The Cost of Conversation: Should Companies Have to Pay to Talk to Customers in Social Networks?

by Shannon Paul on December 14, 2009

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I’m only asking because I had a recent encounter with a site that proposed the company I work for do just that.

For a little bit of background on the situation, OptionsHouse is an online brokerage owned by my employer, PEAK6 Online. OptionsHouse recently introduced some new pricing options in addition to the launch of new features, so I wanted to monitor and address any online chatter that were to surface in blogs, forums and other social networks as a result.

Since the securities industry is strictly regulated, this isn’t as easy a process as it may be in other industries — every statement I post online must go through a compliance review for approval before posting.

Since I am not registered to sell securities, it’s also important that I not have any type of dialog with customers or potential customers that could be interpreted as a solicitation to open an account.

For this reason I was particularly surprised when I received the following message from the EliteTrader forum administrator informing me that my posts were deleted.

Baron wrote on 12-03-09 11:21 AM:
All of your posts have been deleted because they violate our member rules of conduct. Unless you represent one of our site sponsors, you can’t use our message board for communicating with potential customers, providing customer support, posting your rates, linking to your web site, etc.

The details of this rule are in section 6 on this page:

Thanks for your cooperation,

Baron Robertson

Admittedly, I did include an email address and phone number for customer service, but that was more a matter of providing a resource than it was about any kind of advertising.

The text from Rule 6 of Elite Trader’s Member Conduct Rules:

6) Advertisements and solicitations of any kind are strictly prohibited unless you are a paying site sponsor. As a person who does not represent one of our site sponsors, you are not to solicit our members with any type of commercial offer, or advertise your business through your public posts, private messages, profile page, or file attachments. This includes, but is not limited to, posting your phone or fax number(s) and posting any URLs or hyperlinks to your commercial web site(s) or email account(s). Elite Trader and its agents may remove or edit any posted content, without prior notice, that contains unauthorized advertisements or solicitations. Elite Trader may, without prior notice, immediately terminate your membership upon discovery of any unauthorized advertising or solicitation.

While this rule does stipulate against providing any company contact information, why not edit the contact information out of the post rather than simply deleting it?

The larger issue to me isn’t whether or not companies are allowed to provide contact information to individuals who talk about their product or service online, but whether they should be charged a fee to respond to their concerns in kind and engage in a public dialog.

Besides, isn’t this the same type of thing got Seth Godin in so much trouble back in September when he tried to monetize Squidoo by charging companies to manage a public dashboard of mentions in blogs, social networks and other places online? The backlash in the blogosphere was so loud his plan changed rather quickly in response.

When I replied asking the forum administrator what kind of sponsorships were available, I was sent a link to this page with details about a “Corporate Posting Account“.

Corporate Posting Account Explained

According to the details on the site, a corporate posting account is “a paid account that authorizes you to participate on our boards from a promotional standpoint.”

This type of account costs $500 per month and is billed via credit card. There are no “long-term commitments” and no sign of any type of contract. In fact, the sign-up button takes you directly to an EliteTrader PayPal account where you can enter your credit card information.

After some poking around on the site I also couldn’t help notice that this type of sponsorship isn’t included in the site’s navigation. There is only a clearly labeled link to an advertising page that explains other types of formal sponsorships that include the typical featured listings, banner ads and email advertising, but no mention of a corporate posting account.

It’s Not About the $500/month

My list of concerns is as follows:

  • If sites begin requiring companies to pay to access customers who mention them online, where does it end? How many sites should companies pay to participate in? If I’m self employed am I now a company?
  • This forum pulled my posts on this thread even though members of the community were obviously engaging with me on the site. Several member posts still contain quoted text from my posts and are addressed to me personally. The members of the forum certainly didn’t respond as if they were being marketed to, or spammed in any way.
  • This would be an entirely different situation if the forum were private. If the site was not searchable on Google and had no ability to rank in Google’s search index for our branded keywords, I could understand paying for access. However, this site in particular is public. Anyone can post once an account is created and user posts as well as sponsor posts have the potential to rank for branded and organic keyword searches. If we cannot respond without sponsoring the site, I think it’s only fair that the conversation not be allowed to rank for branded search terms.
  • What about the FTC? Since EliteTrader’s corporate posting account mentions nothing of disclosure and includes no other type of explicit sponsorship on the site, the new guidelines stipulate that it would be my responsibility to disclose the fact that I was in fact a sponsor of the site in each post since threads on the site span several pages and any of those pages could potentially function as a landing page.

Yes, marketers are now responsible for making sure the channels they sponsor include some type of explicit disclosure. The new rules from the FTC with regards to new media clearly state, “the advertiser should take steps to ensure that these disclosures are being provided.”

I’m truly curious whether anyone else has encountered a similar situation. Are there other sites that require companies to pay to engage with their customers, or is this situation somewhat unique?

If people must pay to participate in social networks on behalf of their company, where should we draw the line on what constitutes advertising and solicitation? And, should the members/users of the site be aware when this is the case?

Photo Credit: ThinkPanama
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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

December 14, 2009 Olivier Blanchard

Oh. That’s not good.


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul

Heh. The post or the issue? ;)


December 14, 2009 Olivier Blanchard

The issue. (The post was great.)

1. The seeming lack of understanding (and planning) when it comes to disclosure.
2. The notion of charging a company to have the ability to respond to comments… it makes me uncomfortable.


December 14, 2009 jak

I agree with Olivier that charging to be able to reply to comments is a very sticky area. I think they have to right to make money off their community and charge for access to it.

But I am also not comfortable with an open community discussing my business and having no free venue to reply to them. Definitely going to continue to think about this one.


December 14, 2009 mack collier

Shannon I fear that this is where many sites could be headed. Just look at Twitter, there’s an absolute ton of companies that are using it as a FREE customer service tool, and I’m sure the temptation is there for Twitter to find a way to monetize that activity.

I think this is another reason why companies should create their OWN platforms for engaging with customers. The recent Twitter and Facebook deals with Google worries me for the same reason, it might prompt companies to use these FREE tools for their social media efforts, but what if one of both of them change how the companies can use the sites? Facebook recently changed it’s rules governing promotions and sweepstakes, and Murdoch was threatening to pull all of MySpace’s content from Google. Think of how that would impact a business whose entire SM plan was an active presence on MySpace!

I am sure the financials industry has much more regulation for obvious reasons, and I wonder if other forums are adopting similar policies? Is Elite Trader the exception or the rule?


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul


Elite Trader is definitely the exception in my experience. Most sites are grateful to have increased participation and activity on their site — this leads to higher page rank, etc.

This was a situation where I was simply responding to customers who were already talking about our company — nothing that could be construed as advertising or solicitation.

I understand paying to directly market to people, but addressing individuals who are already talking about your company is wrong — especially when that conversation has the ability to rank highly in Google search results for the company’s branded keywords.


December 14, 2009 Jeff

Great post Shannon.

An appalling practice. That sounds like outright extortion.


December 14, 2009 jak

You know I am not certain on the federal requirements here, though I agree with you that if a certain action is only allowed through a sponsorship, it should be declared.

It sounds like hard love, but I think the site has the right to do what it is doing. From a very third person perspective, I would just suggest you continue being active in the community with no contact info. Technically they could block you from the site completely if they wanted to. It may not be the best move to encourage community, but any owner of any site can make it as open or closed as they want. Just as you could delete their comments if you wanted if they replied on here.

It comes down to what are they ALLOWED to do and what SHOULD they do.

This is pretty similar to paying to sponsor an event and getting an exhibitor table, or access to email addresses and mailing addresses for follow up. If someone is building a community I think they deserve the right to attempt to monetize access to that community any way they choose (within the law).

I would agree though, without specific industry knowledge, they should and could handle it much better. Deleting your contact info would have been more prudent. I wonder if one of their sponsors was the genesis of this reaction? Either way, hopefully if people like yourself and others in the community continue to point it out, they will exercise a healthier community building attitude toward these situations.


December 14, 2009 mwallcomm

Hi Shannon:

This is a great post and one that I think has relevance to everyone out there who is tasked with monetization, monitoring, or managing a community.

My opinion is going to sound like I am playing it neutral, but I can see both sides. The right anwer, IMO, is that there is are multiple right answers all based on different situations.

In our community, when someone violates our terms and conditions, we either take steps to modify it ourselves or we ask the member to update it with a deadline regarding when we will take action as administrators. However, that is more of a common courtesy, then it is a course of action we have outlined on our site. We reserve the right to make any changes we want – without explanation. Why? We want to the best for all of our members. Because, most of the time, community administrators, like coaches, can spend the biggest chunks of time dealing with the issues created by the smallest percentage of users. I recently attended a presentations that stated when you develop the top 2/3 of the students, the whole class will retain over 70% of the learnings. If you focus on the bottom 1/3, then only 35% of all the students will retain what they learn. Why should administrators spend most of our time in doing the right thing for the <1% that violate the rules agreed to upon membership?

So, I suspect they took it down because they may have been shortstaffed, or felt like they should focus on other users, and deemed yours post disruptive and in violation. Regarding whether you should be able to respond, that would depend on each community and the nature of the discussion. Given what you have discribed in this instance, I would think yes.

Just my $.02…



December 14, 2009 David Spinks


It’s a really interesting concept…thanks for bringing up your experience, because as Mack said, I think it’s something we may see more of in the future.

The knee jerk reaction, from my perspective, is that would be a negative. I do see positives though…

There would be less spam, for one.

It would force brands to be strategic about their engagement. If you’re not willing to spend money to be able to engage with that specific community, maybe you’d be better off investing your time where you can drive more value.

There are a lot of obvious grey areas as you noted… How can companies interact and respond to brand mentions and questions if they have to pay to communicate everywhere? Would this give sites the incentive to write negative commentary about brands so that they can force them to pay to respond?

Very interested to see if this truly does become something we see more of, and how it will affect business use of social media.

Community Manager,


December 14, 2009 Janeile

This is not good. Not good at all. They obviously have no clue what social media is all about if they are censoring online communication. They just did a disservice to the people who were communicating with you. We’ll see how far they get with the online community with that policy.


December 14, 2009 KatFrench

I’m running into the very same issue with a client of mine, Shannon. They manufacture an aftermarket performance part for the automotive industry. Although they have recently added a shopping cart to take online orders, for the most part, they don’t directly sell their product–places like AutoZone or Pep Boys do.

We’re engaging in social media for them because (A) there are a lot of technical and safety questions floating around the internet about their product and (B) there is a lot of inaccurate misinformation out there which needs to be cleared up. Our role is to post pretty much strictly as a technical resource, and most of the conversations are on forums and message boards, as opposed to blogs.

So far, so good, but a few forums have done exactly as you’ve described. It’s strictly pay-for-play. If you’re officially repping a company, even if you’re not spamming or marketing, the attitude I’m getting is “you have money and we deserve some to let you talk to our audience.”

As a forum admin, I respect that a lot of these guys pour their heart, soul and cash money into building up a community, and often have a hard time getting the money part recouped through banner ads and other means of monetization. I get that they’ve built an audience and that audience has value. I get the “Robin Hood-ish” idea of taking from the rich (businesses) to give bandwidth to the poor.

But yeah–it also feels a little like brand blackmail.

And as Mack pointed out, that’s why you need a “home base” that’s easy to find. But yeah, it also feels like they’re doing a disservice to their members when they COULD get “straight from the horse’s mouth” answers right where they already are…


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul


Thanks so much for sharing your experience — while it’s good to know I’m not alone here, it’s disconcerting to me that sites can prevent brands from addressing questions and concerns about them. This is how a lot of myths and rumors circulate around online, and why I think the issue of public vs. private be addressed.

If the board were private and not accessible in Google search results, this would be a different issue, but I think companies have every right to participate in public discussions about them. In this instance, people were clearly involved in the discussion with me (others’ posts with quotes from me still remain).

I understand sites need to figure out a way to monetize and keep their bills paid, but I would encourage them to read Copyblogger and Problogger for good tips on how to do so. I think both of those sites offer a wealth of information on how to make money based on permission, rather than exception.

Thanks again for the comment!


December 14, 2009 Chris

All your concerns/issues aside, the community is owned by EliteTrader and so they can setup the ‘rules’ as they wish. I have seen this kind of thing before on forums where companies/resellers/suppliers are made to pay some marketing fee to participate as a forum sponsor. It happens on several large automotive forums I follow and participate on. It’s basically a way for the forum owners to generate revenue.

To demonstrate this is not an uncommon practice, here is a similar rule on a forum I participate on for BMWs “8) No Commercial Posts We have very strict Anti-spam policies here and we will be deleting posts/banning users without notice when the post is a commercial post made by a non community sponsor. If you happen to see these types of posts on the forum, we urge you to report these members to us.”

Since you are not just some participant off the street, but rather a representative from a company, the forum is asking that you pay to play. The community owner(s) probably feel they could lose your participation without really affecting their community, which is most likely very true. You may need the community more than they need you, which may be a hard thing for you to accept. If that is a case, the community owners(s) probably feel you should ‘sponsor’ the board since you are there for commercial reasons (and yes being seen as an expert on an industry forum is a commercial reason.)


The FTC guidelines don’t apply in the situation you are describing here. Without trying to sound flip, I think you are confused about what the new FTC disclosure rules deal with (details here:

The forum is basically asking you to be an advertiser, since you are representing a commercial entity. You are a company representative sharing your opinions and thoughts on topical areas. You are not a consumer/reviewer who was paid, directly or indirectly, sharing your thoughts on a product or service. Nor are you paying people to represent your brand/products through some form of payola that you need to monitor.

Anyway, thanks for an interesting blog post on the topic.


December 14, 2009 Chris

One thing was bugging me after posting my comment. It was your comment about the forum not disclosing accounts that are sponsors as sponsors. On every forum I have participated on there is some identification usually near the UserID of a person’s posts that say something like sponsor, advertiser, or has a company name beyond just the UserID.

So I created an account on EliteTrader and noticed that sponsors have their company name appearing below their UserID on all posts. There is nothing emphatically saying they are a sponsor though board members seem to get the distinction in a couple threads where they were conversing with a sponsor that had this distinct identifier.

Not being a normal board member I could be wrong that company name below UserID designates one as a sponsor. The forum owners could be more emphatic about the distinction though again I don’t believe this would be a violation of the FTC guidelines you refer to.


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul


I fully understand your point about the value of the community and online forums resistance to spam and solicitation. I fully agree that sites should do whatever possible to protect members from spam and unwarranted advertising.

However, when conversations are started amongst members that are public and have the ability to rank for branded keywords, this is a different issue altogether. If sites expect pay for play, it should be a private forum where you’re strictly paying for access to members.

The FTC guidelines absolutely apply here. The link you cite is an overview of the law. Here is a link to the entire 81 page document [pdf]: If you refer to Page 14 Part 255.1 Section C you will notice that companies who have a sponsor-relationship with sites/affiliates/agencies are ultimately responsible if the site /affiliate/agency does not disclose.

I hope this helps.


December 14, 2009 Chris

Thanks. I thought I had sent the full 81 page pdf. That said I believe my comments about your situation still do not apply to the FTC. Page 14 Part 255.1 Section C is talking about companies having a responsibility to monitor the comments of someone they endorse. I think you are confusing the term “sponsor”. In the FTC language it is talking of the company sponsoring a blogger and making sure the company understands they are responsible for incorrect statements about a product/service made by someone they “sponsored” (paid) to represent their product.

The forum is not sponsoring you. You are sponsoring them from what is essentially a corporate designated account that requires a monthly fee to participate in the community, since you are a corporate entity talking about your brand/products/services and not just some private person talking finance. Sponsorship here is different than the sponsorship the FTC is discussing. Here it is forcing companies to pay to play as I said earlier. Think of it as a monthly charge to advertise your expertise and represent your brand on their forum. You may not like it (nor do I) but this is a way for the forum to generate revenue since it knows companies probably need the board more than the board needs a company’s participation.


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul

Thanks, Chris.
I understand the different usage of the term sponsor in the FTC guidelines, but just so I’m completely clear – it’s dangerous for companies to think that just because they pay a site that the site will disclose to a level that the FTC feels is explicit enough.

At the end of the day, the company that pays for any kind of access to market to customers is responsible for making sure the site discloses.

Again, I what I was doing was not trying to showcase expertise or talk finance — I was trying to address customer concerns in a public forum. It’s okay that we disagree, but implying that companies are not responsible for disclosure on sites where there is a commercial relationship is simply not true.


December 14, 2009 Chris

Well there is a way to figure out if the FTC guidelines are relevant to this matter, just contact the FTC about the forum’s violation and we’ll see if they get fined. :)

I do agree with you that the forum administrators should not restrict company representatives who engage on their site, as long as the engagement is not sales/spam, which I will trust is not what you were doing. It would be interesting though to see how you engaged on the forum to see why they decided to do what they did.

December 14, 2009 Heidi Miller


Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. I think what bothers me most about this, apart from the general sliminess of it, is that the site owners are basically admitting that the purpose of the site is solicitation without disclosing that to the users. One would assume that that purpose would eventually become clear to users soon enough, as they notice that every comment or post is a solicitation, but it still rings slimy to me.

Odd that nowadays, apparently simply providing an email address or a site link is “solicitation.” Linking and commenting *are* types of promotion, to be sure, but insisting that posters cough up $500 a month to post on a public site is a bit like selling the right to publish an article in one’s email newsletter–it kind of degrades the quality of the content if any schmuck willing to scoop into the marketing budget can post advice to it.


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul


I agree. I think having ads that support a site are fine, but the members should definitely be aware of the different types of sponsors — especially when there is a type of membership that allows for personal interaction.

Good point about the quality of content, too. In our case, we weren’t trying to showcase any expertise — just address customer concerns that were being posted publicly.

Thanks for the comment!


December 14, 2009 Rob Metras

The securities industry is a labyrinth of investor protection. I repeated a post on my blog at with a detailed interview with a marketer and a Director at the FTC. The balance between promotion ,conversation and consumer protection is getting precarious. Overreaction always follows underaction. (FTC-SEC)


December 14, 2009 Kristy Bolsinger

Great post Shannon! Definitely needed to be pointed out. As a marketer for a brand I have participated in many forums and always disclose that I work for and am representing my company. I have never had any forum administrator contact me for any other reason than to thank me for participating. I can see why they would want to disallow companies and marketers from targeting their users for the purpose of acquisition but that is clearly not what you were doing. And based on that does not seem like you violated any of their policies with the exception of posting the email. They most definitely should not have removed. Shame on them!


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul


Same here — usually forum administrators are glad to have companies participate and talk with people on existing threads. This adds engagement on their site, increases traffic, etc. although I definitely understand the need to have rules that prohibit spam and solicitation.

Thanks for the comment!


December 14, 2009 DaraBell

Great site, you answer the comments that is getting rare.


December 14, 2009 Phil Taylor

To me the issue is simple: web freedom. The internet should simply provide freedom of speech, with no restrictions or “payments” to market. If someone doesn’t like what they read, they can leave the site, or press “delete.” Regulation is impossible and unnecessary.


December 14, 2009 kseniacoffman

The posts clearly violated “non-solicitation” clause of the rules, and were therefore deleted. From the administrator perspective, it’s probably much easier to delete the posts, rather than edit the contact info out from each and every one.

While I don’t support their “corporate sponsor account” setup (seems shady w/o disclosure), the forum owners is probably entitled to do what they want – same as running sponsored ads, etc. If the non-disclosure of “sponsor accounts” is a violation of the FTC rules they should be reported.


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul


I get what you’re saying as far as posting contact information — that was clearly in violation of their rules and I understand that, but based on my communication with the site, even without posting contact information, my posts would have been deleted and I would need to have a corporate posting account to continue participating in the existing discussion.

Thanks for adding your voice — As a side note, I don’t know that any existing FTC rules were broker, all I know is that if I were to pay the $500 it would be up to me to disclose that I was a paid sponsor of the site since no other existing disclosures about corporate posting accounts are made available to its members. I think that would seem awkward to have to include some kind of verbal disclosure with each post — sorry if that was unclear.


December 14, 2009 Ross McMinn

It’s like a new media protection racket really.


December 14, 2009 Ken

I agree with Mack. I think there is going to be a lot of temptation to do this, especially in specialized forums and social communities, due to the desire to come up with some way of monetizing what is often a free service.

My gut feeling is that we are going to see a bit of a pendulum swing, similar with what happened to Internet radio. At the beginning of the streaming audio boom in the 90s, radio stations jumped on board, assuming, probably correctly, that they needed to be there, despite the costs in term of bandwidth and licensing fees.

Then the big boys pulled out or resisted (Infinity, Clear Channel, etc) because they didn’t want to give their product away for free (which it really already was over the terrestrial waves). Eventually, just about everyone came back and you can hear most stations streaming for free.

I would bet we see a move toward more pay-for-play based social communities, but most will fail, and we will then swing back to social communities as we know them now.

And on another note, most of my clients are very small businesses. I can’t imagine any of them being able to pay to be in a social network, regardless of how niche it is. It’s like the old-school men’s clubs with smoking lounges. This is a new social world. I hope we don’t go back to the way things used to be done.


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul


You may be right — it will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.



December 14, 2009 Chris Carosa

You might be intertwining the FTC with the SEC and FINRA regarding your issue. It seems like this issue is ripe for the current congressional attempt to rewrite the laws in the financial services industry. Social Media represents a hybrid form of communicating the government regulators could not anticipate in the 1930′s when these laws were (mostly) made. As a result, some have taken a rather Draconian attitude with regards to participation from individuals within the financial services industry. A site dedicated to financial services only makes the situation worse. Personally, until the regulators decide what and when they will prosecute – or until Congress realigns the laws to accomodate today’s reality – I’d avoid a dedicated site like EliteTrader. It appears they need to maintain a fairly strict compliance regimen and bucking it doesn’t present a clear value-added given the downside risk. (How’s that for jargon!)


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul


I don’t believe I’m confusing the regulatory issues. OptionsHouse is regulated by FINRA (I work for the parent company of OptionsHouse — PEAK6 Online), but Elite Trader is not. However, there are FTC regulations to consider with respect to disclosure whenever there is a sponsorship relationship between company and new media channel. But then again, I’m not a lawyer! People who have questions around what is legal and what is not should definitely contact one of them (not me) :-)

Love the jargon — thanks for the comment!



December 14, 2009 Jeff Esposito


While I would like to say that this is an isolated incident, I don’t think that it will. Sure for a company $500 it is a nominal fee, but it is more on the principle. The reason that social media itself is a beautiful thing is that it evens the playing field and also gives customers the chance to have their voices heard.

I could see the fee if there was a value added similar to a Radian6 or CoTweet that are providing metrics to go along with the conversation. I can also see forums not allowing certain content due to TOS – try getting your company’s say on the consumer advocacy sites – but to charge to post, that is too much.

In my role, I monitor the company’s brand across blogs, forums and SM and look at is a a method of reputation management or enhancement. The one problem with the Current Internet is that anyone can say whatever they want without much of a recourse so it it is vital for companies to get involved and politely get their side of things out there to possibly win over a customer who was treated badly or even stop their rep being sullied in the mud.

Getting back to the $500 – I still wonder how much Twitter and FB are going to start charging companies for their metrics and insights and if the fees will get paid…


December 15, 2009 Mona Nomura


I have never run into a problem like yours and after reading this post, I wondered about regulation. Who do Internet forums answer to? The answer is no one…and I have the exact same questions as you.

Why SHOULD conversation cost companies? Does free speech and Internet freedom not apply to brands? What are the definitions between marketing, advertising, soliciting, and conversation? Who defines the terms? Is it the responsibility of Google, Bing, Y!, et al., to set forum guidelines so public forums are not indexed? etc., etc., and it’s frustrating how there are so many questions and not enough answers.

Your experience also makes me wonder if and when Elite Trader’s monetization methods are adopted widely by other channels, that could be the wake-up call for brands and companies to “get” social media.

What a bizarre and interesting time we are living in — but that’s what makes this industry so fun :) Thanks for the post.

ps: I think the forum updated the commercial posting account page after this post haha


December 16, 2009 Brett Greene

This is a new way to not do engagement. Only allowing interactions for paid sponsors seems beyond backwards and deeply lacking in understanding how and why online conversations have value.

Thanks for posting this issue and your experience Shannon.


December 17, 2009 Francois Gossieaux

Sorry for being late to the party, but this is indeed a very bad practice if you ask me. If and when the members find out that they are being “monetized” without disclosure they will feel betrayed and pack up and leave.
My 2c.


December 19, 2009 Joe Hage

Just a little CommentLuv for you, Shannon. You do a nice job here on this blog. I spent more time here today than I intended thanks to your insight and writing style.

Merry Christmas (going rogue vs. Happy Holidays). Too risque?

Joe Hage


December 14, 2009 Shannon Paul


I don’t know if others are currently paying for a corporate posting policy. All I’m saying is that if we *were* to pay to post, disclosing the company’s relationship as a paid sponsor of the site would be on the company’s shoulders and therefore up to me to remain explicit about.

I would be happy to share the comments they deleted from the thread, which is also linked above. I was not spamming anyone with unsolicited information — simply clarifying and discussing details of what some of the new policies were with regard to their accounts with OptionsHouse and thanking them for feedback. That’s pretty much it.


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