Our Foolish Core Values and You
Dear Foolish Bloggers -
We’ve heard from several of our bloggers that another investing site has tried to lure them away from the Fool. We always welcome competition – competitive is actually one of our core values. I'm not sure if this will work, but I’m going to try to use all of our Foolish core values to lay out what we see as our benefits to you, in order to help you make the best decision for your situation and your future. Sorry it’s long, but, as always, we want you to have all the information you need.
When we started the Blog Network, we measured ourselves primarily on sessions. But in the time we've been doing this, we've found that developing top talent is a pretty good business model, so we changed our metrics, our approach, and our team structure in order to focus more on you.
Our in-house team works closely with our bloggers to help them hone their writing and analytical skills. As a result, I’m proud to report that as of this writing, 29 bloggers have earned full-time TMF jobs or writing contracts with Fool.com within the past year. These roles pay well and provide access to our entire suite of premium newsletter services (and I think we send you a FOOL hat). Today, The Motley Fool as a company has adopted this innovative model, and the Blog Network is the primary pipeline for all of the Fool's analytical and editorial hiring.
We wouldn't be where we are without our contributors. Yes, you provide the content, but you also have shaped our network. You told us what you wanted in a blogging platform and a business partner. So we shaped the CMS to meet your needs. We provided story ideas for those of you who were suffering from writer’s block. You’ve asked for more flexibility in a payment system, so even though we already send payments an industry-leading twice a month, we’re working on a deal to pay you on demand, in the currency and through the payment delivery method you want.
We truly are partners with each of you, and we have seen dozens – if not hundreds – of examples of one side making the other better. Our collaboration will always be core to the Fool’s Blog Network.
We make mistakes, and when we do, we own up to them. If we come across examples of deceit or plagiarism, we cut ties with that blogger immediately. If there’s an error in a post, we don’t sneak in a fix; we work with the blogger to correct it and we include a note that the content was changed. And we’ll never allow anonymous posts or pseudonyms, because we need our contributors to stand behind their work.
Most importantly, though, we treat you as adults (even our high-school age bloggers). We communicate frequently in an open and transparent way. And we always strive to give you the information you need to become the best contributor you can be. As a result, our editors can be tough, challenging our high-quality bloggers especially to push themselves to new levels. But, as one blogger wrote, “I save good editors. I treasure them. I honor them. I need them. I'm very glad that at The Motley Fool, I have such active ones.”
Hmmm. This is a tough one to execute with a group that stretches from Singapore to Ecuador. But we try to instill in the Blog Network the sense of fun we have at the Fool. Jason Hall and John Bromels are currently amusing our Facebook group (if you want access, click here). We try to encourage our contributors to write with a smile on their face, believing that will allow their wit and humor to come across to readers (we’re allergic to boring rehashes of press releases). And based on the fact that the attendees at our Blogger Bonanza (including, whaddya know, contributors from Singapore and Ecuador) were still at Fool HQ hours after the event ended, I’d say they had fun.
But the real fun is the joy I hear from so many of you to learn that you can actually share your investing thoughts with tens of thousands of people and get paid for it. As another blogger wrote, “It’s a godsend for this introvert who loves stocks. If it wasn't for you guys I would most likely be sitting on top of a mountain somewhere watching a piece of mine equipment at an idled coal mine as a security guard.” Not working as a coal mine guard – now that’s fun! And that brings us back to…
I’m not going to lie, I really like to win. I want every interaction you have with the Fool’s Blog Network to be noteworthy, in that you tell your friends about us (which, incidentally, means a referral bonus for you if they join us). I want you to get rapid responses when you send in questions. I want to meet your technological and financial needs. I want to give you the resources you need. And I want The Motley Fool Blog Network to provide the voice for the individual investor, a place where intelligent stock analysts write the clearest, most compelling investing content available. When we win in those regards, we all win together.
Oh, the sixth core value is your own personal Motley, a fill-in-the-blank value that each Fool creates for him or herself. My Motley is Evolution (and I encourage you to come up with your own and post it to our Facebook group). I look forward to the ongoing evolution of The Motley Fool Blog Network as we continue to work together to educate, amuse, and enrich.
If you have questions, please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to answer in a timely, friendly manner. Also, we want to continue to improve your blogging experience, so as always, we welcome your thoughts on how we can continue to make this the best blogging platform on the web.