Online Friends and Family (Fribble) June 29, 2000

Fribble Online Friends and Family

By Deannda L. Neufer (
June 29, 2000

Who was it that had that "Friends and Family" campaign? MCI? Well, to communicate through them you've got to pay by the minute. I've got a better one for you and it's free. It's call The Motley Fool Message Boards.

There is a community here that is as alive and growing and sometimes as crowded as the one outside your door. You have different neighborhoods and different people in those neighborhoods, as close as your keyboard and monitor, and there for you just like a real family.

And there is such a variety of boards -- something for everyone. For example:

The Credit Cards board, for help with paying off those credit cards and doing your happy dance when you finally get there. You have Help with This Stupid Computer, Beginning Investors, Budgeting, Pet Lovers, Hunzi's Ironing Board, Hype, Hysteria & Runkle, and Aruba's Isle of Revenge, for when you just don't know how to get satisfaction for that lousy customer service. There is even a Quitting Smoking board started by Tom Gardner himself to help members of this community find support and help in their journey to a smoke-free life.

And the people on these boards are ready to help. They are a part of the friends and family network that is so important to the Fool. They are people just like you and me. There are doctors, lawyers, members of the military, homemakers, teachers, everyday people that want to share their Foolish ideas and help each other.

There have been many a night when I'm up much later than I should be, but thanks to time zones, I can always find someone home at the Fool. Be it someone on the West Coast, just getting ready to settle down for the evening, or someone in Germany or England just starting their day -- there's always someone around.

I think the reason people can become so close so quickly on the Internet is that we only have the other person's written word to go by. I've met some of the people from the Fool and have found them to be as kind and caring in person as they are online. The friendships I have here are not fantasies, nor are they physical, but they are as real (in my mind and heart) as the hand that types these messages.

The conversations carried on here are real and more binding than the spoken word. These conversations can be taken out and replayed as often as we like -- like old home movies.

On the Internet, no matter how hard I may try, my true self always comes through in those words. I'm the type of person who writes from my heart. I very seldom go back and rewrite my posts, or ponder over them a great deal before hitting that "submit" button.

When you're posting at the Fool it's just as if you were sitting in your kitchen, talking with your friends or family.