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Interesting topic. Like Edward (I suspect), I searched back to try to find how the topic of a fee for using SS started. It was suggested as a means of providing a FAQ or research summary on each company thread. That is my interpretation anyway.


Through the hundreds of posts since, the discussion seems to have moved to a fee for the current service. Quite a different matter.


Some observations:


I'd be surprised if there is much unique research info that the SS owners could provide that is not currently available either for free or from fees many of us already pay for such research elsewhere. Most of the unique info and insights comes from posters (ie the current nature of the forum). By it's nature the forum provides very high and very low quality information (and lots in between, but that is one of its charms and we each work out ways to manage this.


To successfully charge a fee,SS would need a value proposition to convince large numbers of people to subscribe (by this I mean retaining say 75% of current members, then growing the business from there. This might include:


- ease of access to research info rather than accessing multiple sites


- a reputation for accuracy and up to date research info (developed over time) that differentiates from others


Now, I don't object to paying a small fee, but I must admit, I'm not looking for SS to provide research info. I'm pretty happy with the forum as it is. I use the forum for testing sharing and sometimes picking up ideas, for interaction with other like minded people, for entertainment. I also don't mind helping others and sharing info, but there are others with much more to offer in this way than me.


I don't expect to do in depth research on SS, but I am sometimes prompted by SS posts to do this research elsewhere.


Outside my stock market interest I participate on a couple of other forums. One is ExploreOz, which covers camping, caravaning 4 Wheel Driving and traveling within Australia. Participation on the forum is free as a 'visitor', but there is a fee for membership (about $50 per year). Additional services are provided for that fee. Info available here:



This has nothing to do with the stock market, but the business model might be worth a look by Admin, mods and others interested.

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Hi all.


One may consider $79 a year nominal but if you have 6000 subscribers paying that it adds up to $474,000. As for people leaving if there is a charge. Lets say 2000 posters leave and we have 4000 posters paying. This still adds up to $316,000. Um.... this is a good no great site. But this charge is about much more than covering cost and making a few improvements.



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If sharescene folds because the current operators pull the plug, what then?


Will this affect your trading style? Will this deny you access to information?


Say sharescene operators decide that membership is going to require a fee. Does this mean that, say, 600 members are going to be paying $79?


Whatever scenario you think of, the point is that sharescene directors are looking at ways to make a quid out of this, or make the site pay for itself, at least.


From the comments I have read, it appears that Sharescene could become an exclusive sharetraders club, or clogged with advertising, or broker subsidised, or cease to exist. However, if the operators were to obtain some reasonably priced software, like incrediblecharts, but better, then this might be the way to go.


As for free sites, the day will come when there probably will be less freebies over the internet. Once water was free, too.

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Hi Tezjm,


Your sums are a little over eager. Just under 3500 members have used Sharescene in the last 7 days. Now if you look over the topic it's 50/50 on paying so factor that in, GST+Company Tax, cost of hosting the website, software, bank accounts, legal fees, hosting events, competition prizes, advertising... you start to end up with a figure that's just enough to pay for one full time employee. One full time employee.... each day 1hr maintaining the server, 2-3hr moderating, 3hr development, 1hr misc. When you sit down and look at it all... the suggested cost is very much about covering cost and making a few improvements




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In reply to: normc on Wednesday 23/11/05 11:58pm

Interesting topic. Like Edward (I suspect), I searched back to try to find how the topic of a fee for using SS started. It was suggested as a means of providing a FAQ or research summary on each company thread. That is my interpretation anyway.


Wow! After wandering around for days (and dozens of posts) we have almost got back to the topic that I think I started (even I can't really recall now). http://www.sharescene.com/html/emoticons/smile.gif


I didn't actually suggest that SS provide research on stocks. I asked if SS had considered providing a "wiki" ability attached to each stock. For those that are unfamiliar with what a wiki is - it is basically a group edited information repository. The wiki software is available as freeware (or is it shareware) and I have noted other forums are now starting to incorporate this as a way of retaining the value of posters research/thoughts/opinions/efforts that may otherwise get lost in the mists of time as a forum moves forward.


In the case of SS, I am sure that others would agree that if you have built a certain amount of knowledge in a perticular stock and have become part of a "de-facto" group who daily help out in that thread, then you will have answered the same questions dozens of times as new folk become interested in that stock. A wiki, faq, whatever was just suggested as a way of helping with that.


On the other side of the story, I often will get a trigger for a passing interest in a stock and a quick reference would be very handy.


Anyway, it was just a suggestion that I offered for free. I'm not demanding it or even asking for it. I just thought I was helping SS by offering the suggestion for their consideration (in case they hadn't thought of it).







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In reply to: mminion on Wednesday 23/11/05 11:36am

Hi Matt,


Well was worth a try.


The idea about getting us to use one broker .... I thought had some merit, maybe something along those lines.


Large banks have no interest and will not pay for you as a site introducing traders. In fact despite the fact some of them earn in the order of tens of millions from their own broking services it was interesting to actually hear what they had to say about smaller investors or traders ... and frankly it was not flattering. We to them are sheep ... and they used nice little terms about going after higher value individuals as opposed to what they see as smaller ones. All in all mealy mouthed rubbish is all I heard from them.


I accept and applaud your work to date on SS ... it is a great site catering for many different styles ... as u well know. Also it is much loved and supported by your patrons.

We also accept you and the other owners ... along with the work of the moderators ... need some income to pay for SS. Two choices ... charge a fee or generate some income.


Myself .. the fee doesn't matter ... but for most it will ... also for new members ... I would not pay a fee to join a site as yet unseen and untested. No way in the world. Also if a fee were to be charged I suspect we would loose over half the members. Hence my suggestion.

Its no use for 15% of SS readers to agree to pay a fee and the rest leave. It will not work.



I am sure you have tried it .... brokers that is.


One thing ... its very nice for us as posters to say we don't want advertising .... but the reality is for the site to continue it is needed ... so we have no choice.

After footing the bill to date ... you have every right to make something back.


Also I accept your view about my broking option ..... yes impractical .... but along these lines. Yep we want diversity in brokers I suppose .... but as a group despite what the larger banks may think in reality about our business we spend a hell of a lot as a matter of course on brokerage over the course of a year. This option I felt was painless for all involved .... and something like this ... if not this actual option I still think is the way to go as opposed to charging a fee which will drive off a lot of SS readers if not 80%.


Now forget the big banks .......

They have less than any interest in us.

Half of us are active traders I suspect .... even if we were not and only did 2 trades a month .... 25 say a year .... round turns that is ... we pay between us if only the 3,000 active ones who look something of the order of $10- mio in bro minimum. I suspect the average between us is probally a lot larger than even that .... 2 round turns a month .... its probally 5 a month ..... or $25- mio in bro. That to me is one hell of a stick .....


Large banks have no interest .... fine .... HSBC ? There are others ..... suppose its a matter of digging thru all the banks and finding ones which run their own broking shops.

Bendigo bank uses E trade as their broker .....


I believe the Dell suggestion had some merit. If some of us buy a computer each year and use dell and U got a commision ... $20- for it ..... it pays some of the way.


More ideas along the lines of what we all pay for as a matter of course.


We all have super ...some SMSF ... but a lot in funds and switch it around now and again .... and we hate paying fee's. Most we get it all rebated the upfront 3% fee .... but what happens is whilst we get the upfront fee back the salesman still gets a trailing commision if we transfer our super into their fund. The trailing commision is huge ..... and its paid every year u stay in the fund your financial advisor puts u in .... sure he gives you back the up front fee ... but still he is getting the 0.7-1.2% each year .... if you transfer 100k .... its a nice little income the financial advisor earns for evey year u stay with the fund. Some sort of kickback to SS .... would be nice.


Back to the brokers .... I read E trades accounts ... and frankly they earn $35- mio in bro a year .... so to them even 1,000 traders from SS would be a very big deal. If 1,000 high turnover people joined .... 100 round turns a year ... it would mean a 20% jump in their income. HSBC ... whilst larger and more prefered due it being a massive safe bank .... I suspect would also be open to the idea. Getting an extra 5-10 mio in income on a service which is already set up to handle the capacity has to be worth something.


Choice is nice ....


but lets say u can get a few on board ..... E trade I dont think should be too hard .....

Sanford the same ... HSBC I don't know ...... also I am sure some of the other smaller banks run their own brokerage houses ... ADB ? .....


If we were given a few options ....

free membership for the first 6 months.


Then we can either

1\pay the $79- fee

2\transfer our brokerage to one of say 4 brokers and you get a decent kickback

3\ Super ?

4\ Dell ? .....

5\ some other viable option we all use and pay for ? Mobile phone ?


The reality is, if as some do ... use both a full service broker and internet ... here is the reality of the income generated. For all funds placed into an interest bearing account my full service broker earns a commision of 0.25% on all funds sitting in my trading account.

Not much ... but $250- per 100k in my account. On brokerage at 0.1% of face value he also gets 40% of the amount paid. So if I have $1- million in my account and turn it over 4 times a year both sides the gross income to him is $80k ... of which he is paid 40% of that as income to him .... $32k. On top of this the average in my account over the year ... cash account is say $400k ... so he earns another 1k from that ... in total $33k income to him.


Most full service brokers operate in a similar way .... and in effect they are self employed whilst working at a broker/bank .


Now most arn't that size but ... just used the example as a breakdown of the income flows.


Usuing an internet service .... we don't tie up a person to do our trades ... and are charged virtually the same .... only receive contract notes via email ... and frankly ... most systems are built to handle a lot more customers than they actually have.


Speaking to a few banks over the last few days ..... being an old banker myself ... the crap I was served up especially by larger ones defies description. Oh it costs a lot more to service a smaller customer ... ect ect ect. Bollicks ..... management said that but when speaking to one of the head guys of one of the largest internet based brokers ..... he said the opposite. Since its all computer based .... its far cheaper ... less errors ... less human processing ect ect. Why I say bollicks ... is because we all know our friendly ATM very well ... banks discourage is in the extreme from usuing the actuall tellers .... and we all know why.


Maybe this idea has some merit Matt ? I don't know ?


But the options are fairly clear and I don't see too much of a hurdle ... well not an insurmoutable one in getting at least a few of the on line brokers on board as opposed to the fee paying structure.


As to your commision out of introducing .... not suggesting you will get anything near what banks and brokers are prepared to pay their full service brokers .... but 40% is a hell of a whack and they happily pay it already .... but something between 5-10% and you will be rolling in money and be able to have great competitions and attract an even bigger membership. Can u imadgine the number of members entering in a share comp with say a $5- or 10k prize ?


Maybe I am dreaming ..... will not be the first time. But smaller internet based brokers an influx of 500 or 1000 customers is huge. Even for some larger ones I suspect with small customer bases and desperate to expand ...


Best of luck

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In reply to: kahuna1 on Thursday 24/11/05 07:58am

the attraction here on this site for most is the sheer number of posts generated

offering a good range of views that are current and complement the thread as posters

bounce views of each other provideing more insight into the thread.than just the facts

.that most already know .heavy traffic provides oppion and sentiment as well as info



other sites that have few posts on each topic have 2 basic major problems

1.the posts offer a very shallow/uninformative view

2.the posts become outdated/irrelavant quickly


high traffic and large # of members is a ...must have for survival....

of any chat room


surely the larger these numbers are... the more attractive it would be to potential advertizers ????


a EG of a VIABLE site that has had a vast array of paying advertizers and

huge # of traffic and members for many years now

is http://www.trade2win.com

they seem to grow all the time in members and services they provide

altho there aussie component on stocks .i found to be small in number



trade2win is a free site for members to join

they then have a option of a enhanced pay to join for extra premium services i think




chargeing for chat rooms does 3 really bad things to the owners of the site


1. almost all existing members will leave causing trafic and posts to be few and far between


2.almost all potential new visitors wont join once they see theres a cost to join up

and they will asume most other posters wont be on a pay to use site


3.low numbers will make the site very unattractive to paying advertizers


cheers carefully



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Running a website the size of Sharescene on advertising revenue, it doesn't really work. It's a old dot.com fantasy that hasn't died because it's in the interest of advertising firms and search engines for the idea not to be crushed.


If you want to see it in practice, take a look at other Australian financial forums (I'm sure all know at least two) The sites are full of ads, they email you weekly ads, they ask for donations. The forums have been bought/sold a number of times in the last couple of years, each new player provides a improved service for a couple of months but that seems to drop off (Honeymoon phase, I believe they start to grasp that income doesn't cover the cost and look for ways to cut cost), As service drops the forum gets slower (they move to a cheaper ISP), crashes more often, abuse and ramping increases, members leave, the core design/software is never improved... the cycle completes and the forum is back up for sale.


Sharescene.com is currently free because of the kind donations of time (and funds) from a handful of people. As the site grows, so does the demand it places on that handful of people....the "hobby" as become a "job"


Kahuna, the idea as merit... In my last reply to you I was just pointing out that last time it didn't fly. That old plane had three wings (three options) but does mean a single winged plane won't work. The idea is still being looked at (so much so expect a PM from me for a chat)




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In reply to: forrestgump on Thursday 24/11/05 07:23am

Hi fellow members ...


Some brilliant thoughts from all & I'm sure S/S would be 'over the moon' with the interest shown on a subject they may feel just a little 'touchy' about, in fear of being seen to be 'pushing their own barrow' on.


kahuna1 is so close to the money, I feel. I will add my thoughts in the next day or, so, for what they are worth. There certainly is a "win - win" solution for all and it is a subject that should be kept 'alive' by the 'membership' until such time as a resolution can then be happily agreed on. IMHO. Successful organisations almost always reflect, a strong membership.


< I have noted other forums are now starting to incorporate this as a way of retaining the value of posters research/thoughts/opinions/efforts that may otherwise get lost in the mists of time as a forum moves forward. >


<I am sure that others would agree that if you have built a certain amount of knowledge in a perticular stock and have become part of a "de-facto" group who daily help out in that thread, then you will have answered the same questions dozens of times as new folk become interested in that stock.>


Great stuff!!




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