Kos developed StockBuz.net by popular demand to fill the gap left by investing and trading forums that had fallen by the wayside. Unsurprisingly, Kos had made enough friends in these forums to populate her own. Kos has a deep understanding of community ranging from Ning-specific product gaps and workarounds to moderation tactics that resulted in her being lovingly referred to as "The Warden." Kos is also a skilled content curator and has many other talents you might not even be aware of -- like individual investing and blogging about the stock market. We're so grateful for Kos' wide-ranging community and Ning knowledge, quick fingers, never-ending positivity, humility, and generosity.
Actually I went with another site initially and the lack of personal support sent me running because it was soooo confusing! Ning caught that fall and I never turned back. Ning offered much of the same components of its competitors, however it's support here at Creators made me feel comfortable and confident that I wouldn't be left to hang out in the dark.
Did you join and participate on Creators right away, or did you warm up to this community a little later?
My memory isn't quite what it used to be but I believe I joined Creators almost immediately. To me, having a sense of a "team" behind my efforts and obtaining answers when I felt lost, was crucial (because I had no clue what I was doing!) LOL
Could you tell us a bit about StockBuz such as when it was founded, what inspired you to create a community for individual investors, and how you attract new members?
This takes some background to explain. I had been in mortgage banking for 25 years and retired January 2006 as a Branch Manager. Being in the finance industry, I had a good understanding of investments and began to self-direct them when my husband passed away in 1998. From that point on, I slowly built friendships with a number of other investors and traders throughout numerous forums on the web. One by one, each forum fell by the wayside, infiltrated with spam and trolls or site owners who just left them neglected in the dust to die. By 2009 we all decided we needed our own home that would allow us to discuss investing in more than 140 characters. One that we would all support financially and make certain it wasn't left to die. Because I worked from home (had time to design and moderate) and they knew my personality wouldn't tolerate crazy people to infiltrate the site (they lovingly call me "The Warden" if you can believe it!)........I won the job of creating. *yay* lucky me! *LOL*
Has StockBuz developed the way you thought it would when you started, or have you had to rethink your community strategy at any point along the way?
We've been very selective in our acceptance process but we've definitely not issued original content the way we used to. That's my fault.
You’re always so helpful on Creators. Who helps you on your site?
Do you have admins, or do you tackle it all yourself? It's just me, myself and I and at times we disagree! lol
I know I'll forget a name or two so I'd rather just say "everyone" because even the smallest tip, mental approach or frame of mind has helped me learn and grow immensely. The "big dogs" here are light years ahead of me and I'm constantly amazed with the tips and ideas they contribute on a continual basis. The best I can do is try to "pay forward" all the help that has been given to me and not allow another Creator to feel that they are not being heard or helped in some small way.
What would you like to learn if you had more time?
Web design, without question.
What do you like to do for fun?
Right now I consider what I do each day "fun" and wouldn't want to return back to the (office) rat race for the world. I look after my special needs son, I chart hundreds of stocks, trade, laugh and learn with my members each day, volunteer 3x a week at the local Mission/Food Bank/Clinic, help other creators on their Ning websites (what little I can), lend a hand (here) in Creators and do a boatload of web searching. In the "good old days" if I were still living in Chicago, I would get out and watch a football or basketball game with an ice cold beer, go boating w/friends, fishing, play cards, find a Roulette wheel at the casino, go to a drag strip, bowling, travel (I love cruises), refinishing furniture, creating home made crafts or digging in the dirt landscaping some area of my yard but for now (after moving to Texas), I have the best life ever and couldn't imagine asking for more.
What could Ning build to make your life easier?
First I would pray Ning partners with Zemanta so that blog and forum posts are given rich images, tag suggestions and related article links. It's such a superb tool for success and visibility on the web and I've always been amazed Ning didn't have something along those lines for their publisher sites. Secondly, some form of Marketing campaigns to attract contributors. Maybe something with a 60-day free trial. I stink at it, period and have no time, patience nor talent for marketing at all. Just the thought of it puts my nerves on end. New websites crave this assistance. Any website will never truly grow and attract talent w/o help.........and my shyness definitely limits that. I'm much better suited to being a behind-the-scenes person and Moderator. One last one: create a "share all" widget where a member clicks once - and a post is shared to all of their social sites.
What’s the most rewarding thing about running a Ning community?
It has opened up my mind to learning something new; web design. After having a successful career and raising my children on my own, I didn't know what I wanted to do with the second half of my life. Mid-life crisis? Who knows. Being a part of Ning has re-ignited my desire to learn and grow much more than I had ever imagined. Who knows where it may lead me to next.........