Change the bulletin boards design!

Wednesday, Mar 07 2012 by

The reason why so few companies are discussed here is because the site design is the least user friendly of the BB's.

I alone am now up to a list of 28 people who say that if the discussion boards were better designed they would post on companies. As it is, they don't bother visiting.

For example, what discussion was there on the Bowleven 'expression of interest RNS' from DGO? Just one example of many.

The BB's drive the traffic, and this, sadly, has clearly failed miserably.

The latest update may incorporate some fancy stuff, but how many will bother to look?

If you have to, steal design ideas from TMF and ADVFN; but change the bulletin boards, so they are usable!!!


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As per our Terms of Use, Stockopedia is a financial news & data site, discussion forum and content aggregator. Our site should be used for educational & informational purposes only. We do not provide investment advice, recommendations or views as to whether an investment or strategy is suited to the investment needs of a specific individual. You should make your own decisions and seek independent professional advice before doing so. The author may own shares in any companies discussed, all opinions are his/her own & are general/impersonal. Remember: Shares can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance & investors may not get back the amount invested.

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24 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

snickers 7th Mar '12 5 of 24

agree with the clutter complaints. scrap the middle sections and the floating side panels.. but isn't there more white space padding on this page today as well? i can't bear padding.
but this site is laid out to be something different to company specific board sites, isnt it? that's obviously being done elsewhere, with the necessary critical mass. good threads here are ones that range a bit wider, into sectors or economics or psychology etc. broadens out your horizons. maybe you ought to shunt the compnay specific threads off to the side somehow, & concentrate on aggregating more of those high quality bloggers. or lock marben in your cellar. where a comprehensive thread has built up for 1 firm, like for aminex, it stands as a kind of exempl-um .. of how to approach / investigate a company.

question about your stock screener: in the ones which you made yourself there are criteria like 'net debt < 3 times net income'. which seems useful and unique. are you making that available for the user-made screens?

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Murakami 7th Mar '12 6 of 24

Thanks for the comments - all noted and we'll bear them in mind. Snickers, just on the data, yes, we're planning to continually expand the set of ratios that are available for custom-made screening. This is a first pass (albeit a fairly major one!), and there's a lot more to come on the data side. It will take a bit of time as there are some interface and also database issues that we need to bear in mind, but it's all part of the plan. We've written an introduction to the Screening here - - similar to the Stock Reports one (, but we will be adding an introductory video soon too. 

p.s. Going forward, it would be appreciated if any feature suggestions / comments could be made via the Green Feedback Button - that allows us to track them much more easily so they are more likely to be acted on, & we'd like to keep the Boards focused on investing discussion. That will take you here - - where suggestions can be voted on.

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emptyend 7th Mar '12 7 of 24

Nice idea Murakami - except for the fact that your feedback pages don't recognise the fact that I have signed in on Stockopedia and won't let me sign in again to make a comment where you asked us to. Fortunately I copied what I was going to say!!

One other point that I failed to make earlier:
With discussion boards there is REAL merit to cleanness of form - and it is rarely a good idea to muck around with the user interface unless one is radically simplifying it!
These changes are a step backwards in that respect.
Indeed since I stopped posting on TMF several years ago and started posting here, you have had 3-4 redesigns and TMF has had none. I may (and do) disagree with the way that TMF don't moderate their boards according to their own set of rules - but they have had the eminent good sense not to muck about with the visual aspects of the layout once (AFAICT) in last 5 years.
Clean it up, make it easier to use - and then leave it alone. Thats my advice.

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Isaac 7th Mar '12 8 of 24


I'm afraid I agree with your post. IMO if ee were to get back on TMF I think Stockopedia could die as a lot of the readers frequent this board to listen to his views on Soco.

It is a shame because it appears there has been a lot of hard work and effort and time spent by the admin.

But it is also a shame ee left TMF as I always felt he was an interesting poster to read beyond Soco & with him and Darron posting less then they used to it really is a shame, Keith is very good at expressing the macro view IMO.

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rhomboid1 7th Mar '12 9 of 24

I think that the points have been well made, the revamp has resulted in no benefit i can see as far as the discussion boards are concerned, the low level of user participation is the big issue as it is approaching negligible , therefore simplifying the discussion fora should be the number 1 priority , espec. For smartphone or ipad users , as i type virtually half the screen real estate is blank white!

Good luck

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ohisay 7th Mar '12 10 of 24

In reply to post #64564

I'll just make one observation - you are not going to get anything resembling a proper debate about anything on stockopedia unless you remove the facility for negative reccing of a post.
To my knowledge this is the only bulletin board worldwide which currently has this.

Really this  can only be justified if the posters  think the opinion expressed is so underesearched /of such abysmal quality or abusive that it has little or no merit or - more to the point it doesn't advance the debate one iota.

Unfortunately what seems to happen here is that its often used just because a viewer doesn't agree with the opinion expressed .

This can't be right can it ? - as far as I can see it just stifles debate.

Junk the negative recs and introduce a filter button for the time wasters /rampers /abusive posters etc wtc .

To Stockopedia - Why not do a vote amongst viewers to see if they agree with the proposition .?


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snickers 8th Mar '12 11 of 24

i like the negative vote. so there!
obviously it only adds value if the down votes fall on TA and ramping, but i think they do, on the whole. it seems to be a mysterious emergent property of stockopedia that it's working that way, unlike your ii where the posts to avoid are the ones with the blue ticks.
i see they [stockopedia] are putting the votes both for and against up, not just a total.

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alano20 8th Mar '12 12 of 24

I too like the negative vote and find it very useful in showing what other people think.

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emptyend 8th Mar '12 13 of 24

In reply to post #64578

Yes - I also very much like the negative vote....even though I'm certain I get my share from time to time.

I don't like having to use ADVFN-style filters, because you then are unable to see ANY of their posts. And I might note that even the person who attracts most of my negative votes here still gets the thumbs up from me for 10-15% of their posts......because there are sometimes some good points that are being well made.

Incidentally, I don't think fewer posts from Darron have much to do with the quality of debate etc (other than the fact that discussion boards of all sorts are generally proving less and less useful as a medium for reasoned debate). AFAIAA, he is busier than last year and has other more pressing priorities.


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Fangorn 8th Mar '12 14 of 24

I would personally have preferred an ignore function myself as there are at least two posters(or judging by their posting style,and the fact that the second,a supporter of the first, was only set up today are in fact one and the same) I'm sick of seeing. It would brighten up my day to not see them, or any threads they set up!

What was potentially a decent thread has turned into a constant Adfvn style ramp

^This last comment, for the avoidance of doubt, was directed at a particular company thread, rather than this one!! :)
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Edward Croft 8th Mar '12 15 of 24

Hi all - valuable feedback as ever. I happen to agree that there's too much going on now in between the header and the posts and probably too many images clunking around - so we'll look to shift things around a bit today.   I would say though that nothing else has changed - font sizes, padding, behaviour etc are all the same - in fact this is the one part of the site whose functionality we really haven't touched aside from the middle content and top navigation (which is better imo).

On the topic of generally redesigning the bulletin boards - as emptyend mentions we already did that when the site was really busy with chat in 2010/ early 2011 - it actually improved the amount of conversation on the site and we received a huge amount of positive feedback on the discovery aspects. The thing to recognise is that better 'design' doesn't drive conversation - what drives conversation is conversation - people will learn how to use any system if the conversation is there.  (On that note I still can't navigate TMF and I've been trying to for 10 years !).

Anyways - aside from shifting some of the clutter around on this page I must stress that our development focus is now on making better investing tools/products - so if you have feedback on that front I'm all ears. If you want to road test the data product, there's no cost for 2 weeks for something that a fund manager told me he'd pay £20k for.  There's an amazing amount of analysis and power under the hood - which dare I say might give everyone a few more stock ideas to talk about !

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sirlurkalot 8th Mar '12 16 of 24


Looking at the signup page for your Pro product, I see you're heading panEuropean. Should you instead be heading Asian? Nowadays I invest as much on the Singapore exchange as London, and it's really not very difficult. I suspect a lot more info on Asian companies is available in the English language than info on European ones in English, so language is less of a problem for English-only speakers in Asia than panEurope. The companies are more attractive in Asia than panEurope as well, and there's a shortage of analysis products like your Pro so anything you started up would stand out. I'm convinced investing around Asia has better prospects and is more practical than panEuropean, and I suspect for your business it would be a better direction to head than panEuropean, which I doubt looks tempting for retail investors nowadays. You've set up a lot of investing tools here which aren't as fully used as they deserve to be, and if you directed the same IT effort at opening up Asian investing to retail punters I think your product might well stand out more. How many retail investors are you going to interest in panEuropean investing? Not many I'd guess. How many might you interest in Asian investing? Far more potential IMO, and far less competing products. You'd just about have first mover advantage with a similar product to your Pro.

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ExTownie 8th Mar '12 17 of 24

Clicking on the red '1 new' link no longer takes me to the new post, but the top of the thread. Is this a general issue or browser-specific to IE9?


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Edward Croft 8th Mar '12 18 of 24

In reply to post #64603

sirlurkalot - thanks for the feedback and I wholeheartedly agree. At the moment our data-segmentation licence with Reuters is pan-European so we will first be opening up Europe as a result. But yes Asia is where its at imo... the potential for growth stocks over there is enormous. We actually do have an office in Bangalore so are well placed to push in that direction - realistically its going to be 2013 before we are able to open it up though due to our current commitments.

On the other hand the crisis in Europe is bound to be throwing up some awesome pan-european value investing opportunities that we are all blind do right now so I'll be v. interested once we open up the box! I don't know who has tried Ben Graham style strategies across Europe but one may imagine that he's just as effective there or even more so due to less efficient markets.

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sirlurkalot 8th Mar '12 19 of 24

In reply to post #64608

"Ben Graham style strategies across Europe but one may imagine that he's just as effective there or even more so due to less efficient markets."
You mean of course BG strategies across Europe may be more effective than in the UK, which I agree may well be true, but I suspect such strategies would be even more effective in Asia.  For an investor who's been around the block a few times like myself, Asian investing is like visiting the sweet shop - you're surrounded by companies with far more tempting metrics than the stuff in the UK.  I suspect winkling out bargains with attractive prospects in panEurope would be barely easier than in the UK, and of course there'd be language issues with smaller companies so smaller underresearched cos may not be a practical way forward for some. 


"We actually do have an office in Bangalore"

I understand you probably mean that's where you do IT work, but AIUI the Indian stock market is closed to non-Indians so that's not a fruitful country for investment for the rest of us.  I certainly don't/can't? invest in India now.  I hope one day soon I will be.

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alwaysafloat 8th Mar '12 20 of 24

In reply to post #64561

This is my first post on Stocko. so be kind... My 2p on the changed layout.....
It's always going to be difficult to come up with the 'one size fits all board' as I'm sure the level of interest will vary considerably between the experienced investor to the inexperienced.
In the past I've found Stocko useful for two reasons - one because I'm a Soco shareholder and the information flow is better here than there (the other place) but secondly) I've found the portfolio option is quite good at keeping track on my 15 or so shares on a daily basis (i probably check the porty at least 5 times a day and by staying logged in, makes it easy to switch screems to have a keep track). I've always found the Notification of RNS's very useful but I've never been able to get to the RNS up by clicking on the link so, I usually note which of my shares have a news item and then I trundle over to Digitallook to look them up individually. This may seem weird but it works for me.
The problem is I theStocko porty doesn't now appear to show the RNS/news anymore. Has it been removed or am I missing the obvious link?

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promethean 8th Mar '12 21 of 24

In reply to post #64613

Alwaysafloat - we have access to far more news now as we've got the Reuters news database. We'll be adding the notifications back in v. shortly (we have them in the development branch) but the Reuters API has a bug which is showing old RNS from yesterday as being 'today' - it will be back v. soon.

PS - big plans in the portfolio section in coming months!

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Isaac 8th Mar '12 22 of 24

I am looking at the filters/screeners....they look pretty good. It is clear a lot of hard work has gone into it.

IMO Stocko should look to write articles based on their screens for readers to understand how it all works & how much value it can add to ones investing.

How much money could be raised through internet traffic if Stockopedia made all their screens completely free?

I think the site can take traffic from the likes of





It is an interesting idea, buy a reuters terminal, create a site that allows data to be screened from a database which creates loads of traffic.

I personally can see in the not so distant future all of this data become free on the internet, the clearest sign yet has been google agreeing a deal with the LSE to provide live share prices :

Sirlurk - The stock screener is very very good and it is free & provides International data :

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Dave Brickell 9th Mar '12 23 of 24

In reply to post #64621

Hi Isaac, thanks for checking it out. I've replied in detail here.

Website: Stockopedia PRO
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Edward Croft 9th Mar '12 24 of 24

Hi All - thanks for all the feedback on the discussion board changes.  We switched them back and removed some clutter - we are keeping the stock information in the flow of the page but have moved the related content to the sidebar - so its vice versa to the old design.  There's the same amount of space between the header and posts now as there was before. As mentioned previously everything else is the same - so hope that's fixed some of the issues (although we're thinking further about simplification & content navigation too). We'll be closing this thread soon. Please can we move all product discussions either to (you may need to sign in once with the same ID but hopefully not) or on this other thread here if it relates to the data application

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