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Better Member Profiles -- your thoughts?



January 27, 2009 – Comments (7)

I'm part of a team looking to improve our member profiles -- what I might call your "member home page" -- here at the Fool. Long-time Fools know that they have their discussion boards profile, they have their CAPS profile, and then they make other contributions across the Fool (e.g. article comments) that don't link back to anything. What we'd like to do is streamline the experience and ultimately have one spot you go to see my profile, and/or contribute to your own.

In particular, we're looking to build up more investment information and perspective -- in other words, give our members more focused opportunities to share the "investor within" -- regardless of whether they're professional money managers, or just trying to make the best first decisions for their child's college fund. (Everyone has insights to offer, links to share, stories to tell.) We already have a bunch of ideas, and real excitement in doing this right, but I just bet you have one or more ideas we might not have dreamed up; history will show that your ideas are often better than mine.

So with that said, what kinds of investment-oriented info (or other stuff too) would you hope we would include in an improved "member home page experience" for you and your fellow Fools? Bonus points for specifics and reasoning as to why; minus points for sarcasm (and yes, I'll deduct those points directly from your CAPS rating). :P

Seriously, though, help us make this a great 2009 feature. Tell me what you'd like to see.



7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 27, 2009 at 6:30 PM, kstarich (28.86) wrote:

Hum..  so many suggestions come to mind but I think for me personally I would like to see a rating for being accurate or consistant with investment advise or strategies.  Lately I have been looking for more info on specific types of investing such as with ETF's.  I think when you are a novice it is harder to filter through who actually knows what they are talking about.  Also, some regular bloggers are more into political commentary than investment strategy.

Great idea though! I look forward to seeing where this goes.

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#2) On January 27, 2009 at 8:01 PM, Tastylunch (28.67) wrote:

Well I think the main overlapping issue is being able to keep track of the various conversations you are involved in or want to follow. If you take the Following feature from CAPS and integrate board Favorites& replies and article comments into that system I think you'd have a pretty good tether binding the disparate parts of the Fool. One stop shopping really for checking your conversations.

That's really it as far as I can see.

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#3) On January 27, 2009 at 8:56 PM, columbia1 wrote:

I would like to see more information about the biographies of the members. What are their education levels, age and what work experience they have. Over the last year of being involved with CAPS I have been able to figure out most of the usual fools, the ones worth listening to, but when a newcomer appears, they get left out when posting blogs. It would be beneficial to have a more detailed biography available to welcome newcomers, and get them involved in discussions quicker. The age issues I also believe should be a priority, I have seen numerous members that act like they are still in high school.

I hope I was able to contribute a little, I really need a few points to escape from the wraths of the commodity bubble ;)


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#4) On January 28, 2009 at 7:18 PM, bzhayes (95.39) wrote:

If you want to improve member profiles, you should be looking at the leaders in the sector.  Checkout myspace and facebook.... see what they do right and see what could be incorporated into the fool.

 If you are looking to better the experience at the fool... there are quite a few areas for improvement.  1. you shouldn't spend so much time marketing your products like a used car salesman.  You want to make money.... follow the google model.  2. incorporate mutual funds into the caps system.  3. give more information on how a stock is rated within caps than just the number of caps.... we want to see the score the stock gets 0-100... and see how it is moving day-to-day 

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#5) On February 11, 2009 at 2:10 PM, ikkyu2 (98.48) wrote:

I have a lot of favorites who are regular CAPS bloggers.  I'd like to see a feed of my CAPS favorites' blog entries, sorted by date with most recent at the top.  This would eliminate hours of clicking on links and give me more time to browse the rest of the Fool.. :)

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#6) On February 11, 2009 at 2:49 PM, StockSpreadsheet (64.37) wrote:

I like bzhayes idea of a numerical score in addition to the star rating.  I think if I am looking for a stock to buy, the 5-star stocks would be a good start, but if I want to find the best stocks, seeing a list of stock that scored 99 out of 100 would be a better place to look.  You could weight the number according to player ranking.  Thus, if 100 All-Stars rate a stock an outperform, (and nobody ranks it an underperform), then it should get a much higher rating than if 100 people with a propeller beenie, (like me), rate the stock an outperform, (and nobody rates it an underperform).   In the current system, I think both would get a 5-star rating.  I'm not saying I don't think the stock ranked by the lower-ranked players is not worth looking at, (after all, I think all my stocks are worth looking at or I would have not added them to my portfolio), but the ones rated outperform by the upper players might deserve more consideration on my part.


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#7) On February 20, 2009 at 1:42 PM, thumbsUpFool (89.74) wrote:

This is a slightly different suggestion, but it has to do with the CAPS page: 

First I'd like to say that I think the entire website is great, and I am a paying member of the rule breaker service.  I visit daily, and I intend to continue to renew my membership.  Your books are great, and I like your approach to investing.  Thanks for providing such a great service.  It is a one of a kind rule breaker in itself.  I did have an observation/suggestion that I thought may interest you though.


I realize that the CAPS score is long-existent and well established, but I was wondering why "My" pick scores are not divided by the S&P Score.  As it is, the two scores are subtracted, which tends to be pretty accurate on smaller differences, but as those two scores begin to diverge the score begins to really have a large error.  (The error is positive when the S&P is down and negative when the S&P is up) Take the following example:


Stock A (my pick) goes up 30%, while the S&P 500 goes down 50%.  The caps score for this would be 80, but the actual gain made by this pick (as in how much I made divided by how much I would have made in the S&P) would be ({[1+0.3]/[1+(-0.5)]}-1)*100% = 160 %


As a result of this, in a bear market, CAPS favors people who accurately make a lot of picks that beat the S&P 500 by small amounts (because the error is the smallest).  But the person with the most money at the end of it all is going to actually be the person who makes the picks that kill the S&P 500.  In my example above, the error is 100% (160% vs. 80%).  To illustrate my smaller difference case, if you look at my pick going up 5% and the S&P 500 going down 1%, the CAPS score would be 6, and the score using the method I'm describing would be ({[1+0.05]/[1+(-0.01)]}-1)*100% = 6.06 % (A significantly smaller error of about 1%).


I thought it would make for a nice addition (and it may scramble the top ten) as well.  


Thanks again for providing a great service

Alex H (crazyalucla)


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