No More Database?
by Jim Stevens (JimStevens@aol.com)
Burlington, VT (Jan. 14, 1999) -- I dialed up TMF Bogey's Foolish Workshop Daily last Friday, and I read the news about Value Line asking us to cease publishing the weekly Database. I was, of course, disappointed. Having frequently used this Foolish info to screen stocks and having participated in the compilation of the data many times over the last two plus years, I guess I'd developed a sort of false sense of "ownership" about it.
That bubble was burst when Value Line asked us to stop republishing their 100 stock list. The Internet really is a sort of wild west of publishing and commerce. Billion dollar state of the art technologies are developed and simply given away for free to anyone with a computer. We tune in for our weather, sports and news but we only want the latest, fastest and highest quality information. We want it with no annoying advertising and we want it for free! I often scratch my head about this and say: Hmm... how can this go on? But it does, ain't it great!
The marketplace will of course continue to change and shape the Internet publishing landscape in ways that are way to complex for me to even think about. Companies that have payrolls, plant, and equipment to pay for will be deciding what to give away and what to charge for over and over. This little example of Value Line deciding to ask us to stop putting up the Database, knowing full well that the Workshop has actually been great for their business, shows how confounding some of these decisions can be.
All in all, I think it's a great compliment to our community that Value Line thinks it needs to exercise its copyrights here. Probably the only reason they haven't earlier is a general belief that the Foolish Workshop area was just a tiny flash in the pan. Over time it's become apparent that when individual investors get together in small or large groups online, search out information sources, and put their collective ideas to work in a systematic way, they become a force to be reckoned with. I'm happy to be a part of that! Fool on!
Fools Wanted: Apply Within.