I have been sitting with some big corporate partners for Stocktwits the last month and we have been with some people that get it and some that just don’t. I am truly amazed at the million of man hours in corporate America aimed at community building. After all this time, product managers believe they can sit around a conference room and just design the perfect community. They can’t, they have never done it and they won’t. I have sat in meetings where they acknowledge/accept us as a great community and than just talk as if we left the room talking widgets and features and ranking systems….OYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
I don’t think you can set out to build a community. I think the best communities just happen. When Soren and I started out Stocktwits it was to use what we thought was a great platform – ‘Twitter’ – to build a niche chat platform for idea exchange. No mentions of community. ‘Real Investors, Real Ideas, Real Time’. I guess we should have known we could be on to some kind of community when our tag line came from a follower as a kind gesture. Soren and I wanted something for US. I wanted to be able to follow smart people on a subject that I had a passion about – stocks. Pretty simple. We have been lucky enough to get a community started, one that thankfully has embraced the idea of idea exchange around stocks, but we are not taking it for granted.
Now that we are adding a few thousand subscribers/day, things are picking up fast on the Stocktwits streams. Everyone wants features, features, features. I won’t tell you what we have planned, but I will tell you ‘less is more’. That does not mean we are not listening because we are, it’s just that when you see our features, they won’t take away from what made this community great so fast. We believe that features for niches are quite different than features for ‘platforms’ is the only hint I will offer at the moment. All that said, we have lot’s of small changes coming to the site to make the experience better. You have asked for many smart ones.
OK…back to the tile of the post.
I love the ‘ALL’ stream because I am an owner and love finding smart people to engage that may be a first time user. I am addicted to it. BUT, you won’t find me making trades off the ‘ALL’ stream. With respect to all the sentiment talk on our site and sites around the web, count me in the skeptical camp. I don’t believe in sentiment as a tool. I believe in following smart traders and investors that have shown integrity and discipline in their trading and postiing. I don’t want the ‘noise’ of reading tea leaves and sentiment. That is why using our filters is important. That is why using the discovery features of Twitter and Stocktwits is important. Sure, you can blindly follow me or our recommended stream, but why be lazy and maybe lucky when all the tools are available RIGHT NOW to find, follow and than connect with people that could help change your financial future.
I use Tweetdeck for most of my Stocktwits use, other than ticker symbol search, but with Tweetdeck I am ‘hotlinked’ to the site from the $ (tickersymbols) anyways. I use an ‘All’ Column, a ‘Recommended’ Column and my own filtered down short list which I call ‘Stock Peeps’. I further recommend building a column that has just tweets about your stocks or ones on your watch list and you can filter that down further by only having people you follow who comment on your portfolio stocks.
I am a huge believer in trend following and the less transactions the better, but would be lying if I said my trading has not increased since January. It has, and I am happy about it. I run a hedge fund and am busy with other projects, but my goal for partners is to make money. The streams I have set up have made me smarter, given me the best feel for the market I have ever had and are like a ‘training wheels’ and ‘shortcut’ to winning ideas.
I am not a chart studier nor a sentiment junkie so when the market is not trending, I have no edge. I just do not have the time nor inclination to study as much as the people I am competing against in the trading pits. That’s where following successful traders willing to share comes in for me.
I would love to say that investing was as simple as Keith Shepard points out in this great blog post . I guess it is and could be for the right person. I can guarantee you it is not as hard or as much work as some people on the stream make it out to be.
I hope we help you find your correct path That’s what we are here for.