Australian (ASX) Stock Market Forum

The General Chat forum at ASF

How do you feel about the General Chat forum?

  • I don't mind the General Chat forum but there are too many threads on religion and politics

    Votes: 13 28.3%
  • ASF is a stock market forum - There should be more posts on stocks and the stock market

    Votes: 9 19.6%
  • I love the General Chat forum: Bring it on!

    Votes: 22 47.8%
  • I have no opinion

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • Other (see below)

    Votes: 2 4.3%

  • Total voters
    46
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An online community that is centred around a niche, especially a very specific niche such as the stock market, trading and investing, is damaged when it allows itself to be watered down (or taken over) by discussion completely unrelated to that niche.

It is made even worse when that unrelated discussion is marred by personal attacks, ugliness and divisiveness.

The bottom line is that ASF must remain focused on the stock market, trading and investing if it is to survive. The General Chat forum was only ever intended to be an after hours kind of place where those whose primary interest was financial markets could chat about off-topic subjects such as travel, hobbies, or sport. Politics too, I suppose, but not to the point where it takes over the entire community.

There is no path forward for ASF as a General Chat forum. It is simply not economically viable.


I’m sorry you feel that way Joe.

I still don’t know how we undermine ASF. I am sure that neither Basilio or I or the “small handful”, or anyone else have any desire to undermine ASF in any way.

Some of us are Pro Trump and some of us are Anti Trump but we are all PRO ASF!

I cannot agree that the US political situation is “unrelated to the niche” you mention. In fact, in my opinion, it is the complete opposite.

The Australian market is dominated by the US stock market and economy and by the Chinese market and economy. These in turn are influenced and determined by the political situation in each country, in particular the US.

Who is President in the US is directly important to the Australian stock market and economy (and many other life factors, particularly the freedom of speech).

I realise you are running a business and that your bottom line is the money you earn from it. So is Twitter, Facebook, Google etc. They have recently been lambasted for their censorship.

I have enjoyed my time at ASF and you provide a great service. I do not want to undermine it in any way.

If I have contributed to undermining it then I apologise.

I am happy to continue using ASF under the rules you stipulate.

I am, however, concerned about the deterioration of our freedom of speech but understand if you don’t want to be part of its defence, for economic reasons.
 

Joe Blow

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I cannot agree that the US political situation is “unrelated to the niche” you mention. In fact, in my opinion, it is the complete opposite.

The Australian market is dominated by the US stock market and economy and by the Chinese market and economy. These in turn are influenced and determined by the political situation in each country, in particular the US.

Who is President in the US is directly important to the Australian stock market and economy (and many other life factors, particularly the freedom of speech).

The problem is that it is not discussed this way. It is discussed in the context of pro-Trump or anti-Trump partisanship. Trump's personality has loomed so large over his Presidency that policy (especially economic policy) has very little to do with how he is discussed. There is almost no economic discussion of Trump's Presidency here. Even if there was it would soon descend into the usual personal attacks and insults.

I realise you are running a business and that your bottom line is the money you earn from it. So is Twitter, Facebook, Google etc. They have recently been lambasted for their censorship.

I have enjoyed my time at ASF and you provide a great service. I do not want to undermine it in any way.

The problem is the very few people want to advertise at a stock market website where political discussion is more prevalent than stock market discussion.

Where are all the people who are interested in ASX-listed shares? Where are the people interested in trading and long term investing?

If I have contributed to undermining it then I apologise.

I am happy to continue using ASF under the rules you stipulate.

I am, however, concerned about the deterioration of our freedom of speech but understand if you don’t want to be part of its defence, for economic reasons.

What ASF needs is for the focus to firmly remain on financial markets. Stock chat, trading chat, investment chat, forex chat, economics chat, all of it. The General Chat forum should represent no more than 20% of all posts. I would prefer less. 15% sounds about right to me.

The only way ASF can remain economically viable (and I pray this is the last time I have to say it, but I know it won't be) is for this to happen. We could use about four or five times (actually probably ten times) the stock chat we get each day. If I could take every post from the General Chat forum that has been posted just today and magically turn it into a post about an ASX-listed stock the issue would be gone immediately.

I'm not making things up, I'm not exaggerating anything. A stock market forum that isn't focused on the stock market is dead in the water.
 
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The problem is that it is not discussed this way. It is discussed in the context of pro-Trump or anti-Trump partisanship. Trump's personality has loomed so large over his Presidency that policy (especially economic policy) has very little to do with how he is discussed. There is almost no economic discussion of Trump's Presidency here. Even if there was it would soon descend into the usual partisanship.



The problem is the very few people want to advertise at a stock market website where political discussion is more prevalent than stock market discussion.

Where are all the people who are interested in ASX-listed shares? Where are the people interested in trading and long term investing?



What ASF needs is for the focus to firmly remain on financial markets. Stock chat, trading chat, investment chat, forex chat, economics chat, all of it. The General Chat forum should represent no more than 20% of all posts. I would prefer less.

The only way ASF can remain economically viable (and I pray this is the last time I have to say it, but I know it won't be) is for this to happen. We could use about four or five times (actually probably ten times) the stock chat we get each day. If I could take every post from the General Chat forum that has been posted just today and magically turn it into a post about an ASX-listed stock the issue would be gone immediately.

I'm not making things up, I'm not exaggerating anything. A stock market forum that isn't focused on the stock market is dead in the water.
I hear you.
I will try and desist from GC and try harder in the other areas of the forum. Cheers.
 
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I rarely post on specific stocks but do comment on general topics

To me the problem in General Chat is the sheer volume of posts that are copy and paste, I doubt that many people read them because it is similar to being shouted at.

To paste 5 or 6 very long partisan pieces at the same time certainly does detract from the forum.

I enjoy reading peoples opinion, but I prefer the members of the forum to post their own opinion, not someone else's opinion who is paid to write.

If we need to post our own opinion then the posts are going to be a Lot shorter
 

Joe Blow

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I rarely post on specific stocks but do comment on general topics

To me the problem in General Chat is the sheer volume of posts that are copy and paste, I doubt that many people read them because it is similar to being shouted at.

To paste 5 or 6 very long partisan pieces at the same time certainly does detract from the forum.

I enjoy reading peoples opinion, but I prefer the members of the forum to post their own opinion, not someone else's opinion who is paid to write.

If we need to post our own opinion then the posts are going to be a Lot shorter

There is one person here in particular who is bent on posting as many articles about politics as possible relentlessly, almost all without any comment apart from maybe once sentence. These posts are a waste of space and serve no purpose. They are nothing more than blatant political agenda pushing with little to no thought behind them.

Find an article that supports your agenda, post a link, go find another article that supports your agenda, post a link. Rinse and repeat.

Anyone that wants to do that, please go here and start your free blog: https://wordpress.com/create-blog/

ASF should be a place of in-depth, nuanced, thoughtful discussion and debate.
 
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I think you're probably right. It's becoming very clear what needs to happen in order to solve this situation. A small handful of people who simply cannot stop pushing partisan political agendas need to be shown the door and escorted off the premises.
My personal view is that religion and politics are inherently problematic subjects.

I doubt you'd have any real drama if GC was simply people posting some random photos of their holidays, links to music they like and so on. First because there won't be too many of those posts, there's a limit to how much anyone's going to post on those subjects, and second because nobody's going to find it offensive or take a strong view about it.

If for example someone wants to discuss the details of how weather impacts crop yields or the effects of COVID lockdowns on gas consumption (as random examples) then that's not a financial topic in itself but if someone's invested in relevant companies then it's useful background information for those taking a deep fundamental approach. I personally can't see any actual harm in that.

Politics and religion however, well those topics tend to be dynamite and I think the American pubs with their "No Politics or Religion" signs have it right.......... :2twocents
 

wayneL

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I think what I am seeing is that 99% that our members here want to see the forum survive and prosper.

And there are plenty of other places for us to exercise our political opinions... Not just silicon valley giants but also other alternatives.

Slowly I'm coming around to the possibility that may be political discussion on this particular forum might not be such a good thing.

Dunno, just thinking aloud.
 
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The problem is the very few people want to advertise at a stock market website where political discussion is more prevalent than stock market discussion.

Where are all the people who are interested in ASX-listed shares? Where are the people interested in trading and long term investing?

With all due respect Joe, I think the ASF problems will not be solved by stifling the General Chat forums, but by improving the Stock forums.

I have mentioned this every time this discussion comes up, but the design of ASF does little to encourage stock discussion. Perhaps I don't understand how to use it properly, but I find it difficult to find anything pertinent when I do search on Stocks. I just did a search on CSL using the search field and limited the search to the titles only. There were only two threads with CSL in the title. The one specific to CSL had about 2 posts per months on average. Just 1 each in the last two months. None of the posts has a heading to indicate what is being discussed (what aspect of CSL is being discussed).

I don't want to have to search to find a stock I want to discuss. You badly need to provide a watch list like your competitor Hot Copper and present all the most recent posts pertinent to the watch list when one opens ASF. I have about 20 stocks in my Hot Copper watch list and when I open Hot Copper it will present me with all recent posts concerning those stocks in reverse chronological order. And each post has a topic header which indicates what is being discussed. So when I open Hot Copper now, on the first page (my home page) I get about 100 posts relating to stocks in my watch list that were made in the last 2 - 3 days. About 20 relate to CSL and they are discussing 3 different topics. If a topic doesn't interest me, I can skip without having to read the contents of those posts and just open posts for those topics I am interested in.

As far as I can see I cannot do this on ASF. Apart from having to search to find a stock I am interested in, I then have to read each post to see if they are discussing something that interests me about the stock, as there is no topic heading. I just can't be bothered.

As I said, IMO it is not the General Chat that is the problem with ASF, but the fact that it is not user friendly when it comes to stock posts.

This is about the 5th or 6th time I have made this observation about ASF. Each time, as above, I have included the proviso Perhaps I don't understand how to use it properly. However, no one has ever responded saying that's right, you don't know how to use it properly, which suggests to me that I am right about the ASF design.

All I can say is that if political or other non-stock related discussion is stifled in General Chat, I will have no reason to visit ASF.

Just an addendum to this post. Often when I open Hot Copper and look at the recent posts and topics being discussed about my watch list stocks, I can usually establish in about 20 seconds that nothing is being discussed of interest to me and move on to some other website. I would guess that it would take me at least 30 minutes to do the same in ASF. I don't have this amount of time to waste just to find out there is nothing I want to read here today. With HC, I can do this 10 or 20 times a day meaning I will get on to their site and register clicks or what ever metric interests their advertisers. If there wasn't General Chat, there is no way I would do that several times a day on ASF for stocks, possibly wasting 30 minutes to see nothing new is posted of interest to me.
 
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IFocus

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Joe, I think you are being very unfair in regards to the single poster(Bas).

However if the politic discussion on your site is a bight to your business then I have no objection what's so ever as to what ever you do.

I would however point out that this period in time / western history is one of the great turning points never to be seen again......ever.

This point in history will determine the forces that carry humanity forward either on the basis of culture wars / populists / wealth verse fairness /or science verses political power and then we have the rise of China which I think will eventually over whelm Australia regardless.

Then there is the pandemic that alone will bring change no matter what.

Considering all of the above and more the discussions have been mild (really) given the forces involved.

However its your site and if its not good for you then pull the plug

Cheers
 
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I'm not trying to push Hot Copper, but just trying to illustrate what makes ASF a big no no for me in relation to posting about stocks. In case what I mentioned above about my HC home page is not something people are familiar with, this is the first screen I am presented with when I go into HC. In fact it is a third of what is on my home page and I can scroll down to get another two pages like this. If ASF could provide the same functionality, then I would much prefer to discuss stocks here.

1604406814974.png
 

Joe Blow

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With all due respect Joe, I think the ASF problems will not be solved by stifling the General Chat forums, but by improving the Stock forums.

Fair enough.

I have mentioned this every time this discussion comes up, but the design of ASF does little to encourage stock discussion. Perhaps I don't understand how to use it properly, but I find it difficult to find anything pertinent when I do search on Stocks. I just did a search on CSL using the search field and limited the search to the titles only. There were only two threads with CSL in the title. The one specific to CSL had about 2 posts per months on average. Just 1 each in the last two months. None of the posts has a heading to indicate what is being discussed (what aspect of CSL is being discussed).

I don't want to have to search to find a stock I want to discuss. You badly need to provide a watch list like your competitor Hot Copper and present all the most recent posts pertinent to the watch list when one opens ASF. I have about 20 stocks in my Hot Copper watch list and when I open Hot Copper it will present me with all recent posts concerning those stocks in reverse chronological order. And each post has a topic header which indicates what is being discussed. So when I open Hot Copper now, on the first page (my home page) I get about 100 posts relating to stocks in my watch list that were made in the last 2 - 3 days.

If you want to keep track of a thread then click the "Watch" button at the top of each page of a thread. You'll see it just above the first post on any thread page on the right had side. That thread will then be added to your list of watched threads. You access this list by clicking the "Watched" menu item in the Forums submenu.

screenshot-www.aussiestockforums.com-2020.11.03-22_24_31.png


You can also elect to be notified by email or a forum alert when a watched thread is updated. It is the same "Watchlist" functionality that HC has.

About 20 relate to CSL and they are discussing 3 different topics. If a topic doesn't interest me, I can skip without having to read the contents of those posts and just open posts for those topics I am interested in.
As far as I can see I cannot do this on ASF. Apart from having to search to find a stock I am interested in, I then have to read each post to see if they are discussing something that interests me about the stock, as there is no topic heading. I just can't be bothered.

Yes, there are currently no topic headings in threads.

As I said, IMO it is not the General Chat that is the problem with ASF, but the fact that it is not user friendly when it comes to stock posts.

Well I accept that there are some shortcomings and room for improvement. However, in terms of feedback there is very little consensus about what people specifically want changed, although you have given me some food for thought. More opinions or feedback from other ASF members is most certainly welcome.

This is about the 5th or 6th time I have made this observation about ASF. Each time, as above, I have included the proviso Perhaps I don't understand how to use it properly. However, no one has ever responded saying that's right, you don't know how to use it properly, which suggests to me that I am right about the ASF design.

I'm sure there are some ways of doing things here that you are probably not aware of. I should provide a tutorial in a post somewhere, and will do so within the next week.

I'm not keen on making ASF like HC but I am prepared to take useful features that may exist there and try to incorporate them here. As I mentioned above the same "Watchlist" functionality exists here it's just accessed from a link in a different place. Obviously any changes won't happen overnight but I will do what I can to make some improvements in the short term.
 

Joe Blow

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Joe, I think you are being very unfair in regards to the single poster(Bas).

I'm sorry but bas posts 95% of his posts in political threads. Most of them consist of a sentence or two with a link to a partisan website that he agrees with. I do not find this interesting, constructive or conducive to discussion. What Bas really needs a blog and I think ASF is simply a substitute for a blog. He uses it like a blog and posts like he's posting to a blog.

I would however point out that this period in time / western history is one of the great turning points never to be seen again......ever.

I accept that, but I still don't want people here who post 50 posts a day in political threads and two posts a week in other forums. That stops now. If bas persists with it, he'll be banned. Enough is enough.

This point in history will determine the forces that carry humanity forward either on the basis of culture wars / populists / wealth verse fairness /or science verses political power and then we have the rise of China which I think will eventually over whelm Australia regardless.

I have decided that I would rather ban individuals than eliminate political discussion entirely. Obviously it would be almost impossible to have no political discussion whatsoever. But the days of 50 posts a day in political threads are over, completely and utterly.

Anyone who is just here to post in political threads can go and do so at Facebook. ASF is a stock market forum and it will never be turned into a political forum.
 
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If I could single out one problem with ASF it's that it has managed to drive away quite a few posters who made a substantial contribution, and I am referring to stock threads here, but whom someone else didn't like for whatever reason.

There's almost always more than one way to do something and whilst one way may have advantages, that doesn't mean the alternative isn't valid as such. If what someone's posting doesn't make sense then that'll come out via sensible discussion and analysis, there's no need to hound them out.

That reeks of a boys club mentality. Get rid of anyone who's lower in the hierarchy but good enough that they could potentially surpass those currently at the top. It's a problem that infests many businesses, especially large corporates and the public service, but it isn't confined to that situation.

Having seen some of those discussions, it does put me off commenting on anything that plausibly leads down that path yes.

In saying that I'll note that there's a major difference between "I disagree with your analysis for these reasons......." versus "you're an idiot........" type of discussion. The former is what the forum needs more of, the latter has no place. :2twocents
 
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If there wasn't General Chat, there is no way I would do that several times a day on ASF for stocks, possibly wasting 30 minutes to see nothing new is posted of interest to me.

I guess you could start by posting something of interest yourself ?
 

Joe Blow

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You badly need to provide a watch list like your competitor Hot Copper and present all the most recent posts pertinent to the watch list when one opens ASF. I have about 20 stocks in my Hot Copper watch list and when I open Hot Copper it will present me with all recent posts concerning those stocks in reverse chronological order.

I just added 11 stocks to my watched threads list in about five minutes. My watched threads page now looks like this:

screenshot-www.aussiestockforums.com-2020.11.04-01_21_43.png


Isn't this kind of what you are after, except the new posts aren't listed individually? If you click on any of the thread titles you'll be taken to the most recent unread post in that thread.
 
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Probably the last I'll say on this but this is at least partly symptomatic of a broader issue in society.

Social media, and I am including forums as part of that, is a great platform for sharing ideas on relatively niche subjects. It works with everything from your own family to entertainment to serious things like investing. It facilitates a media platform for subjects far too niche to have ever been of interest to broadcast radio, TV or print newspapers.

It is however not the way real decisions are made as to how the world operates. An author might convince their fans to buy their latest book by posting online but that's as far as it goes, they're not going to convince those who've never heard of them and who aren't following them on whatever platform. To a large extent they're preaching to the converted, those who'd have bought it anyway.

Reaching a wider audience who aren't in what is effectively the 2020 version of a fan club still requires far more conventional means of advertising be it billboards, paid online advertising, on the side of buses, on radio or whatever or for politics it involves the same direct lobbying that has been around for decades.

Arguing that this or that should or shouldn't happen on ASF isn't going to change what actually happens, there's simply no point using the forum as a platform for lobbying.

To the extent there's an actual point in political discussion here, it's about impartially evaluating the impact of policy changes by the government or the policies of credible opposition parties who may be elected to government. Evaluating as in assessing what implications those policies have for particular companies, the markets in general or investors directly. Evaluating meaning just that - we're not going to change those policies here, there's zero chance of that.

Assessing the implications for listed companies if the Democrats win the US election is of at least some relevance to the forum, especially to the extent that Australian companies are affected.

Arguing which side ought to win is completely pointless however since there'd be very few who are voting in the election and who are reading this forum. No matter how compelling your argument, it's a completely wasted effort posting it on a stock market forum based in Australia. :2twocents
 
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Isn't this kind of what you are after, except the new posts aren't listed individually? If you click on any of the thread titles you'll be taken to the most recent unread post in that thread.

It's an improvement and I didn't know one could do that. But it is only a part of the way and a very small part. Having the new posts listed individually is really what I want and also a topic header. For ASF, if there is activity in 15 of my watched stocks, I have to click on each and read the posts to see if it is discussing a topic of interest. As I said, this could take half an hour for fairly active stocks and what a waste of time if nothing of interest to me is discussed. When you look at the Hot Copper extract I posted above, to do the same only takes seconds, and because it only takes seconds I might do it 10 times a day. They get the clicks. There is no way I am going to go into ASF once an hour and click on each active stock that I follow to see if what is new is something I am interested in reading or contributing to.

I am just trying to be honest in telling what deters me from using the stocks part of ASF.
 
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