounts while some of my least favorite have the most likes.

     

    To me, the likes are rather useless while the content is what counts. Please don't encourage numerous unwanted posts by giving merit to post totals. That would be a big mistake.
    9 Sep 2011, 09:41 AM Reply Like
  • QuickChat
    , contributor
    Comments (270) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Announcement:

     

    Once again we have issues with comments which breach our standards which call for polite debate (even in disagreement) and which forbid personal insults and trolling for fights.

     

    For those unaware of the new site functions for Insta Blogs, the author now has the ability to police their own blog, primarily by deleting unwanted comments. This new situation is the first such to arise since these changes, so everyone please be advised that I will be using this function where I deem it necessary.

     

    There remains the old "Report Abuse" button as well, for those who wish to bring a comment or situation to the attention of the Site Administrators.

     

    As always, I hope this problem is quickly resolved so that this blog can return to its primary function providing a forum for investment information. Good investing to all!

     

    tripleblack, current qc volunteer
    31 Aug 2011, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • FreoDoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (112) | Send Message
     
    TB- I hope it goes without saying, but I,for one, and probably most of us in general, think you are doing a fantastic job. I have found this and the REE site both informative and educational. Keep up the good work.

     

    Freo
    31 Aug 2011, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    I totally agree... Something needs to be done to stop the snide comments and insults. If someone thinks they are so much smarter than the rest of the QC patrons, than I suggest they start up their own Instablog instead of attempting to hijack the QC.

     

    I did not put all my Euro stuff in here or my BP Oil Spill stuff in here because it’s not of general interest to everyone, and it’s not appropriate to dominate the QC. If people want to start a general chat room - start one up. Then people can put that chat room on their notification list
    31 Aug 2011, 09:07 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Co-sign FPA's comment.
    1 Sep 2011, 08:13 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    I advocate and support aggressive use of that tool.

     

    Further, silence to offenders is sometimes quite useful.

     

    Ad hominem and pejorative terms are *never* in order, of course, and one would think that regardless of one's passion on a particular issue, a proper upbringing would have imbued one with a certain amount of self-restraint and consideration and respect for the *possible* validity of other views and conflicting facts.

     

    My view on dealing with folks that didn't have a proper upbringing is adequately expressed by the folloing parable.

     

    Back in the days of the old west, a cowboy/rancher married a young lass from back east and they were riding in the carriage back to the ranch.

     

    As they proceeded a squirrel darted acros the road and the horse shied a bit and jerked the carriage.

     

    The rancher stopped, got out, walked around to the front of the horse, looked him in the eye and said "That's one".

     

    Continueing on, the horse stepped in a hole in the road and lurched to the side, almost overturning the carriage.

     

    Again, the rancher got down, walked to the front, looked the horse in the eye and said "That's two".

     

    During the last mile a rattlesnake spooked the horse which bolted and it took some time for the rancher to regain control. After stopping, he got down, walked to the front, looked the horse in the eye and said "That's three".

     

    He then unholstered his Colt 45 and shot the horse between the eyes, dropping him where he stood.

     

    As he and the bride walked that last little bit towards the ranch, she began deriding him about his cruelty.

     

    The rancher looked her in the eye and said "That's one".

     

    And they lived happily ever after.

     

    HardToLove
    1 Sep 2011, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    Great little story, HTL!
    1 Sep 2011, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    Data Events - Thursday, 01-September-2011
    All times Eastern.

     

    06:00 AM Monster Employment Index
    08:30 AM * Jobless Claims
    08:30 AM Productivity and Costs
    09:45 AM Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
    10:00 AM ** ISM Mfg Index
    10:00 AM Construction Spending
    10:30 AM EIA Natural Gas Report
    11:00 AM 3-Month Bill Announcement
    11:00 AM 6-Month Bill Announcement
    04:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
    04:30 PM Money Supply
    31 Aug 2011, 09:22 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    Quick Chat covenants I guess need to be spelled out. Permit me to take a whack at this:

     

    1) We are all in this together, as a team.

     

    2) We individually strive to help the largess learn, while also depending upon and encouraging the largess to help us learn.

     

    3) This should be #1. Without pause, any racism, deleterious slander or sexist blogging will not be tolerated.

     

    4) Kindness and sharing of knowledge is welcomed in all formats.

     

    5) So is comedy. As long as it abides by the above criteria.

     

    6) Personal travails to accomplishments are welcomed to develop and enhance trusting relationships.

     

    7) All Quick Chatters encourage all Quick Chatters to create Instablogs of their interests or expertise.

     

    8) This is my favorite. All public figures are open game.

     

    9) Every Quick Chatter realizes that every other Quick Chatter is smarter or more informed in some slant on a stock, a geopolitical region, an organization, or a localized event or occurence.

     

    10) Perhaps this is the most important one of all: Honesty--in all facets of how a Quick Chatter represents themself.

     

    So there are my 10 QC commandments, or, at least for me, how I oprerate.

     

    Adding one more enclusive covenant. No single person should be able to dominate QC with their own agenda.
    1 Sep 2011, 02:06 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    Maya,
    Excellent list -- I cannot agree with you more!
    1 Sep 2011, 03:39 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Co-sign Mercy's comment.
    1 Sep 2011, 08:14 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    Are these free???......lol....
    1 Sep 2011, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    GUYS

     

    I have been pretty civil lately , no??.....TRIPLE , YOU ARE LIKE AN UMPIRE. you never get the thanks you deserve.

     

    Also check your thumbs up, The way i did it was i gave a thumbs up to someone else but prior i checked to see what total they were at. I am assuming the automatically get updated. Not later in the day.

     

    GOLFIT is not working either. FPA....NOT SURE OF THE OTHERS SO jUST PICK another person, check how many they have, give them one more and see if it added to it. If not i guess you have to write to someone to let them know.

     

    If half of us aren't working properly those are a lot of points being wasted...Oh by the way there site was down ALL NIGHT as i had a bad episode with my back and all i got was GATEWAY until about 5 am then the little BE RIGHT BACK MESSAGE!!

     

    acehart
    31 Aug 2011, 10:49 PM Reply Like
  • golfitobob
    , contributor
    Comments (2347) | Send Message
     
    Well, I am still getting script messages and if I go to the electric car post to comment I must unplug my computer.. Likes ..who ever wants mine can have them..

     

    The news from Europe should take the market down at the open ,but, one never knows anymore. I went long ZSL as my got to trade and silver is down in Asia........A trailing stop at the open from a normal stop if ZSL is up 1% or more.......

     

    And, some more beautuful news from that place !
    The grave threat to Israel you haven’t heard about

     

    Dear Robert,

     

    A frightening report from Israel’s Ambassador to the US Michael Oren raised the specter that the tottering Assad regime in Syria might lose control of its extensive stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons to Hezbollah terrorists. The Assad government is believed to have killed at least 3,000 of its own people and tortured and injured tens of thousands more in its desperate attempt to cling to power.

     

    The Syrian stockpiles are missile-ready—and Hezbollah already has highly accurate D-class Scud missiles capable of striking any city in Israel. They would simply need to put the two together—a matter of a couple hours of work, and they could launch an attack using deadly Sarin nerve gas, mustard gas, or one of the other illegal chemical weapons Assad is known to possess. As you read the news reports from the Middle East, keep in mind that in many cases, a brutal dictator is being overthrown but replaced by even more radical enemies of Israel.

     

    Yet despite the looming threat to Israel, the world continues full speed ahead on the plan to divide Jerusalem and force Israel to hand over the Bible lands of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians. My heart breaks every time I read a report of a new threat against Now I am sure they would never attack a neighbor ,but, hey...............I could be wrong....................
    1 Sep 2011, 03:41 AM Reply Like
  • golfitobob
    , contributor
    Comments (2347) | Send Message
     
    A nice surprise.. IMF chief seems to be a real player and not a good old boy ( girl).. She is slamming the Europe banks as I have been warning and as the CDS guys have rocketed the price.. Europe opened green ,but, turned red fast and only the CAC is ever so slightly green........0.09%.......

     

    Maybe my SDS try again yesterday will bite. All who are US bank stock holders this doesn't bode well for the big 3 with billions at stake in the Euro banks.

     

    Maybe the BAC rise was all Warren and there much broadcasted sale of Chinese bank stock was a bad thing ,but, if Dr Doom was right and China is hard landing in 2013 ..... I will quote Ms. MS and "its a good thing"

     

    Anyway, I would be surprised if we go up in the Am and all my stocks were sold in anticipation of the week to come... NOK;S,AVL,RJI,RJA,AAPL, and even TBT because if the market goes down on double dip fears they may buy the Bond and the yield may go below 2%......Makes no sense to me ,but, the real money likes to sleep and not gamble.......I just think there selling inflation short.................... to the hotel on the beach for a 3 dayer....................
    Luck to all.....gb

     

    Here is the IMF story link.... And, I will buy my stocks back. Hoping there cheaper.................

     

    www.cnbc.com/id/44352060
    1 Sep 2011, 03:41 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    Ok, I AM STUPID.....what is a CDS???

     

    Thanks
    1 Sep 2011, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    Credit Default Swap.
    1 Sep 2011, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    Ace -- we all have to look up acronyms from time to time. Investopedia can lend a hand when you need it: www.investopedia.com/t...
    1 Sep 2011, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    Here's another devoted exclusively to acronyms.

     

    www.acronymfinder.com/

     

    HardToLove
    1 Sep 2011, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    Mercy

     

    Thank you

     

    ACE
    1 Sep 2011, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4645) | Send Message
     
    It's your acronyms I have trouble with sometimes, HTL. BTW IIRC there was one a while back FWIW but that's just IMHO.

     

    Oops gotta go. POS.

     

    That last one is "parent over shoulder" for anyone with children young enough to be texting in front of you. It is not the other POS that came to your mind ("point of sale" of course!)
    2 Sep 2011, 01:55 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    D.M.: Greetings. Glad to see you back here.
    2 Sep 2011, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    acehart:

     

    "Ok, I AM STUPID.....what is a CDS???
    Thanks"
    ==========

     

    Just out of interest, what warranted 5 "likes" for that and a boost to Acehart's ranking as a top 100 commenter?

     

    I'm not disputing that communities like QC are valuable, but this surely proves that the usage of the "like" button is different here than on articles, where it's used to communicate agreement with a comment or to say that a comment is of high quality.
    3 Sep 2011, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4645) | Send Message
     
    Not sure, David. Maybe you could tell me what this comment from "Brewer" has that deserves *8* likes:

     

    "Android and pre are about as much a threat as a pimple on an ass.

     

    Tablet will make all iPod, iPhones, and Macs even more valuable, and it only gets more embarrasing for the Wintards out there. "

     

    Found here:

     

    seekingalpha.com/artic...

     

    His comment was 60% more valuable than Acehart's according to the sophisticated science of social media.

     

    If the point is that "likes" from Instablogs won't count in the ranking because the comments don't merit the likes they are receiving, feel free to just say that much. Anyone who agrees with you is then forced to defend the ranking of comments like the above. Eight Likes? It's a candidate for deletion if you ask me. At least Ace's comment was genuine.

     

    Personally, I support getting rid of "like" value for insta's. There's no need for it. But while you'd aspire to have your next crop of top ten commenters be a bunch of folks who show respect for one another and give only the highest quality comments, I think what you will end up with are the folks who happen to comment frequently on articles and say incendiary things that get a lot of folks to snicker and click the "me too" button.

     

    If the goal is to actually find the people who provide the greatest value to your site, why base it in metric that has popularity at its root? If I recall my highschool correctly, the most popular kids were not actually the brightest, the ones that brought most "value" to the school, or even the most likeable or ethical students. Their skill was being "liked". If you rank commenters on a "like" score, you will get a ranking that determines those folks who make comments capable of getting "likes" not those who make comments which contribute most value or are most insightful.

     

    It's your system to do with what you want. But a simple like score will not ensure the cream rises to the top regardless of whether instas are included or excluded.

     

    Here's an example from my own rank. I took a big hit when thumbs down were excluded. Why? Because I took great pains to try and avoid thumbs down. Someone who made a comment that got 10 thumbs up and ten thumbs down ended up getting 10 likes under the new system. My comment, which was probably more conciliatory and less fire and brimstone, attracted maybe 5 thumbs up and 1 or 2 thumbs down for a net positive of 3. Only under the new system it was called a 5... half as valuable as the more inflamatory one. I would argue that a more inflamatory comment is of lower quality than a conciliatory tone, but the "like" system would beg to differ.

     

    Do I care that much? No. But from a systems standpoint, when examining how to make sure the best commenters are really ranked highest, it becomes relevant. Any system you devise will have its unintended consequences. The former one had the unintended consequence of skewing the ranking of a few tight knit groups. The new system will ensure that active and belligerent commenters rise to the top. Don't take my word for it. Wait six months and peruse the comments of the new "top ten" crowd. You will see plenty of wise cracking and insults but not much analysis I'd wager - at least for 6 out of the top 10. It's a real pickle.

     

    What is the relative value of this comment to your site versus say the pimple ass wintard comment? And how would you measure that?
    3 Sep 2011, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    acehart:

     

    Mercy

     

    Thank you

     

    ACE
    ============
    5 likes for that one too?
    So you get 10 likes for asking what a CDS is and thanking someone for answering you?
    And you still argue that likes are generally used the same way in QuickChat as on articles, and should be counted in the same ranking?
    3 Sep 2011, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4645) | Send Message
     
    And I should add I like Brewer just fine. It was not about Brewer. It was about taking a random active poster, sorting his comments by "like" and skimming down through the 8 likes area to find a pretty low value comment. I could do it for lots of members. Heck, I could probably find plenty of worthless comments I've made on articles that ranked more than 5 likes. That's the point. What is a "like" and what does it have to do with comment quality? Only rarely do I "like" a well made case that I vehemently oppose. I am much more apt to "like" a lazy comment that I agree with. Maybe my "liking" priviledges should be suspended until I can learn to "like" with the wisdom of Solomon.
    .
    3 Sep 2011, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • golfitobob
    , contributor
    Comments (2347) | Send Message
     
    DM, the 8 likes your disputing are ( not a pun ) APPLs an oranges !

     

    As an AAPL shareholder that is a direct retort of comment slamming AAPLs product advantage....

     

    I am now aware of what likes mean as until this back and forth I had no idea that there was money involved. And, I miss the dislikes. I thought those were cool......... I do like some things here and some nice emails came from the QC, but, 85% of the likes here are not market related.. Give the guy a break ! And, sorry all. There is no dislike for you to slam me ! gb
    3 Sep 2011, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4645) | Send Message
     
    One more, because I couldn't resist. This from James Quinn. Number 75 on the Top Commenter's board. Eleven Likes. More than twice as valuable as Acehart's comment to his ranking.

     

    "Yes, people with little fake names who tell other people with fake names how successful they have been is very adult.

     

    Seeking Lemmings and the people who troll here is laughable. "

     

    Found here:
    seekingalpha.com/artic...

     

    The irony of gaining rank at a site he ostensibly doesn't care about with a comment that criticizes its readers is lost on Mr. Quinn almost certainly...

     

    But it again begs the question, who is a top commenter and why?
    3 Sep 2011, 08:38 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4645) | Send Message
     
    Golf, You're not wrong. That's exactly the point. To me the likes here were a kind of a respect. Plenty of comments (heck 98% of mine) have nothing to do with the market per se. But tell me how Mr. Quinn's :"seeking lemmings" comment is more valuable than Acehart's asking a question about what CDS stands for. You can't do it, because it isn't. Whatever "likes" are all about, they do not mean "This comment brought me meaningful market insight on my way to Seeking Alpha" except in rare instances.

     

    Complaining about how likes are used in the quick chats is like giving a bunch of kids a ball to play with and complaining that they are kicking it all over the place instead of how it is intended to be kicked. The like button is there. It get's clicked. There is no application process or like-giver certification class. I can totally see how the use of the likes here does not meet the intention of the site designers. But then they have to ask themselves, what of the "likes" and how they are used on the articles? If "Seeking Lemmings" gets eleven likes, the site developers should be insulted. More importantly they should go back to the drawing board and look for a metric that actually captures the essence of comment quality. And then they can retire rich, because this is the Holy Grail of social media.

     

    Again, this comment is for free. Let Mr. Quinn get his 11 likes for "Seeking Lemmings" while I actually try to say something constructive in a little backwater of the site that will in no way contribute to my ranking on the site. Make sense to you? Me neither.
    3 Sep 2011, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    David has made the claim that because the Renegades are a tight-knit social group that we provide more thumbs to each other presumably because we are more socially close.

     

    I wanted to see if he was correct, so I tested the 'Social Closeness" hypothesis by looking at the number of 'like' votes on Tripleback's REE/Strategic Mineral Concentrator, August 28, 2011.

     

    There were a total of 143 comments made on that REE News Concentrator. I defined three groups.

     

    One group consisted of Tripleback's comments.
    A second group consisted of members of the social group known as the Renegades. A third group consisted of NON-members of the Renegades.

     

    If David is correct, then we would expect to see the following pattern of results.

     

    First, we would expect to see more comments from Renegades than non-Renegades. Why? If the only thing that mattered was social closeness then only Renegades would populate the REE News Concentrator. It would generate little traffic from outside of the Renegade group.

     

    Second, according to a social closeness explanation, we would expect to see a higher number of approval votes for Tripleblack and members of the Renegades relative to Non-Renegade members.

     

    Third, we would expect to see a greater deal of homogeneity among the ratings for Tripleblack and the Renegades relative to the Non-Renegade members.

     

    RESULTS:
    Finding 1 - 63% of the comments in the REE News Concentrator were by NON-core Renegade members.

     

    Finding 2 - Average number of positive votes for Tripleblack, Renegade members, and non-Renegade members were: 4.00, 4.00, and 4.06 respectively.

     

    Finding 3 - Standard deviations, an measure of average variability in thumb votes for Tripleblack, Renegade members, and non-renegade members were: 1.53, 1.45, and 1.37 respectively.

     

    CONCLUSIONS:
    The results fail to support the notion that social closeness is affecting the number of thumb ratings received in the REE News Concentrator.

     

    * The majority (63%) of the comments made in the REE News Concentrator were made by Non Renegade members.

     

    * There was no meaningful difference in the number of positive votes received between Tripleblack, Renegades, and Non-Renegades.

     

    * The Non Renegade members exhibited slightly less variability in their responses then the Renegade members.

     

    I conclude that in the REE news concentrator, social closeness is not a significant factor with respect to the number of positive votes received.

     

    I suggest that the biggest factor contributing to the thumbs up count concerns a strong reader interest in breaking news in the RE sector accompanied by a running commendatory of knowledgeable people.

     

    If you are interested in that sector, and you are getting a great deal of useful information in the REE News Concentrator, than its highly likely a larger number of positive votes will be provided for that positive experience and elucidation.

     

    I suggest that the number of thumbs given on articles and Instablogs is more related to the perceived quality of the comments then social closeness. The news concentrators provide highly focused up to the minute information. That's why they have a higher number of approval votes. It has little to do with social closeness. People are rewarding knowledge, experience, and news relevance in a particular subject area with a thumbs up approval vote.

     

    One would think that one of the goals of a Peer Review System on an investing site would be that it correctly reflected the VALUE of investing related information/ comments to the readers. Investment news is time dependent. Articles are one source of value, but I argue that a publication that provides highly relevant investment news to its readers faster will, on average, provide more added value to its' readers.

     

    What the news concentrators often do is to provide a background in a subject area, and then they continuously update the information in the comments section. This keeps the News Concentrators fresh. I know of no articles that perform that function.

     

    To me, the decision to ban positive votes derived from comments in Instablogs demonstrates a lack of understanding with respect to SA members needs and wants.

     

    What the site should actually do is to encourage its' members to provide more news concentrators. That is not going to be easy because if you ever run a good news concentrator you will find out that they require a great deal of support from the authors. One would think SA would reward that kind of commitment instead of effectively ostracizing those authors and the readers making comments from having the value of their contribution recognized in the overall SA community.
    3 Sep 2011, 11:04 PM Reply Like
  • golfitobob
    , contributor
    Comments (2347) | Send Message
     
    DM, "make sense to" me......... No.......... I am here to enjoy the banter and make cents....They lead to dollars and dollars lead to money.....

     

    I enjoy reading all the long winded articles by these experts and go the other way !
    I have a love for the market and since 95% of everything I own is not in it ........I seem to have no pressure and I have hit news highs several times a week all year. I love when I am called an idiot or other bad names as often happens because I see my balance grow on all the accounts I trade. And, I now have my little bunch including authors who I send 4 am emails too ,but, they won't follow on SA because it shows............I get a kick actually.......

     

    I will never be ranked or try and write to average 3.7 likes as some TOP guys on this chain. I had a great laugh when I read the comment.............

     

    I just felt compelled to join in and side with David ( who I didn't have a clue who he was/is) because it seemed that all the essay comments he was getting seemed like smoke was being blown. My Brooklyn, NY upbringing !

     

    I found OG's comment was dead on and exactly how I felt and ironically she got a bunch on likes...........
    So, I will agree

     

    " Me neither"................. Enjoy Tuesday and remember I truly believe the bad winds are blowing and much care is needed in the very near future................... bless all on SA.....gb
    3 Sep 2011, 11:13 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    DAVID

     

    You are going to do what you want anyway. I have left comments that deserve a 10 and receive zero on articles.. So it is not worth my time leaving a post. Fine with me if you change you rules, your business, and YOUR PROFIT.. But i will tell you one thing i won't be reading as much SA, ( FIND TOO MUCH GARBAGE ANYWAY, ARTICLES WAY TOO LATE) yet i will keep in contact with the core via email.

     

    So if you think you are helping your company by losing these guys you signed you own death warrant. Way too many examples i can give you seeing a guy get 30 lIkes for saying un hum !!! Pesonally i can go other places for info if the quick chats are cut out!!

     

    But it's your company and if you did not have a clue about others getting high scores as well you learned tonight...You see i learned something that led me to google it...If i asked that same question on 99% of the other authors comments i would never get an answer, never mind a thumbs up.

     

    You see you have annoyed some of us with your misconception of what transpires...Lived over 50 years without SA, i am sure i will be fine without it !!

     

    You picked on the wrong comment and this one will hit you over your head and right between your eyes...

     

    ACEHART
    3 Sep 2011, 11:25 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4645) | Send Message
     
    GB, It's not blowing smoke and here is why. I didn't invent the "like" system nor am I the one who has said he is trying to ensure high quality comments on his site. All I am doing is chiming in about some of the obvious challenges I see to identifying "quality comments" using my own experience and some other people's comments. I personally could care less what my "rank" is. I don't get money and it surely brings me no "cred" when I comment.

     

    But I am a systems person. I can not be told "We need a system that does X" without puzzling over how it may or may not work. Some people like detail work, others enjoy people. I like systems. One of my hobbies is game design. I like thinking about how a rule impacts other rules. Blowing smoke implies dishonesty. I have no reason to lie. I also have nothing to gain by helping come up with the perfect comment ranking system (even if I could), except the satisfaction of having done some systems planning.

     

    I could make money without ever making a comment. So, no I don't enjoy being called an idiot when I take the time to comment. I do enjoy exploring ideas and sometimes changing someone's mind and sometimes having my mind changed by the dialogue that takes place.

     

    To invest and make money, Seeking Alpha would need only charts and filings and possibly an article or two. The existence of the comments section turns the site into an interactive exercise. And like any social interaction, I do not think calling someone an idiot or being called an idiot is useful, helpful, or fun.

     

    And I think that a working comment ranking system would help the site organically discriminate against abusive comments and would only promote actually relevant and helpful commentary (so in other words, no "ranking" for quippy ole me). Thinking of whether and how such a system could and would be implemented is fascinating to me. I think the system that SA proposed but did not implement (agree, disagree, great comment) would actually come closer to their goals than "like" but it might also be a big pain in the butt for the coders.
    3 Sep 2011, 11:31 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4645) | Send Message
     
    FPA,

     

    Can you envision another way besides the Likes to capture the value intrinsic in the news concentrators and the comments on them?

     

    And what value does any insta really provide to SA at large? They are in some sense like the paintings in a lobby of the movie theater. Viewing them is free and generates no money for the movie house. They may be nice, but how awesome do they have to be to actually draw people in from the street and result in new ticket sales?

     

    In my opinion, SA might benefit from taking a fresh look at how they could identify, reward, and monetize persistent Insta's like news concentrators.
    3 Sep 2011, 11:42 PM Reply Like
  • golfitobob
    , contributor
    Comments (2347) | Send Message
     
    Got it and I respect you views........ To me......The best comment I made on SA out of over 1200 is right below your response.......
    Short....Sweet....... And a brilliant money maker and maybe the one like I got ? Followed it and not just liked it.............

     

    I hope the SA people do what you guys need because I read some of your comments and use the info happily and it helps me.

     

    I enjoy my emails with ACE and his best tip got me a good deal on real silver and wasn't posted on SA . Just to my real email box...... .........................
    3 Sep 2011, 11:44 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    GOLFIT

     

    No need to slam you . But where did YOU learn of SDS to put in your comment. From me !!!! So you see we are all learning off eachother . Some at a faster pace than others. But if David wants more viewers then his demographic should be the newbies. I still consider myself one.

     

    I also took some of GOLIT'S comments to see how they would react in the quick chat before i gave him our address. I see a very large corporate decision being screwed up because they are looking at half the picture.

     

    Hell i see the same comment by one of our own copied in a ton of articles to try and garner points... It that what they want, they can have it!!! I also know that a few gades have gone underground and email eachother.

     

    To each his own, looking forward to this outcome and then see what SA looks like in 6 months...When you make a rush to judgement without all the facts it usually comes back to bite you.

     

    DM, i can't imagine a better closing argument...Once the gades break up they will start scratching their heads..Perfect time of year for this as football season is upon us as well...

     

    ACEHART
    3 Sep 2011, 11:47 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    Size counts in the social networking world. It's one of the things that sets advertising rates. Both Articles and Instas have the potential to draw people into the site through Google and other search tools. Retention is a function of the site meeting peoples needs. Meeting needs is a function of the provision of useful information/ entertainment. The notion that only Articles provide information that meets peoples needs does not seem supportable.

     

    Your notion of "persistent insta's" is an excellent observation because I see it as similar to the old newspaper concept of a byline or a regular column. There are clearly business issues here that are not being reveled.
    4 Sep 2011, 12:50 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    GOLFIT

     

    I actually posted the company a long time ago. Some looked, and i am sure some didn't. But even when i was new i tried to help out any way i could. Being new i am sure a few blew me off. Really i did not care..

     

    You see we are a tight group but may go our whole lives and could pass eachother on the streest and not know it, Friends at home are different. So to get to the point of earning your thumbs up you have to prove you will bring something to the table.

     

    Like i said they will do what they want. But do you fire Vince Lombardi, or chase away Michael Jordan...Looks like they might not care. Oh well , move on!! GOLF IT brought a little sarcasm to the site as well as levity. He is learning what is accepted in the qc.

     

    Look at how many posts he got a zero, one, but when i emailed him i received a wealth of info and i returned whatever i could. You see not only are we commenting we are educating our group.

     

    AND ALL ARE WELCOMED!!!

     

    acehart
    4 Sep 2011, 01:36 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    David

     

    I am going to leave you with my last comment on this, The Renegades have had 199 quick chats with at least 100 posts in each. Not to mention the INSTABLOGS THAT get some many hits it is amazing,,

     

    My father taught me a valuable lesson in business. IF IT AIN'T BROKEN DON'T FIX IT. as well as IF IT IS WORKING JUST LEAVE ENOUGH ALONE AND THANK YOUR STARS !!!

     

    Almost 200 quick chats........and you want to say goodbye to that success??? That amazes me.....

     

    acehart
    4 Sep 2011, 02:04 AM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    DM, you wrote "In my opinion, SA might benefit from taking a fresh look at how they could identify, reward, and monetize persistent Insta's like news concentrators."

     

    That's a great point. Thank you.
    4 Sep 2011, 02:07 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    David,

     

    I, for one, already mentioned how and why I use them. So asking why one that doesn't fit your criteria got those counts seems a waste of energy. Others have also mentioned their feelings and there's likely some others that haven't and may have even other purposes.

     

    Arguing that we are abusing it and/or defeating some purpose that you have and we should "stop it" might be worthwhile.

     

    But even that's a bit "iffy" since we are not in business and when all we have is a hammer everything may not be a nail, but we'll hammer until it looks like one to us! ;-))

     

    Seriously though, you are switching from the original topic and moving into debating whether or not our use is appropriate for your purposes (my assumption).

     

    And that leads into a lot of other areas that would certainly be less productive due to the different purposes.

     

    HardToLove
    4 Sep 2011, 07:06 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Dear David,

     

    To some extent "likes" remind me of working as a waiter. I remember getting great tips when I was terrible and getting terrible tips when I was great, but the tips averaged out to a fair amount tipped to me for the quality of work I did on the night.

     

    Dialectical Materialist and yourself and others can nitpick at particular issues with comment ratings, but on a macro scale, take a look at your top 10 commenters and ask yourself if they're representative (including the instablog comments) or if you think your top 10 commenters without instablogs would somehow be better. For my money, I think Tripleblack, Mayascribe, FocalPoint Analytics, OptionsGirl, H.T. Love, and the rest of the renegade gang is The BEST you have to offer on this site in comments. I would pay to be in a chat room with them and the quality of people they draw into chatrooms with them (Joseph Shaefer, John Peterson, Chihawk, Mercy Jimenez, et al), I would not pay for the content on the rest of the site.

     

    I ask you again... why aren't there advertising banners in the instablogs that are the most popular? QuickChat could have a banner ad for online trading tools/companies. Rare Earth concentrator - companies that mine rare earths or Lynas bobbleheads (tip of the hat to Chihawk). Stability of the Euro - currency trading.

     

    And again, I ask you, if you want to separate, why not count instablog "likes" separately from article "likes" so you can see if this somehow improves the site, and if it doesn't you can easily put the two sets of "likes" back together again?

     

    You are reminding me of my wife's boss at a diner once who wanted to make things fancy when they made good money as a greasy spoon diner. Her boss brought in this fancy gourmet diner chef to get them to make changes, like going from using Aunt Jemima pancake batter to making pancakes from scratch. The owner just had to tinker and try, but after a two week experiment with inconsistent pancakes made from scratch that made customer wait times longer, Aunt Jemima and my wife (the head chef) won the argument based on profitability and efficiency.

     

    Sincerely,
    Jon
    4 Sep 2011, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Co-sign on DM's comment to monetize for Seeking Alpha and for instablog authors who generate sufficient traffic.
    4 Sep 2011, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    You have all identified some of the inane comments that led me to the conclusion thumbs up is a wasted function. The fact is that you have to wade through comments to find a pearl, and the number of thumbs up often means nothing imo.
    4 Sep 2011, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    And your comment applies equally to both Instablogs AND Articles OG. Yet the new policy considers comments made in Articles as worthy of inclusion in the peer review system, but comments made in Instablogs are not worthy of inclusion.

     

    Is the proportion of inane comments higher in Instablogs relative to Articles? My guess is that quality of comments, like the quality of Articles AND Instablogs are a function of the writers, not the forum. My primary objection to the new policy is that it unfairly excludes comments written in Instablogs from inclusion in a Peer review system.

     

    Being a Peer with someone means you have equal standing with them. The new policy is exclusionary. It says that people that comment in Instablogs are not considered in equal standing relative to people that comment in articles. There is no way of escaping that conclusion.
    4 Sep 2011, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • golfitobob
    , contributor
    Comments (2347) | Send Message
     
    Europe banks being dropped from the Exchange..Powering Europe down !

     

    www.cnbc.com/id/44352688

     

    If you have access now is a good time to buy some SDS before the heard piles in and it opens 2% higher...................
    1 Sep 2011, 05:30 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (8685) | Send Message
     
    Euro banks will get slaughtered if the German court determines that bailing out the EZ is unconstitutional on Sept 15th. Could some of this selling be related to that possiblity?
    1 Sep 2011, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    Spain's bond sale was not well received. Interest rates for sovereign debt in the EZ will go higher. Finland has been rebuked for demanding collateral for a Greek bail out which according the Irish finance minister is off the table now. The collateral not the bail out.
    1 Sep 2011, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    I'm still behind in the tally... but I'll take a point. My wager is Spain busting is going to be the mega-event whereas TB and others favor Italy for the train wreck to end all eurozone train wrecks.
    1 Sep 2011, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    Oh, I have been focused on Italy as the warning light...

     

    The train has always been Germany...

     

    Who gets abandoned on the choo choo tracks first is still up for grabs.

     

    Spain has stuck with their austerity measures, whereas Italy talked a good game for about a week, and has since welshed on the bullet points, one by one.

     

    But Spain is in worse shape overall than Italy...

     

    BUT again I think Italy is the bond market to watch. When the dramatic shift occurs indicating a meltdown, I still think the first hint will occur on the Italian bond market.

     

    Where it goes after that, is chaotic.
    1 Sep 2011, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Well, if you're right, I'll double-down on the IBC root beer I think I'm going to owe you.
    1 Sep 2011, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    I hate to bet that Spain will precede Italy in any meltdown...

     

    Frankly, I still hope they can figure things out and make the whole Euro-thing work...

     

    I just REALLY doubt it!

     

    Of course, that is now a very old opinion of mine, and the Euro has survived a lot longer than I ever thought it would when it first entered the picture.

     

    But we can keep that friendly bet alive, Jon, if you like.

     

    What we MIGHT want to do is start keeping score of European banks having trouble, though. In the mid-game, its the banks who will take it on the chin once the politicians start handing out haircuts...

     

    Of course, that is just the mid-game.

     

    End-game gets much nastier, and features countries like Greece (and who else? maybe Portugal next? then Spain?) getting booted out of the EZ, and even if they stay in the EU, they then depreciate their currency until they back into some fractional solution for their sovereign debt.

     

    This will be bad news for the banks, of course, and some will either fail or be nationalized (completely - most of the larger European banks are semi-nationalized already).

     

    The long term ramifications may chiefly be the absorption of many banks into the various national central banking systems. Signmakers in Europe will get rich...
    1 Sep 2011, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    One of my investing goals is to have a good enough reason to purchase a piece of artwork from you paid for 100% with fair value in IBC root beer to reimburse you for all your help, counsel and good work. (And, if you don't like root beer, tell me later... for now, its just a nice thought).

     

    I don't like betting on Spain/Italy failing that much either... but the way the markets are structured both economically and psychologically right now, its inevitable. However, I'd still put even money on whether this crisis destroys the euro or is expansionary for it... but we've had that conversation on FPA's Euro blog.
    1 Sep 2011, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    TB, Jon, Springer: Greetings. I'm focused on attempting to define a date prior to the EZ coming unglued so as to be in cash as much as possible when it does. Things will be very nasty and move very quickly when the EZ goes belly up.
    1 Sep 2011, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    Oh yes, it certainly will. The ability of the idiot children running the 2Bigs to insert their sex organs into every available garbade disposal toxic asset investment on earth guarantees that, if nothing else.

     

    As for the timing, its a tough one to predict. I was monitoring the Italian bond markets for a while before they became headlines, and THOUGHT I had a good feel for their (at the time) gradual decline...

     

    But all that went out the window one day, one AFTERNOON, when the trends became obsolete almost simultaneously. The drop was dramatic and nasty, yet at first it went unnoticed by the media.

     

    Whatever presages the "EZ Big One", I'm now wondering if it will even directly involve the bond markets at that point. The power of the whisper campaigns floating around Europe's markets lately (Germany about to lose its AAA rating - Major French banks running out of liquidity) to unhinge markets is proven. Will we see some European politician do a "Chuckie Schumer" and initiate a run on a major Bank? Will this instantly spread to MANY banks?

     

    This could wreck things VERY quickly, and with little warning, even while the sovereign debt passion spiele continues to writhe.
    1 Sep 2011, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    Once Greece defaults, and they will, things will get very interesting very quickly. Bond vigilantes are already circling both Italy and Spain. Italy will have an auction before Spain unless they postpone or cancel next month's offering which in it's self would be a tell. Of course the Greek default will throw a spanner into the entire cycle if it occurs prior to the next bond auction. I'm out of the EZ with the exception of Green Land Minerals (GDLNF). Which is currently in the red. It could be at a good entry point here for a long term investment thesis but it's not for the faint of heart and if you get in it's probably dead money for at least three years.
    1 Sep 2011, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • Joseph L. Shaefer
    , contributor
    Comments (1627) | Send Message
     
    I gave up on Euro banks long ago and my only Euro holdings are currency I bring back from my trips there (hedged with a couple hundred EUO.) But one can find roses growing amidst the weeds anywhere.

     

    If / when the markets take their next tumble, I'll be happy to buy EZ (and threatening to link to the Euro-headquartered) firms like SI, NSRGY, TOT et al below their current lows for the year. These are true multinationals -- whether they HQ in Paris, Singapore, Oslo or New York matters not a whit as long as they domicile in nations that respect intellectual and property rights and enjoy transparency and integrity in corporate governance.
    1 Sep 2011, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    A stock who's yield I liked was Sanofi Aventis. In raising cash to buy my home, I chose to sell SNY because of the EZ issues, and currently have no exposure (other than possibly Wells Fargo and JP Morgan EZ contagion risks) to any Euro Zone-based companies.

     

    SNY is priced about right where I sold it in early March.

     

    Have a great holiday weekend, Joseph.
    1 Sep 2011, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    Are you a buyer yet, or still waiting, Joe Schaefer?
    9 Sep 2011, 11:56 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    So what's with the markets today...

     

    -----------------------
    Dollar Strengthens After U.S. Manufacturing Report Eases Fed Speculation. From: Bloomberg, By Catarina Saraiva

     

    The dollar rose versus the currencies of major trade partners as stronger-than-forecast factory data damped speculation the Fed may take further steps to stimulate growth, debasing the currency.

     

    The greenback extended its gains versus the euro and the yen after the Institute for Supply Management factory report prompted investors to curb bets the Fed may introduce a third round of asset purchases, or quantitative easing.
    tinyurl.com/3r44e9m
    ===========

     

    Based on this, the primary movement in the markets lately has been based on wishing and hoping for a big QE announcement later this month. Good economic news means markets drop or remain flat, bad economic news means the markets will go up because of the assumption of free money from the Fed.

     

    This is why you don't intervene in free markets. It breaks the markets. Business fundamentals become secondary to the intervention. QE does not increase our countries payrolls, and it does nothing for our countries economy. QE increases stock prices. It increases stock prices while increasing taxpayer debt.
    1 Sep 2011, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    Yet gold and silver are essentially flat??? Does this makwe sense on a stronger dollar or other variables still in place,,,, Like a nice size correction still coming ??

     

    ACEHART
    1 Sep 2011, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    Ace: Greetings. Gold is a dollar denominated commodity so a stronger dollar should result in gold being flat or down as the dollar rises.
    1 Sep 2011, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    Robert

     

    I just expected a larger drop than what i was witnessing today. But thanks for the clarity.

     

    ACEHART
    1 Sep 2011, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    Well, its obvious that truth telling is not part of the Greek playbook. A Greek Budget Chief just resigned after saying that "Greece's debt dynamics were out of control and that the government was failing to restore public finances." The Finmin did not like how the Budget Committee report characterized Greece's debt as "lacking credibility" !! m.economictimes.com/PD...
    1 Sep 2011, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    Whoa! That's a break from "traditional political behavior"! Whatever will become of one who "doesn't play well with others"?

     

    HardToLove
    1 Sep 2011, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    Right Mercy
    Italy is trying that approach as well... They will say anything to get the loans in order to delay default. Italy has now decided to go after people that did not pay their taxes... so the payback is unreliable since they have no idea of the financial return for such a program... its all pie in the sky, meanwhile, the debt keeps piling up. Greece's budget is a fantasy. Germany and France know that, but they don't care. Their primary goal is to delay a default.
    1 Sep 2011, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    They are playing a shell game called delay and pray. Some external bigs are in this mess and doing their level best to exit without loosing their shirts. www.bloomberg.com/news...
    1 Sep 2011, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (11575) | Send Message
     
    Solyndra just shows once again the government shouldn't backstop any business. This has worked badly for banks, Savings and loans, mortgage lenders, and now for the solar industry. In each case the public pays. Apparently the government never learns and/or cares.
    1 Sep 2011, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Here's an article about Mongolia Growth Group (MNGGF.PK) by someone other than myself; and it got the editor's pick seal of approval:
    seekingalpha.com/artic...
    1 Sep 2011, 04:41 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    Jon: Good to see other interest in Mongolia Growth Group.
    1 Sep 2011, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    Hmmm. Pretty fluffy, imo.

     

    And the pride of presenting this factoid escapes me:

     

    "As it stands today, insiders own just under 38% of Mongolia Growth Group after their most recent share offering with the CEO holding a bit over 17%. Even more comforting is the fact that the CEO Harris Kupperman and the COO Jordan Calonego take no salary, stock options, performance allocation, bonus or anything else."

     

    The core of his thesis seems to be that he loves companies with high insider stock holdings...

     

    Of course, in a brand new operation that would frequently be the norm, would it not? The insiders bring the company to an IPO, and are sitting there with the lion's share of shares...

     

    Until they sell them off.

     

    Which, again, is normal behavior.

     

    But this comment just keeps running round and round in my head, these guys are running the company for NOTHING?

     

    I sincerely hope that soon these guys are paying themselves SOMETHING, else my inner cynic (were I a shareholder) would lie awake nights waiting for them to sell off their shares about the time the stock shows signs of life (just so they can buy food and clothes for their kids, for instance).

     

    Anyway, I finished the article with nary a detailed clue of what the company is invested IN, though I now have far more insight into the author's philosophy of business zen than I really need.

     

    Fluff. Floating upon the eastern Mongolian wind.

     

    Jon, go to Mongolia and bring us back some red meat, my man.
    1 Sep 2011, 05:19 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    You have to love the management of Mongolia Growth Group, because that is basically what you are buying, imo. Since they are building their holdings in real estate and insurance and other businesses (no mining) rather than purchasing Mongolian companies (because they aren't transparent), the real question is can these guys perform in that wild wild west-type market place? It's a real adventure, but imo, it ain't cheap considering how far they have to go to make it work. Their car insurance portfolio started when they insured their own company vehicle. That made me pause. Is that different than self-insurance? We shall see. For me it would be an immense leap of faith until they accumulate more-whether it be buildings, lessees, insureds or whatever. I don't care how good management is--I always think of Sheldon Inwentash at Pinetree where you have smart management and immense vision and investment where it should work, but you have to have an immensely long time line and it is soooo risky imo.
    1 Sep 2011, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    I agree, OG. I was thinking of Pinetree as I started reading the article.
    1 Sep 2011, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    TB,

     

    Got it...

     

    Yes sir !
    2 Sep 2011, 06:36 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    MNGGF, adding...

     

    On MNGGF's CEO and COO only holding stock in the company with no options and no salary: a) these guys are coming from the perspective of being hedge fund managers and trying to make their "salary" as in line with investors as they wanted the CEOs and COOs of other companies they have invested in the past to be; b) there have been indications that they do want to use options in the future, though that indication has been "for employees" to-date (as when the CEO indicated in a monthly newsletter that he was concerned with the share price going up too fast (it was over $6) not being beneficial to their ability to set up options for employees to motivate them to improve company performance); c) all indications are that they are in this for 10 years, give or take, and believe Mongolia will be the fastest growing economy in the world over that 10 year time-span; d) neither of them has any economic need for a salary as far as I know (the CEO definitely does not as he still has his hedge fund running; I know less about the COO except some educated guesses)

     

    Agree with OG's comment that you have to love the management because you're buying into them, their thesis, and that they can pull this off.

     

    Pinetree comparison is not one I'm adverse to. Although, Pinetree is about investing in resources in the ground developing and MNGGF is about investing in a single country developing. Both risky, but different types of risk.

     

    As for country risk with Mongolia, it is a concern of mine I want to investigate, however high on the list of books the CEO of MNGGF has recommended on his blog - adventuresincapitalism.../ - is Coup D'Etat by Luttwak:
    www.amazon.com/Coup-dÉtat-Practical-Edwar...

     

    Thus, I surmise from his reading interests and his blog and others talking about him, that the CEO has studied the country risks of Mongolia fairly well, which does not eliminate country risk at all, and is something I have more questions about than I'll get answers to in 12 days - but I'm going to try hard for those answers, as that is a front and center priority to understand.

     

    In a few places, there has been a guy mentioning Origo partners (OPP.L) (only trades in London) as another way to invest in Mongolia - www.origoplc.com/

     

    However, for a company to look at which is privately held at this time but who has tendrils all over Mongolia, for comparison sake, I would also take a look at the website for Monnis (tip of the hat to Peter Epstein for this one): www.monnis.com/home
    2 Sep 2011, 07:39 AM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    Pinetree is now about investing in the ground. At one time it was a $15 stock making buku bucks on tech and biotech. They've gone through at least two bubble pops and survived, including the dot com. I like them because they are always pointing in the direction of "The Next Big Thing".
    My comment on PNPFF i isn't really a germane observation, because you are correct, Jon, the risks are different for Mongolia Growth. It is apples and oranges. It's just that there are plenty of great stories on companies with promising management.
    I believe the pink sheets are full of them!
    2 Sep 2011, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    David, I have more trouble finding instablogs that are of interest to me now, more then before all the enhancements. Just because it isn't formally published doesn't mean it is not worth reading. I'd like to know why the instablogs are harder to find. Any ideas on that one?
    By the way congrats on expanding your readership so quickly. You and your staff should be very proud.
    1 Sep 2011, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    Hi Optionsgirl,

     

    What specific changes have made it harder for you to find instablogs of interest?

     

    David
    1 Sep 2011, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    David- Darned if I know. But I do know this: If you had a button (maybe you do!?) that listed all the new instablogs, I'd tap it once in awhile.

     

    As an example, I don't know why Charles Lieberman is no longer publishing articles, but he is still posting instablogs. He has a small following on SA but I like to read what he writes. I went over to his company website to get updates because I stopped getting them here, even though I have instablogs checked on My Feed.
    1 Sep 2011, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    OG, have you tried using the MyFeed page (link in toolbar below) and selecting *only* Instablogs? It's a quick way to view the latest instablogs by people you're following.

     

    You can find latest instablog posts here: seekingalpha.com/insta...

     

    (You can find this link at the bottom of the page of any instablog, but it's not easy to find it on the main site, an issue we need to fix.)
    1 Sep 2011, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    David,

     

    My Feed has not worked for me in ages. Months. I just constantly monitor the clipboard and go from there. My Feed has been generating 502 Gateway errormessages for me for a while now.

     

    I have been assuming that since I am so active on the site, my Feed is a particularly heavy load for some portion of your server farm, so I have been ignoring it.
    1 Sep 2011, 08:13 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    TB: I'm experiencing the same problems with the Feed tab. It's inordinately slow, so slow that I too, have all but stopped using this wonderful Seeking Alpha feature. If the 502 Gateway shows up, I usually don't attempt to open up my Feed for that day, or more.

     

    And hence, the articles written by people I follow, I am reading (much) less. The only articles I end up reading are the ones on the Home Page.

     

    This ties very strongly to what is being discussed today, in that what SA seems to be doing, an attempt to give greater potential audience and readership to authors, is being defeated through lack of server capacity.

     

    One way to look at this situation is that Seeking Alpha is successful enough to be going through a round of growing pains. And that's a good thing.

     

    I am grateful that David Jackson seeks out our opinions.

     

    The solution may be as simple as dividing Top Commenters into two groups: Top Instablog Commenters, and Top Article Commenters. The "Likes" would then be reinstated for both types of commenting.

     

    The only problem I see is designing software to distinguish both from a historical perspective, such that present ratings remain intact.
    1 Sep 2011, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    Articles often represent old news. Trying to emulate 'old media' newspaper or magazine formats is no longer an acceptable solution in todays world. One of the reasons that old media is dying is because the transmission and assimilation of information has been transformed by the Internet. On top of this it takes days to get an article through the SA approval process.

     

    Information value is directly related to its recency, and news recency is no longer measured in days or even hours it’s measured in minutes, and in some cases seconds. Once you get a taste of real-world information, you are no longer interested in getting yesterdays news today. People want real-time news, and real-time discussions of that news with their peers. Peers they know and respect.

     

    The news concentrator Instablogs provide focused places where highly time sensitive information is disseminated and discussed in almost real time. The breaking news section on SA is often late with the news, and on top of that, it does not group news like our concentrators looking at specific investment areas. Breaking news is a push from a limited number of sources, the concentrators are a pull. They seek useful news from a lot more news feeds.
    1 Sep 2011, 10:58 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    Thanks.
    2 Sep 2011, 05:43 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Was thinking about Maya's idea here too:
    "The solution may be as simple as dividing Top Commenters into two groups: Top Instablog Commenters, and Top Article Commenters. The "Likes" would then be reinstated for both types of commenting."

     

    I don't know that I agree with that or if its ideal, but it would allow Seeking Alpha to experiment with breaking off the Top Article Comment element while preserving the Top Instablog commenting element and then we would all be able to see if that changes the flow of the site positively, negatively, or nominally.

     

    It would require two separate badge systems instead of one (one more thing for the server).

     

    However, I think one key element of trying this is that you can always reverse the decision and just put the two groups of comments back into one again.
    2 Sep 2011, 06:44 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    DAVID

     

    Where did the flag go as well. I do not monitor as many as the others and my fag up is the one on my deck ...IT SAYS JETS !!!!

     

    Otherwise i just have to click on the clipboard to see where the new comments are..

     

    acehart
    2 Sep 2011, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    Ace,

     

    If you're talking about the little tracking comments flag, it's off the right side of your screen.

     

    In the new format, they put a lot of empty space on the console bar and if you expand your browser width you'll see the flag again.

     

    I have the same problem - I don't like my browser as wide as needed to see it. I sent a message to support at SA, but have heard nothing positive.

     

    HardToLove
    2 Sep 2011, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    HTL

     

    Thanks, have a good weekend and lets hope they find a good solution. I looked for the top commentors and it was helpful. But i just think someone would have to write an article and just keep going that way. I would hate that idea , but David does seem like he cares so well see, Have a good weekend

     

    ACEHART
    2 Sep 2011, 04:59 PM Reply Like
  • Sharon Weiss
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Hello,
    It shouldn't be like this.
    I'll check this today.
    We are happy to have users that are very active on SA's web site.

     

    Sharon.
    4 Sep 2011, 05:21 AM Reply Like
  • Sharon Weiss
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Hi,
    You are right. We do have some growing pains and we are working these days in finding solutions to get SA's website to the highest performance level.

     

    Sharon.
    4 Sep 2011, 05:21 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    David: "What if we ditched the Top Instabloggers leaderboard which currently ranks active instabloggers in order of the number of followers they have, and replaced it with a Top Instablogs leaderboard which ranked instablogs by the cumulative number of comments left on the instablog?"

     

    Since the flagging of new comments is still not reliable, I'm posting my reply here, hoping you see it.

     

    This gets into a potential snake pit, based on SA's current performance, for a couple of reasons.

     

    First, we've discovered over time that as the number of comments grows, performance begins to suffer terribly. Messages about scripts failing to complete, very slow load times, ... recently "502 bad gateway" messages, etc. (however I do suspect that this last is related to server overload as your traffic grows).

     

    For *that* sort of reason, around the >=100 comment mark, or when performance issues surface, we generally start a new instablog that is a continuation of the currently active one. A message is posted and the herd stampedes for the new one.

     

    How would you count "most commented" in this scenario?

     

    Ignoring the performance issues (subject for a PM now I think since I've not seen good response from the new dev folks), what you really need here, I suspect, is a formal "chatroom" format that includes all the niceties (details of which I would be glad to discuss with you) that allows the "moderator" all capabilities currently enjoyed in an instablog plus some.

     

    With sufficient thought and design, it should solve the performance problems, allow flagging as "most commented", eliminate the need to be constantly making new instablogs.

     

    Full disclosure: there are other sites where I participate just because of such features.

     

    Am I a good measure of the worth of that suggestion? I can't say. The last new board I began on I took the time to read all 1,861 posts before becoming active. Not many would do that I suspect and, more importantly, that may not be your intended audience. I can't say.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    1 Sep 2011, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    HTL,

     

    I was thinking that we could rank instablogs (as distinct from instablog posts) by total comments. For example, how many comments did the instablog "QuickChat" get to all its posts? That way you can treat an instablog as a community, start new posts to ensure that the number of comments on a page doesn't get unweildy, and get ranked by the aggregate activity on the instablog.

     

    We recently launched forums for article contributors. While they have some advantages, in some ways the QuickChat instablog experience may be better for this sort of discussion.
    1 Sep 2011, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Mr. David Jackson,

     

    Two more thoughts as I keep reading this...

     

    1) I do and don't care about my "like" count. My aim before you stopped counting instablog "likes" was that I should at least try to manage an average of 4 "likes" per comment, and if I was below that (and I was slightly), I needed to think a bit more before posting.

     

    Now, in the instablogs: if something I say has 2 or less likes after a while, I notice that maybe that wasn't so interesting or worth adding; if something I say has 5 or more likes, I notice it was probably something worthwhile somehow.

     

    However, in articles, my expectations are zero, and if I have a comment I have to put that average of 4 "likes" per comment out of my head. I spend 2 hours or more each week to sift through all the articles about Mongolia in the past week (which is personally good for me to know what's going on there) and then I post links to them with short blurbs in my Mongolia Economic Boom article, and for that effort, I'll get 3 likes, maybe.

     

    In other articles, I'll make a post linking other relevant articles and charts, and sometimes (as happened recently) get 2 likes and some commenters telling me I don't know what I'm talking about while having no facts to back themselves up.

     

    So, for those of us who pay attention to "likes", instablogs and articles are different worlds, and I have not noticed there's much reward in the "likes" arena on the article side, in my honest opinion. If you want a good example of someone who consistently writes excellent comments and seldom gets a representative number of "likes", take a look at Clemens Scholl who I click on "like" for pretty much all his comments I read on principal.

     

    2) Would your perspective on instablogs change if you could put banner advertisements on some of them? Granted, this is not something easily done for all instablogs. However, when you have a series of instablogs that has required more than 5 iterations and has more than 1,000 comments (like QuickChat, Rare Earths, Stability of the Euro, etc), I think (perhaps controversially and or errantly) that there should be some economic reward for the instablogger and the website, as there is significant traffic on these blogs, and there's some pretty obvious advertising that can be done if you can figure out an appropriate metric for rewarding the folks running the instablogs.

     

    Thanks again for coming in here and listening.
    2 Sep 2011, 07:04 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    >Jon: Don't forget that your count may be affected by the fact that the software DOES NOT PROPERLY FLAG NEW COMMENTS ... STILL!

     

    Ironically, the comment by David to which you respond, and which I had not seen yet, is not flagged. If not for *your* comment being flagged, I wouldn't have seen David's comment.

     

    Anyway, this will affect your counts.

     

    Beyond that, I would argue that you are trying to use a metric that is not necessarily valid. There are some of us who "like" almost everything and those that only "thumb" something really exceptional.

     

    IMHO every post that attempts to constructively contribute is useful to someone in ways that none of us would be able to accurately judge.

     

    And each of us has constraints that limit the depth which we might like to achieve in our responses or new threads.

     

    If you see what I suggest as valid, you can see why I say don't worry about your counts as a tool for tailoring your efforts.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    2 Sep 2011, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    Unless you were to somehow manually link the successive QCs, I don't see how that solves the problem. If the title were always unchanged, it would work easily but what often happens is the title is changed to include a number or date or ...

     

    OTOH, if you wanted to do software that looked at xx initial characters for a set of predefined strings (e.g Quick Chat #, Rare Earth Concentrator, Notes from the Axion Power, ...) that might be feasible.

     

    But the list could get quite large quite quickly and become a maintenance issue?

     

    Ultimately, as a long-term (in the past) software developer, designer ... and more, the mechanical solution to underlie all this seems either a message board format or chat room (I prefer message board). Without going too deep, threading would be maintained and would be collapsible and expandable with the thread headers shown and the thread flagged if new comments had been added to it.

     

    That can, with proper design I think, eliminate the need to make new issues of the QCs, reduce bandwidth usage and speed up end-user performance.

     

    That then also provides a format amenable to more mechanized generation and manipulation of any metrics in the desired manner to meet a multitude of needs.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    2 Sep 2011, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    On the one hand, I totally agree with you HTL, and I understand different folks use "likes" differently. On the other hand - and this is for me - paying attention to "like" counts sometimes helps me curtail myself on days when due to a moment's mood I am about to - or have - start(ed) down the path of posting everything that pops into my head.
    2 Sep 2011, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    About comments "not flagged." I always reload pages I'm viewing after posting on them, as otherwise folks who posted at the same time will not be captured by "my feed." Once you begin posting on an "insta" or article, it seems to freeze the "my feed" tracking which then picks up when you load a new page, but misses what happened on the page you posted on while posting there.
    2 Sep 2011, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the tech view HTL. Was just "an idea" as I think the Renegades and their instablogs bring in a lot of foot traffic to Seeking Alpha without economic acknowledgment from Seeking Alpha. The best example being Tripleblack's Rare Earth concentrator which I think may well be the best place on the web to go for up-to-date information, insights and knowledge about what is going on with Rare Earths. JMHO.
    2 Sep 2011, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    The "my feed" is not frozen. But it seems to refresh on a schedule. Being impatient, I refresh constantly.

     

    Comments posted at a similar time-frame should *not* be missed as, from what little I can observe, the time of your entry seems to be "frozen" as long as you're in that blog.

     

    At the same time, new comments should *not* be appearing on your screen but should be accumulating tags in a queue that starts tracking subsequent to your entry.

     

    There is possible, depending on coding, a very small window that might be subject to what's known as a "race condition". However, the number of these instances should be *very* small *except for the fact that the server seems, IMO, to be overloaded. This does expand the window of opportunity for race conditions.

     

    I don't believe cause and effect exists for "misses stuff posted while you were posting" (but note the word "believe") since I note the failure to flag comments that posted even when I've not been in the blog for extended periods.

     

    I've noted that the count shown on the flagging (i.e, the little red flag or the list of things with new comments since you last visited) *appears* to be correct but the flagging once you enter the article or blog seems to be not working correctly.

     

    That's why I always scroll and do a quick cursory examination of all the comments from the first flagged onward. Time consuming.

     

    All is supposition by me since I've had access to no one familiar with the implementation(s).

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    2 Sep 2011, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    Jon, Springer. Greetings. You got that right and I say that every time I hit the recommend button on every new REE concentrator.
    2 Sep 2011, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    Exactly correct. And the source of all that up-to-date information, insights and knowledge resides in the REE concentrators comment stream. The header of the REE concentrator is mostly used to include explanatory graphics.

     

    Yet efforts of this nature are not considered worthy of peer recognition according to Seeking Alpha management who think the only comments worthy of inclusion in their peer recognition system are ones appearing in articles.

     

    It’s a slap in the face to all SA Instablog news content creators. And its a direct insult to the social group of investors know as the Renegades.
    2 Sep 2011, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    Jon, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

     

    1. You wrote: "So, for those of us who pay attention to "likes", instablogs and articles are different worlds, and I have not noticed there's much reward in the "likes" arena on the article side, in my honest opinion." That's exactly the point I've been making: instablogs and articles are different worlds, and by mixing them the instablog commenters (such as the QuickChatters) automatically rule the Top Commenters leaderboard. (Eg. see Acehart's comment above, which received 5 "likes" for asking what a CDS is.) That's unfair, and misleading to readers.

     

    2. Your question about generating revenue for the instablog owner is interesting. Currently, there are almost no ads on instablogs to keep them as clean as possible. Need to think more about that...
    3 Sep 2011, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    I think Maya's Axion Power related concentrator is starting to draw big-time too. I've started seeing some comments from handles that are strange to me, as well as some that followed from JP's articles.

     

    It hasn't been in existence long enough to achieve really high levels yet, and it is more narrowly focused, but I think it does demonstrate the drawing power of these "forums".

     

    What is not known, of course, is the follow-on effects of new participants in these forums. E.g., Google directs some who've not been to SA before to one of the blogs, the new person starts looking at other places and things on SA, ...

     

    HardToLove
    4 Sep 2011, 07:54 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    David,

     

    I added a new comment above about generating revenue again. I think a sidebar conversation with the Renegades on how to design revenue generation fairly for both instabloggers and yourself would be a worthwhile "committee" to form.

     

    I also wonder on that front if you there would be a way to differentiate "chained instablogs" (ones that keep having sequels like QuickChat and Stability of the Euro) from one-time instablogs, and a way to convert from one status to the other, as it is only on "chained instablogs" that you could create a revenue source for both SA and authors.

     

    As I wrote in my new comment above, and in my comment that you're responding to here, I still disagree with your premise of picking out one comment from the QuickChat as an example that all comments in QuickChat get "more likes". I've had plenty of comments get 2 likes or less in the QuickChat. I think there are a disproportionate number of "likes" in this current QuickChat iteration, as there is probably a bit of a solidarity movement going on in this conversation with you (I, for example, have hit the "like" button on comments by people whose comments I have been skipping over and not reading for months).

     

    You are never going to get a perfect reading of "likes" to quality of comments, as both are subjective and independent. Even if you switch this to articles only "likes", what will happen? Still, almost no one will click "like" for Clemens Scholl's comments because his followers (except me) just don't seem to care about "likes" despite the high quality of his comments, and people commenting daily on the Wall Street Morning Breakfast, and on every article they can that they know nothing substantive about will rise by pontificating a baseless opinion. Who will be your top commenters without instabloggers? I'll guess: User 353732, John Peterson, Donald Ingram, Michael Clark, Davewmart, Cameron Kaine, David Wrixon, David Van Knapp, Old Trader. That's my guess. Is that better that your current top 10? How? Why?

     

    Regards,
    Jon
    4 Sep 2011, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    Jon, thanks for all your comments and suggestions. I've asked our tech team to analyze the data we have (eg. the dispersion of who the current Top Commenters are getting their "likes" from), and to look at other reputation systems on the web so we can reconsider the algorithm for ranking top commenters on SA. There may be a better solution than simply excluding instablog comments, for example by weighting "likes" by the reputation of the liker, where reputation can be determined by a variety of factors. The goal is to come up with a fair and objective system, and for us to avoid making subjective judgments about who's comments are better.

     

    It's unlikely that the ad revenue that instablogs could generate would be worthwhile, but we'll look at that too.
    4 Sep 2011, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    Hard: I very much enjoy seeing those new SA member names in the Axion Concentrators, which I believe have garnered well in excess of 1000 (currently 1,135 in total) comments since the first Concentrator posted in late June.

     

    That fact humbles me. And with the new names, comments increase, as do page views, and new Concentrators will likely come with greater frequency. Some have made their first comment ever here on Seeking Alpha.

     

    I could care less about gaining anything financial from SA from generating an idea derived from my visit to the June 20 Axion Investors' Conference.

     

    For me, it's a giving and sharing thing. Nothing more, nothing less.

     

    My idea was two fold (post the first Concentrator); a) is to assemble a very narrow group of people who will slot in all things related Axion, along with other information relative to the Energy Storage Sector, Green Technology--and maybe a little humor thrown in as well. b) selfish as it may be, I have a lot invested (for me) in Axion, and will benefit from any emerging news almost to the minute. The kicker, the sharing aspect, was/is that all other Axion Concentrator participants have/will enjoy the same. Ergo, everyone benefits.

     

    This brings in other news oriented Concentrators like FPA's Stability of the Euro, or his Swine Flu Instablogs. Tripleblack's REE Concentrators have to be unparralled anywhere on the I-net. And so many other Concentrators specific to a sector or a developing news cycle. Obviously, news oriented chain Concentrators work. That experiment is "fait accompli."

     

    You're right, though, this Concentrator "Chain" as you so aptly named this phenomena, would be difficult to link (or rate based on comment-length), because the title, or caption will continuously change. I will always try to adapt the subject of new Axion Concentrators to what the current news cycle is.

     

    Fully expecting to have a concentrator (which may over lap into another Concentrator) named "Axion Power Concentrator 12: Post Rodman and Renshall NYC Presentation, Beginning (such and such date).

     

    So the big debate rages on...in that what's more important, comments made in non-published articles, or comments in articles Seeking Alpha elects to publish?

     

    "Likes" aside, my experience for over three years as a member on Seeking Alpha is that I get far more out of non-published stuff here on Seeking Alpha, than published.

     

    That's because the Renegades, especially in Quick Chat, act as a kind of wier, sifting through river of articles on SA and other websites, and then choose the best to copy and paste into Quick Chat or, and this is significant, other news chain Concentrators.

     

    Even with that, Seeking Alpha is the finest, most innovative Social Investing Forum on the planet, by far.
    4 Sep 2011, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    And one of the key reasons its good is because of the members in your social network. Drive them away and what happens?
    4 Sep 2011, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Greetings David,

     

    Thanks for continuing to respond to all of us and take our various thoughts into consideration.

     

    I did an informal unscientific survey of "likes per comment". Here's a selection (in order from most to least):

     

    UserName / # of Likes / # of Comments / Avg. Likes Per Comment

     

    User 353732 / 26,866 / 2,438 / 11.02 (wow!)
    Basehitz / 6,518 / 1,149 / 5.67
    James Carlini / 6,850 / 1,406 / 4.87 (comments often on Wall Street Breakfast - which is great, just pointing it out, since WSB is like a daily blog)
    Optionsgirl / 20,660 / 4,919 / 4.20
    Donald Ingram / 14,596 / 3,482 / 4.19
    Tripleblack / 36,486 / 9,413 / 3.88
    Mayascribe / 22,389 / 5,984 / 3.74
    Focal Point Analytics / 14,398 / 3,878 / 3.71
    Moon Kil Wong / 24,224 / 6,844 / 3.54
    Cameron Kaine / 13,760 / 3,946 / 3.49
    H.T. Love / 25,113 / 7,287 / 3.45
    Jon Springer / 2,470 / 726 / 3.40
    AndrewBaker / 4,929 / 1,705 / 2.89
    Old Trader / 12,878 / 4,859 / 2.65
    John Lounsbury / 9,706 / 3,702 / 2.62 (John Lounsbury and Old Trader average almost the same likes per comment; are their comments of equal value?... but Old Trader comments more often, so he has a higher ranking even though their likes/comment average is nearly the same, is that right?)
    Buckoux / 3,844 / 1,558 / 2.47
    Michael Clark / 14,031 / 5,744 / 2.44
    Davewmart / 13,776 / 5,764 / 2.39
    Acehart / 4,098 / 1,779 / 2.30
    Duude / 6,971 / 3,157 / 2.21 (comments often on Wall Street Breakfast - which is great, just pointing it out, since WSB is like a daily blog)
    The Inflation Trader / 1,897 / 913 / 2.08
    Windsun33 / 4,260 / 2,673 / 1.59
    John Peterson / 14,857 / 9,605 / 1.55
    Ben Gee / 6,210 / 4,040 / 1.54 (Ben Gee and John Peterson have almost the same average - does that mean their comments have the same value? to who?)
    Clemens Scholl / 552 / 390 / 1.42
    Roger Nussbaum / 811 / 939 / 0.86 (enjoyed your exchange with him last week Mr. J.)
    David White / 1,666 / 2,145 / 0.78
    IPO Desktop / 36 / 212 / 0.17 (wow! He is SO GOOD, and 0.17 likes per comment - absurd...)

     

    My point with all my parenthetical comments and this data is to question the validity of trying to coach these numbers into a meaningful metric when comment value is so randomly ranked regardless of how you toy with it. I can only return back to my table waiting analogy and hope that at the end of the night, the rank tends to average out to be about right despite outages in both directions.

     

    Regards,
    Jon
    4 Sep 2011, 10:09 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    Jon: This study is commendable, intellectual, and categorically reflects the impact Instablog commenters versus article commenters have upon SA's longer term reading audience.

     

    Quite possibly, SA is missing unrealizingly so on the potential of the very thing they have unintentionally created, that "pockets of specialized readership" will be drawn back because Instablogs tend to be more narrow or specific, or even more important, more lasting in scope. Social business/investing/news chain networking at its best!

     

    What I would love to know is how Instablog's rate in comments per Insta over comments per articles published.

     

    Now go eat some holiday BBQ chicken!

     

    Thanks, BTW. Outstanding study.

     

    Seems the system is working as is, or rather...was.

     

    I see so many (pre-Feed tab anxiety) published Top Ten this and that articles published, which have little comment other than being some form of top ten "listing" article, that I've (nearly) given up reading them. And that's because most of them are so short term, or sighted.
    4 Sep 2011, 10:40 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Jon. We're thinking about the Google PageRank model, where you map who votes for who, and weight them by how much authority the source has: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

     

    We'll look at the various factors that constitute authority. What factors do you (question for everyone here) think should determine the authority of the voter?
    5 Sep 2011, 01:44 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
     
    Hi David,

     

    I thought my list of average likes per comments might show that this is not something you can coach the numbers on, but you seem determined to try, so...

     

    Some things that might be of use for Google:
    a) If the person is insightful (how do you rank that?)
    b) If the person cites a weblink to backup their information or quotes from a source
    c) If the person has a track record of posting when they make purchases AND sales; folks who only post purchases and never let people know when they sell are doing intentional disservice to readers
    d) If the comment is related to the topic of the article and/or blog
    e) If the comment provides expertise or additional information about the topic of the article and/or blog not included in the original post
    f) Some opinion-based statements are additive and provide food for thought on possible outcomes while other opinion-based statements are just folks making an empty polemic that has no investment value, and some opinion-based statements are between the two - how do you differentiate? (no idea)
    g) Citations of numbers and data and facts are good.
    h) Ego brandishing commenters, not so useful (e.g. someone telling me they made 240% last year and I don't know what I'm talking about (when I made a comment about IPSU) while providing no investment-based or research-based data is fairly useless to me; although I appreciate being publicly humbled, I prefer personal insults directed at me to be backed up by facts and information I can learn something from)
    i) Folks who post price targets for purchases AND sales (slightly different than "c"). Whether its Michael Kudrna or Tripleblack - these are folks actively trying to publicly say what they're doing and help people.
    j) If the person provides independent research data, statistics, or technical analysis, this is incredibly useful. H.T. Love shares a ton of data independently derived, including data from programs he designed.
    k) If the person forms an investment community around them that shares more data and becomes a data hub (John Peterson and Mayascribe with Axion (AXPW.OB), Tripleblack and Chihawk with Rare Earths (LYSCF.PK) (NOURF.PK) (GWMGF.PK) (etc.), Powerhege with Seadrill (SDRL), George Fisher with ATP Oil & Gas (ATPG), Clemens Scholl with Frontline Shipping (FRO)) - this is incredibly value because you begin to get all the people with knowledge coming to one place and sharing information making the strength of communal data greater than any individual's comment

     

    I will close there as I owe my wife an extended date.

     

    Regards,
    Jon
    5 Sep 2011, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4645) | Send Message
     
    "d) If the comment is related to the topic of the article and/or blog"

     

    Hey, leave me out of this!

     

    I mean, umm. Yeah. Good idea.
    5 Sep 2011, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    Good list Jon. Several of those items do relate to the concept of comment value and authority.

     

    However I would like to point out once again that the items are Content based, NOT location based. The point being that a comment can be valuable whether it appears in an SA Article or an SA Instablog.

     

    The New Peer Review system applies a weighting system. Comments in Articles have weight 1.0. Articles in Instablogs have weight 0.0.
    5 Sep 2011, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    This is my favorite as it embodies the spirit of our "aggregate effort" concept in a more narrowly defined fashion.

     

    "k) If the person forms an investment community around them that shares more data and becomes a data hub (John Peterson and Mayascribe with Axion (AXPW.OB), Tripleblack and Chihawk with Rare Earths (LYSCF.PK) (NOURF.PK) (GWMGF.PK) (etc.), Powerhege with Seadrill (SDRL), George Fisher with ATP Oil & Gas (ATPG), Clemens Scholl with Frontline Shipping (FRO)) - this is incredibly value because you begin to get all the people with knowledge coming to one place and sharing information making the strength of communal data greater than any individual's comment".

     

    That "aggregate effort" is my personal goal in participating as I see myself as predominately a "mule" (not a pejorative IMO) that brings articles and such in as I keep trying to learn. With only ~3.5 years so far, I suspect it might take a bit longer to get beyond being a "mule", but I'm patient.

     

    HardToLove
    5 Sep 2011, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    David

     

    I also want to add that although we disagree on this one topic i think you guys are doing a magnificant job as well. I was adamant because i want you to understand as a amature but a businessman you might be making the wrong decision.

     

    The QC has been drawing new and smart individuals to its site. I have noticed the difference in the demeanor of the newbies. In fact i envision a year from now the group could be over 100 people as they learn, what i learned , all want to share their knowledge on various topics.

     

    That is why is is so unique and that is why i said before you might be sitting on a monster. Why make us find a way around this rule??
    You know the group is smart enough to figure it out quickly to keep getting their LIKES.

     

    Just give it some thought about our postings as you can see the passion within our group.

     

    Have a good weekend
    ACEHART
    1 Sep 2011, 06:27 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    Aceheart,

     

    I guess the question is whether the impact on your ranking as a commenter is a key motivator for participating in a close-knit community like this.

     

    BTW, I'm glad this discussion has been on the website and we're not in the same room: "I think David needed to be hit over the head to understand what is happening here."

     

    :-)
    1 Sep 2011, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    David

     

    I have three disc missing in my back and spend most of my day horizontal and taking heavy pain meds. Even if i could muster up enough energy to hit you on your head it would actually hurt me more....lol...

     

    But if anyone says they don't enjoy their ranking as a reward for there hard work isn't telling the truth,,imho..

     

    I just spent time as a beginner trying to find a site i could learn from and i fell into this group. I have to admit this is better than any book i could ever read, and the treament is NOT the same as other authors threads, MAYBE it helps with the old rating sysytem,

     

    I am speaking for myself but if i put thought into something it's nice getting a reward, even if it isn't financial. Once that is taken away i guarantee you will see a slowdown of postings,

     

    And as i said i see new people entering every month and i can see a huge group of intelligent individual here very soon, Those that do not want to learn are here and gone quickly.

     

    Sorry if i hurt your feelings as i can;t hurt a fly right now!!

     

    Failed surgery done me in

     

    ACEHART
    1 Sep 2011, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    Personally I don't care if there is no commenter recognition. I would opt out if I had the choice.
    1 Sep 2011, 09:49 PM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    OG, You don't need a rating system because you have no peers. You are at the top of the heap. :)
    1 Sep 2011, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    I'm blushing. Of course, it reminds me of the biblical story where Job was on top of a heap too...Oy, Gee!
    2 Sep 2011, 05:10 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    David

     

    It's ACEHART...not aceheart,,,!!!

     

    Now my last comment will be if the markets collapse you won't find me here if my info bears no credibility,,,

     

    Again you have soo many comments essentially compelling you to go back to your other likes method. Or people will disappear , not comment, and then you will turn into Yahoo !!!

     

    If you don't think that will happen you have some very smart people here and they are preparing to bolt already !!

     

    Your choice, your business...Your big mistake !!!

     

    A C E H A R T,,,,
    5 Sep 2011, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    Durban 3- just shameful. I'd like to see the UN thrown out of the USA.
    Here's a list of the good guys:
    www.israelnationalnews...
    1 Sep 2011, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    Good for Austria. I'm glad we aren't participating either.

     

    Too bad they decided to hold the thing in New York...

     

    Hard to believe its a coincidence.
    1 Sep 2011, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    David:

     

    Speaking solely for myself, I will not be modifying my behavior in any way to try to garner more "thumbs", regardless of whether there are any further changes or not. I have never created an instablog or made a single comment just in hopes of garnering some quick thumbs. It is true that I am liberal with them - but this has always been true, everywhere I go. I have seen where budding urinating contests could be re-routed into a rewarding debate between differing views with nothing more exotic than a few polite questions and few thumbs up to encourage the participants.

     

    When I read an article or instablog, it has been my experience that frequently the majority of the most valuable information is gathered in the rich commentary. Rather than gauge the value of an author simply by whatever they publish in their articles, I have come to also observe which authors (of articles and instablogs alike) tend to attract high quality comments with complex debate. Any policy that suppresses this should be identified and re-examined, imo, though I cannot say that I have seen any new policies cause this effect, perhaps someone on staff with access to the necessary data could keep an eye on things, just in case...

     

    As for the business side of things, I am aware that this site doesn't just DISCUSS business topics, it IS a business. Anything that brings repeat visits and active new members to the fold is of obvious value to the business. I expect that statistics relating to the various articles and the authors who write them are kept - including the way the various key words and phrases improve the site's overall stature vs the major search engines. I have no idea how SA is structured to offer its "best side" to the search engines, or how this effort is working for you folks (well, I sincerely hope), but I was a moderator on another site where pains were taken to expose the site's articles to the search engines, while the active social networking section was lightly supported, and run on a far less capable server. The site owner was eager to improve his performance with the search engines, and inevitably ran out of resources and decided to eliminate much of the social networking areas. I managed to convince him to try opening the forum he really disliked to the search engines (just for a trial) and he was amazed how many additional hits he garnered...

     

    "But these aren't even people interested in our primary topics!" he cried.

     

    I just laughed and asked: "Does that really matter? You are getting hundreds of new members, who may never venture beyond the Community Forums, but who really help your statistics and require virtually none of the resources you are devoting to the prime pages".

     

    I'm no web programmer, but perhaps there is some way to make the instablogs more important for SA at the same time they are made more responsive to the membership.

     

    stan
    1 Sep 2011, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • David Jackson
    , contributor
    Comments (1263) | Send Message
     
    Stan, thanks for the great comment. We do almost no SEO. Our view is that if the page code is clean, the content is great, and titles accurately reflect the content of articles, trying to game the search engines is futile in the long run.

     

    I am thinking that we need to upgrade instablogs. Any specific suggestions for improvements?

     

    David
    1 Sep 2011, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • Freya
    , contributor
    Comments (2437) | Send Message
     
    In the Instablogs, those with content not Just a Title, how about the elimination of Thumbs.

     

    And giving the Author of same, the ability to remove comments Not On Point w/o involving SA.

     

    Or add 2 boxes, On Point and Not On Point which only the Author is able use and then segregate the irrelevant from the relevant, ie moving them individually or enmass to another Insta created for that purpose.
    1 Sep 2011, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    I don't know if I am reading this correctly, Freya. Are you suggesting that the author should rank the comments on his own article? What is the advantage in that? (Especially in articles where the commenter disagrees with the author, isn't there potential for mean back biting, or conflict of interest?)
    2 Sep 2011, 07:47 AM Reply Like
  • Freya
    , contributor
    Comments (2437) | Send Message
     
    Not Rank, no ranking whatsoever.

     

    any commenter can disagree with the Author on any aspect of the Insta But No Commenter(s) should be able to flood the Insta with comments which have nothing to do with the Insta's premise.

     

    But No one should have to sift through a bunch of comments having nothing to do with the Subject Matter just to glean a tidbit of knowledge from those who may know more than the Author.

     

    "On Point" Helps everyone. "Not on Point" turns the Insta into a Haystack with all looking for the Needles.

     

    How much time can anyone alot to any Article/Insta when its inundated with irrelevant comments?
    2 Sep 2011, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    I agree - relevance is a key consideration. Now that insta authors have a delete function, they could add something like this to their Instas:

     

    Posts on this instablog may be deleted for rudeness or if they are off topic.

     

    Is it censorship, yes it is. But SPAM will destroy the value of an insta or article by dilution. Oh, I forgot, by decree, all Instablog's are valueless now... never mind.
    2 Sep 2011, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    David, Jackson: Greetings. Some of the Instas do show up in search engines. TB's REE/Strat metal blog FPA's Swine flu Insta are two of them and I'm sure there are others. Google has them sorted by date range.
    2 Sep 2011, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (10573) | Send Message
     
    I just Binged "Axion Concentrator" and they came up, curiously underneath was a 1984 paper, subject on the total mass of the universe!

     

    Hilarious!
    2 Sep 2011, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • Dialectical Materialist
    , contributor
    Comments (4645) | Send Message
     
    The day relevance becomes currency I will have to declare bankruptcy... or at least move to a cheaper part of town...
    2 Sep 2011, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • FocalPoint Analytics
    , contributor
    Comments (6223) | Send Message
     
    I Goggled: [Seeking Alpha "John Petersen"] and got 79,000 hits. Using the phrase [Seeking Alpha "Tripleblack"] I got 91,500 hits.

     

    Tripleblack's comments are mostly in Instablogs, John's are mostly in articles. One's value of future contributions in terms of the NEW peer review system is mostly zero, the other is top ten.

     

    Does anyone even remotely think that the quality of Tripleblack's comments are near zero relative to John's? Of course that's absurd, yet that is exactly what the New rating system is saying. In time, Tripleblack's peer review score and all the peer review scores of people who mostly comment in Instablogs will diminish since by the new system, comments in Instablogs don't count.

     

    Splitting the system into two categories: Articles and Instablogs is nonsense as the distinction is meaningless. The only way to insure equal treatment is to provide equal recognition. That means badges and it means that the list of top commentators should not be separated for articles and instablogs. The notion of separate but equal keeps entering my mind with its resultant implications.

     

    All of us and all of the people that write comments in Instablogs have been disrespected and insulted. This is unacceptable. I don't know what management is trying to accomplish by this ridiculous and not well thought out change.
    2 Sep 2011, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13591) | Send Message
     
    LOL, DM, that comment is absolutely priceless. One of the best single sentence responses I have ever seen.

     

    And yes, I gave you a now purely symbolic but heartfelt thumbsup.
    2 Sep 2011, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    Me too.
    2 Sep 2011, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5040) | Send Message
     
    <Oh, I forgot, by decree, all Instablog's are valueless now... never mind.>
    If this was my quick chat I'd delete your comment for misplaced irony.
    Then I'd delete my comment for irrelevancy.
    Then I'd delete Aceheart just because he writes in capitals and forgets to google terms he doesn't know.
    Then I'd ban Thisisnot4real for boring me .
    It reminds me of a song:
    www.youtube.com/watch?...

     

    I wish everyone a delightful weekend.
    2 Sep 2011, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • robert.b.ferguson
    , contributor
    Comments (10612) | Send Message
     
    Oy, Gee: Greetings. Hilarious. You have a great week end to. I added to Lynas (LYSDY) @ $1.85 this morning.
    2 Sep 2011, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    Then i delete OG because she can't spell my name!!!!

     

    You have a good weekend also

     

    ACEHART
    2 Sep 2011, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    I would never suggest that Maya and Ace move their football "discussions" - Maya would box my ears! =>8-O ;-))

     

    HardToLove
    4 Sep 2011, 07:59 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18472) | Send Message
     
    "The day relevance becomes currency I will have to declare bankruptcy... or at least move to a cheaper part of town."

     

    I can't resist - that's irrelevant! :-))

     

    HardToLove
    4 Sep 2011, 08:02 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    HTL

     

    I actually think that is what seperates us from other authors. We cover everything and i the course of 8 hours everyone needs a so called water cooler conversation. I read plenty of comments in other authors comment section where all they are doing is cursing each other out.

     

    Is that productive???? Would hope everyone would just stick together but i guarantee you take away the likes and half the commentors disappear. Some have already. That is a shame!!

     

    ACEHART
    4 Sep 2011, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    HAVE THE QUICK CHAT AUTHORS WRITE THEM!!!!

     

    ACEHART
    1 Sep 2011, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • Freya
    , contributor
    Comments (2437) | Send Message
     
    Politics play a role in stock selection but if you can't connect the dots, don't make the comment.

     

    I'm Seeking Alpha not Political Office.
    1 Sep 2011, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • acehart
    , contributor
    Comments (1813) | Send Message
     
    pretty funny

     

    It seems that everyone out there has pointed this out to me that Bob Pisani on CNBC was in the vaults at the GLD and picked up a brick and showed everyone that it was real. He showed the world a bar number that did not exist on their inventory lists.

     

    As I pointed out to you on many occasions, the GLD is nothing but a fraud and they cannot keep track of the Bank of England's gold: (courtesy GATA)
    1 Sep 2011, 09:35 PM Reply