OT - Why reading just Saul's board is worth

Aside - Congrats to muji, who just landed the most rec’d post of the last decade.)

If you look below, you’ll see the answer. I wanted to see just how high muji’s post was in the overall rec count. Regardless, if anyone needed some stats to “prove” the board’s worth…

Saul, I sure hope they’re not making you pay for your TMF subscriptions.

Title					Recs	Board				poster		time
Distilling knowledge			313	Saul’s Investing Discussions	CMF_muji	6/7/20 2:24 PM
My portfolio at the end of Feb 2019	287	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	2/25/19 7:17 AM
An investing primer for my daughter	275	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	4/8/19 9:35 AM
Something to share!			274	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	9/26/19 10:42 AM
Fair and SQUARE Analysis		269	Saul’s Investing Discussions	imyoung		7/28/19 4:59 AM
Something has to be Said		249	Saul’s Investing Discussions	drillerjim101	4/6/19 5:45 PM
An Okta technical review.		248	Saul’s Investing Discussions	CMF_muji	4/9/19 2:22 AM
Thankfulness for Saul			242	Saul’s Investing Discussions	drillerjim101	11/28/19 9:25 AM
My Portfolio at the End of 2019		241	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	1/1/20 12:45 PM
Happy Holidays and Thanks to you all	241	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	12/23/19 8:00 AM
My portfolio at the end of Mar 2019	235	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	3/30/19 4:49 AM
CRM: a case study for SaaS companies	227	Saul’s Investing Discussions	GauchoChris	10/25/19 2:26 PM
My portfolio at the end of May 2020	225	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	5/30/20 5:46 PM
My portfolio at the end of May 2019	225	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	5/28/19 7:28 AM
The Technology Era			224	Saul’s Investing Discussions	CMF_muji	12/21/19 3:21 AM
The once and future index tool?		224	Improve the Fool		mungofitch	10/24/13 4:25 AM
My portfolio at the end of June 2019	222	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	6/29/19 11:47 AM
very sad news				222	Macro Economic Trends and Risks	OffshoreDriller	7/13/11 8:22 PM
My portfolio at the end of April 2020	221	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	4/27/20 7:04 AM
My portfolio at the end of Jan 2020	221	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	1/31/20 6:07 PM
My portfolio at the end of July 2019	217	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	7/29/19 2:04 AM
A rainy day in Berkville		216	Berkshire Hathaway		ultimatespinach	5/5/13 1:36 AM
Gift Horse				215	Saul’s Investing Discussions	PaulWBryant	4/6/19 12:09 PM
My Portfolio and the "End" of August	214	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	8/24/19 8:09 AM
My Portfolio at the end of Feb 2020	212	Saul’s Investing Discussions	SaulR80683	2/28/20 5:52 PM



Thank you for posting this, FrickNFool. I was curious about the post that got 224 recs from the “Improve the Fool” message board, back in 2013. So I used the new Motley Fool board search tool, powered by Elastic, to dig up that post:


(Just kidding, I Googled it. Did I fool anybody?) Anyways, that post is…wait for it…a request for TMF to update their search capabilities. BUT…in that message is a link to a 3rd party webpage that allows certain Motley Fool boards to be searched:


This was completely new to me. For those of you (i.e., not me) who read the boards that this indexes (Mechanical Investing, Foolish Workshop, MI & FW boards, Market Screens, Mechanical Futures, Doc’s Guide, Radish’s Roughnecks, Benchmark Investing, Webmaster’s Corner, Berkshire Hathaway, Dynamic Value Investing), this looks like an incredibly useful link to have.

Apparently, this webpage was set up independently by the TMF member with username MarkW. His email and phone number are actually listed on the website.

It looks like this 2013 board posting was triggered by some one-time change in how TMF website indexed its pages, which affected the ability of the boards to be crawled [see the link at the bottom of that post]. However, it also seems like a workaround was found right away, because it’s still up-to-date today.

Now, is anybody else thinking the exact same thing that I was when I found this out? (You know what they say: “Great mind think alike”…as do you and I??) For those of you who are non-mindreaders, I immediately had the following thought, while trying not to spit my coffee over my laptop:

OMG, it would be INCREDIBLY useful if Saul’s board were to be added to this list! How can we make this happen??

Though I’m not tech illiterate, I’m also not a techie, and I have no idea if this would be a huge request to ask, or if it’s a just matter of writing a simple script or two. But I KNOW there are people on this board who can answer this question. Also, has anyone on here approached Mark about this? Given how many people read this board, and how MarkW is still active, it seems like a topic that would have would have been broached by now. He surely knows about this board, as it’s by far the most popular, in terms of Rec counts, and it does come up on the MI board, which is his most frequented. Or perhaps not; Saul’s board didn’t start until 2014.

I’d be happy to email and ask him, but before I do, I wanted to see (i) if someone else has already emailed him about it, (ii) whether it’s a tiny or a huge request, and (iii) offer Saul and the Assistant Board Managers the opportunity to send such an email if they’d prefer to initiate the that discussion.

Or, if this isn’t in the cards, for whatever reason, then maybe one the hundreds of people who are on this board will have the capability, time, and motivation to create something like this? Again, I don’t know if what I’m asking is a really simple task for someone with those skills, or if it’s unreasonable. But if it is on the simple side…are there any takers?


Or, if this isn’t in the cards, for whatever reason, then maybe one the hundreds of people who are on this board will have the capability, time, and motivation to create something like this? Again, I don’t know if what I’m asking is a really simple task for someone with those skills, or if it’s unreasonable. But if it is on the simple side…are there any takers?

We could do way better than this 2013 search page. It is not difficult but does require some skills that I happen to have.

If someone wanted to crowd-fund it, we could stand up an Elastic cluster in AWS Elastic Cloud. Then I could write a web scraper to extract all the posts on this board, pipe it into Elasticsearch and make a web search interface over it for full-text searching weighted by # of recs, that you can filter by poster or ticker.

I have contemplated doing this many times, just to prove to The Motley Fool that there is value in improving forum search, and ultimately hand it to their tech team. (I’ve been on these Fool forums for 20+ years now, and the search features have always sucked.) But who has the time? I spend what non-existent free time I do have researching stocks, and keeping good notes to the content of value…

But yes, I too would love a decent search interface. The need comes up all the time - as a stock bumps up to my watch list or buy list, I want to search for all the prior content on this board to soak up the prior insights. Using a honed Google search is unfortunately the only recourse.



Hi muji,

your idea made the developer side of me take over :slight_smile:

I created a search index of Saul’s board using Elasticsearch just as a proof of concept.

It’s accessible though this temporary Wix site: https://ranjanredmond.wixsite.com/website

Search for “saul”, “muji”, “bear”, “gauchochris”, “stocknovice”…

Keep in mind that this is in Beta but you should see relevant posts ( couldn’t do much in 45 minutes). I’ve set this up in exactly 45 minutes…so there’s a lot of room for customization and optimization…

This is the power of SaaS!

Though I’ve used Elastic search before (https://discussion.fool.com/estc-vs-ddog-who-wins-34429204.aspx) and am a fan of Shay Banon, I’m more than happy to be invested in the following package for now.


Just as a side note…In the last few weeks, it was emotionally hard for me to decrease my positions in OKTA and AYX to increase my ZM and FSLY positions ( but Saul and this board has thought me not to rely on emotions). I see the power of ZM becoming a platform for video ( and consumerization of enterprise software + the forgotten AR/VR partnership with FB + developers building apps using Zoom’s API ) and FSLY for dominating computing on the edge.




Okay, so what does that “take”, Muji?

• What do you think it costs? (Setup and ongoing)
• Is MF going to shut it down by denying the scraper access?
• Are there ancillary tasks for ongoing maintenance?
• Is there somewhere else we could grab a list of companies and tickers so that the search would find the same content with either search term? (Whether FEYE or FireEye, e.g.)

Wow! I didn’t even read far enough to see that you had started something, Ron.


This is what I get when I search “mdb” is this “normal” right now, or am I having a problem with browser settings or something?

(Also, I get nothing when I search for “AEYE” something Saul wrote about in 2014.)

-Another Rob

1 Like

Search for “saul”, “muji”, “bear”, “gauchochris”, “stocknovice”…

Hi ron, that kind of search is simple to do right on this board. If I want all posts by ronjonb, for instance, I just open any one of your posts, then click Saul’s Investing Discussions to go back to the list, which will place your post at the top of the page. Then click the blue “author” right above your name, and I can go back to the previous pages and see a list of ALL of your previous posts on this board, going back forever.

I just timed it and it took me 14 seconds.



(PS - what it does is arrange all the posts alphabetically by author)


The easiest solution would be to get Saul’s Board listed in the best independent Motley Fool search tool, Datahelper http://www.datahelper.com/mi/search.phtml It already has the capability to search about a dozen other MF boards.



Search for “saul”, “muji”, “bear”, “gauchochris”, “stocknovice”…

Hi Saul,

Please don’t see this search implementation as a fully working feature. I was just curious and played around for about 45 minutes just to see if it works :slight_smile:

I had signed up for a 14 day free trial of Elastic Site Search and created the Wix site just to test the search box. Please don’t use this as a real search tool.

If you would like to have full search capability using Elastic then I guess you’d need to work with the site admin for this board’s site. And of course someone has to pay to Elastic after the 14 day trial expires :slight_smile: