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Several members have referred to BankInvestor as "our community" or "our house" -- we feel the same way. At your own home, you have control over who is invited to enter, and you have control over who must leave if, for example, they break one of your "house rules."

We want to extend this level of control over the BankInvestor community to you, our members, the people who make up the BankInvestor "family." We don't expect the family to be fully functional, and still encourage the use of the "ignore" feature as well as private posts to keep the "bickering" out of the dining room. However, from this point on, there will be some major changes:

1) New members will not immediately be able to fully participate (post polls, stock ratings, and private messages), as in the past. From now on, whenever a new member wants to enter the community, they will initially be on "restricted status" and will not be able to participate; they will still be able to read public/member messages, view public/member poll results, and view stock ratings. Upon filling out their user profile, which will be presented to them as their "application," the system will automatically enter a motion to accept the new member. For up to five days, voting will take place in the new "Town Hall" section, and there will be a link within the discussion forum right above the link to the latest group poll. At the end of the five day period, the system will tally all of the votes and if the member has been accepted, their account will be taken off of "restricted status" and the new member can begin participating as a full member.

2) Any member can now make a motion to expel an existing member. We hope this will not often be necessary, and that the mere existence of this feature will encourage members "not to break the house rules." To make a motion to expel an existing member, click through on their user profile. From there, you will see a link "make a motion to expel ___." [Update: to prevent accidental motions it is now necessary to private post sysop with a request.] Again, we hope that people do not "jump" to make a motion to expel a member, and make good use of private posts and "ignore" before doing so. We also want users to recognize that any member can make a motion, so we hope nobody will be offended if they see their name listed under motions in progress. At the end of the five day period, the system will tally all of the votes and place the member's account on "restricted status," thereby preventing them from participating further. An expelled member may "re-apply" to be accepted every 30 days.

We believe that this new feature will solve some of the "issues" that have been recently discussed by members, and emailed to us at info@bankinvestor.com. We also want to make it clear that we do not desire to keep new members away, but that voting people on is necessary if people are to be voted off -- if members can be voted off while at the same time anyone can immediately join, then someone who has just been voted off can immediately re-join and begin posting again.

Finally, this is in many ways an "experiment" and we may modify or remove the Town Hall feature at any time.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments!

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