KnowledgeBase/Documentation

Public ChartLists v2.0 - Author Documentation

StockCharts Support March 02, 2012

Public ChartLists are collections of charts that a StockCharts.com member chooses to share publicly on StockCharts.com.  There are several key reasons that members may choose to do that:

  1. They wish to educate others about their opinions of the markets and/or various investing and stock-picking techniques.
  2. They wish to become better investors themselves by being "forced" to document their technical analysis techniques and conclusions.
  3. They wish to become known as a popular technical analyst.
Links to the Public ChartList area appears prominently throughout the StockCharts.com website.

Creating a Public ChartList

A Public ChartList can be created from any ChartList in an Extra or PRO member's account.  The first step is to create a new regular ChartList and add charts to it.  Each chart should have a descriptive name, useful annotations and easy-to-read commentary in the "Notes" area.  You will also want to add overview comments about your list in the "List Notes" area of the list's Edit view.  For details on creating a ChartList, please see our ChartLists Documentation article.

As you design your ChartList, keep in mind that your charts will usually be viewed 10-charts at a time in 10-per-page mode and that, initially, only the first 100 charts in your ChartList will be visible to the public.  Over time, as your ChartList becomes more popular, that limit will increase (see the "Perks" section below.)

Converting a normal ChartList into a Public ChartList

Once your ChartList is ready, you can use the "Make Public" button on the ChartList's "Edit" page to convert it into a Public ChartList.  After pressing the button, you will see a form asking you for more information about your list.

You'll need to specify an abstract (description) for your list and assign it to at least one "category" so that interested people can find it easily.  After providing that information, press "Submit" and your list will immediately appear on our Public ChartLists page.  Congrats!  You are a now Public ChartList author!

Public List Ranking, Followers and Votes

StockCharts.com has included several features in the Public ChartList system that are designed to reward authors that create popular content.  Periodically, all lists are ranked according to several different popularity factors including unique visitors, votes from members, "followers" and other factors.  Lists will initially appear on the Public ChartList page in ranked order.  Authors that create popular content consistently will appear higher on the Public ChartList page.

Authors need to keep their audience in mind when writing content for their Public ChartList.  Lists that are overly commercial or make grand claims about stock picking accuracy are usually unpopular with readers.  Readers prefer lists that demonstrate chart analysis techniques clearly and consistently in a logical, organized fashion.

A "Follower" is a StockCharts member that has decided to press the "Follow" button for a particular Public ChartList.  Usually people "follow" lists that they enjoy reading.  When someone follows a list, that list appears with a gold star next to its name.  StockCharts members can follow as many lists and they want.  They can also choose to unfollow a list at any time.  The number of people that follow each list is displayed on the main Public ChartLists page.

StockCharts members can also vote for up to three lists that they like each day by clicking each list's "Vote" button.  Votes are displayed on the main Public ChartLists page.  Each individual vote's impact on a list's Rank diminishes gradually over time.  Votes that are more than 30 days old are automatically removed from the system.

It is important to keep in mind that while anyone can view a Public ChartList, only StockCharts members can "Follow" a list and/or "Vote" for it.

Because of abuses in the past, we will be keeping the exact formula that we use to determine a list's rank confidential.  Authors that over-focus on their lists' rank and try to "game the system" will be banned.  Here are some general tips for improving your list's rank:

  1. Focus on creating great content that helps other people become better investors.  Authors whose primary goal is to help others learn will automatically do better than authors whose primary goal is self-promotion.
  2. Don't be annoying.  Any activity that annoys your readers will diminish your list's rank.  That includes any visual tricks that attempt to call attention to your list such as excessive capitalization, excessive punctuation, excessive commercialization, high-pressure tactics, track-record claims, etc.   Readers hate that kind of stuff and so it usually backfires.
  3. Make sure to keep your list up-to-date.  Lists that haven't been updated in a while will lose rank.
  4. Make sure your first 10 charts are well presented and explained well.  They form your initial impression with readers.
  5. Don't beg for votes inside your list.  All readers know about and understand the voting system.
  6. Use all the perks you've earned.  Check your list's Settings page regularly to see if there are any new perks you can take advantage of.
  7. Don't put a website link in your list's name or abstract.  That is a clear signal to everyone that your list is primarily for self-promotion.  If you must include a link, do it at the end of your List's description area instead.  Your readers will find it just as easily there.
  8. Notice what other high-ranking lists are doing and emulate them.
  9. Don't sweat the daily fluctuations in rank.  Everyone's list moves up and down over time.

Public ChartList "Perks"

Initially, a new Public ChartList consists of the ChartList's name, an "abstract" (description) of the list up to 100 characters long, and up to 100 charts.  (If the ChartList has more than 100 charts in it, the first 100 charts are used.)

Over time however, as an author maintains the list and it becomes more popular, additional features - called "perks" - become available.  Here is a list of some of the perks that authors can earn:

Easy to earn:

  • 200 Character Abstract Line
  • 200 Charts Displayed
  • Predefined Avatar Icon
  • Name Text Decorations
  • Predefined Color Theme
  • Active Custom Web Link #1

Harder to earn:

  • Custom Avatar Icon
  • 500 Charts Displayed
  • Active Custom Web Link #2
  • Custom Web Counter
Difficult to earn:
  • Minimal StockCharts Branding
  • Customized URL Suffix
  • Google Analytics Reporting
  • Additional HTML Code Snippets

We intend on adding additional perks to the system over time as well.

The exact criteria for earning each perk is confidential however perks in the Easy category can generally be earned in 1 to 2 months, perks in the Harder category may take 6 to 12 months to earn and perks in the Difficult category may take over a year to earn.  Lists that are not maintained for long periods of time may lose their perks if their popularity statistics fall significantly.

Perks are awarded automatically as they are earned.  Click the "Edit Public ChartList" button on your ChartList's "Edit" page periodically to see if you have earned any new perks.

Public ChartList Badges and Awards

In addition to "perks" - which affect the capabilities of your list - the system will also award "Badges" to authors when their list hits a significant milestone.  Badges appears as little icons located to the right of your list's name.  Examples of badges that can be earned include:

  • New Author Badge - awarded to new authors.  Automatically revoked after 2 weeks
  • StockCharts Membership Duration Badge - 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, etc.
  • Leader Badge - 50 followers, 100 followers, 200 followers, etc.
  • Top-Ranked Duration Award - 1 month, 3 months, 6 months etc. in the "Top Ranked" area
  • Original Hall-of-Fame Member Award - given to people that earned Hall of Fame status in Public ChartLists v.1.0
We intend on adding additional badges and awards to the system over time as well.  Most badges are awarded on a permanent basis.

Restrictions

Please keep in mind the following restrictions when creating content for Public ChartLists:

  • Excess commercialism doesn't help anyone.  Readers hate it and your list will quickly fall down the rankings.
  • Public ChartLists are not to be used as free advertising areas.  We will ban people that abuse this ability.
  • Profane, obnoxious and insulting language will result in low rankings for your list and will probably also result in a ban if we get complaints from readers.  Please focus your content on chart analysis.
  • Custom Avatar icons need to be approved by StockCharts.com before they can be used.  Only professional, G-rated images will be approved.
  • While version 2.0 makes it much, much harder to do, anyone found trying to artificially inflate their list's ranking will be banned.

Frequently Asked Questions for Authors -

Q: My list seems to have disappeared from the Public ChartList area. Why?
A: 
In order for a list to appear in the new Public ChartList area, you need to give us some additional information about your list including an abstract (one-line description) and the categories it belongs in.  Simply click on the "Make Public" button on the Edit page for your ChartList and fill on the form that appears.  Your list will be back online with all of its statistics as soon as you complete that step. 

Q: How come I only get 100 charts per Public List now?  I used to have 500!
A: We are trying to create a system that is beneficial to both authors and readers.  Readers have told us that lists which have tons of (typically un-analyzed) charts in them are not interesting.  By limiting the number of charts (initially) to 100, we hope that authors will take more time to select important charts and provide great commentary for the charts they select.  Authors should keep in mind that it is fairly easier to earn the "200 charts per list" perk and later the "500 charts per list" perk.

Q: When are the lists re-ranked?
A:
 The lists are re-ranked several times each hour of the day. 

Q: As an author, what can I do to improve my list's visibility on the main Public ChartList page?

A: Focus on providing great market commentary with great looking, well organized charts and minimal commercialism.  Also, make sure that your list is properly categorized on the "Edit List" page.  Beyond that, there's not much you need to do.  The ranking system will automatically move popular lists to the top of the rankings.

Q: Why is my vote total way lower than it used to be?
A: Because only members can vote, the total number of votes will be lower under this new system than it was under the old one.  Keep in mind that your list is probably still receiving the same amount of traffic as before however and will probably get more traffic as time goes on and you gain more perks.

Q:  Why can I no longer see the number of hits my list is generating?
A: Under the old system, some people started using automatic tools to artificially increase the number of hits that appeared next to their names.  That put a large amount of unnecessary stress on our servers.  Because of that, we no longer display hit totals on the main Public ChartLists page.  Please note that the ability to add a full featured hit counter to your Public ChartList is a perk that you can earn over time.

Q: Can I link to my website/blog/Facebook page from my Public ChartList?
A: Yes, once you earn the "Live Link" perk (see above).  You are also able to earn a second "Live Link" later.

Q: Can I communicate directly with my "Followers"?
A: Not currently however that is something we are looking into adding in the future.


Frequently Asked Questions for Viewers -

Q: Things look pretty plain to me.  Will they get better over time?
A: Yes, it will take some time for Authors to earn perks and awards using this new system so it will continue to improve over time.  Click here for an example of what things might look like in a little while.

Q: How do I find a particular author's list?
A: There are a couple of options:  You can click the "Last Name" link at the top of the Public ChartList rankings to sort the lists by author's last name.  You can also simply use your browser's "Find" command (CTRL-F) to search for it.  Once you find the list you are looking for, be sure to "Follow" it which will make finding it in the future much easier.  

Q: Why should I "follow" a Public ChartList?
A: One reason is because it is much easier to find the lists that you follow and visit them again in the future.  Your followed lists have a gold star beside their name and they appear in a special "Lists I am Following" dropdown at the top of each page.  Another reason is because it continually rewards the authors that you enjoy reading and allows them to create even better content in the future.

Q: How do I "follow" a Public ChartList?
A: Click on the blue "Follow" button that appears on the right side of the ChartList's page.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of ChartLists I can follow?
A: No, however if you follow lots of lists, the benefits that come from following will decrease (i.e., It will be harder to find specific lists again if you are following all of them). 

Q: If I "follow" a list, will I get a bunch of email alerts about it?
A: Not currently.   You might have the option in the future to receive emails alerts about list updates, however that would only be done on an "opt-in" basis with your approval.

Q: Why can't I vote for Public ChartLists that I like anymore?
A: Only StockCharts members who are logged in to their accounts can vote and/or follow Public ChartLists.  The old system - which allowed anyone to vote anonymously - allowed too much abuse of the one-vote-per-day rule.  The new system will ensure that no more of that kind of abuse occurs.

 
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