New Features - Win 10,000 Membership Rewards® Points on Top Flyer
Mar 2, 11, 1:03 pm
Now, FlyerTalkers can earn 10,000 rewards points!
Top Flyer (http://www.flyertalk.com/topflyer/) has really taken off – but now your flying expertise can get you even bigger rewards. Hop on board for a chance to earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points or a $50American Express® Gift Card. And keep posting,because there are even more surprises coming down the tarmac.
ELIGIBILITY: The Program is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older.
Jun 2, 11, 8:14 am
I love this concept and had a fun time playing last month but I know I'm not the only member who thinks the process could be fine-tuned. People are a little miffed over potential "imaginary" accounts being used by some to increase the vote count--- but I'm not sure how you can weed out the imaginary accounts from the real accounts recently created by lurkers or recruited friends, and I know one of the goals of any promo like this is to increase visit count and member count, so I doubt you want to discourage us from recruiting friends/family to join in the games.
What irks me more, though, is the posts that appear to have been made just to get a post count up and to give voters more posts to vote on. Some examples are multiple pictures of the same fixture/skyline/meal/etc which are repetitive and redundant, as well as robo-posting of news articles, most of which have already been posted (sometimes by the same user). I honestly don't see anything wrong with asking people to vote on good, informative content nor do I see anything wrong with encouraging newcomers to the site, but I think the frenzy to generate as much content as possible has really diluted the quality of the content, and given people the impression that the contest is not winnable unless you have as much quantity as possible.
I'd like to suggest increasing the minimum character count for any post, be it photo, video or text, to minimum 100-200 characters, of course not so many that one has to write a book, but well more than the 10 character minimum of today. This will encourage people to actually write some thought behind what they are posting, and hopefully be enough work for the robo-posters that they taper off of that practice.
Thank you for your thoughtful comments and your excellent content posts (and congrats again on winning!).
It is indeed a daunting task to vet user accounts and moderate posts to be sure everyone is contributing in a constructive way within the rules of the contest; but it is a responsibility we take very seriously. We absolutely take every measure possible to limit fraudulent voting, and we have and will continue to moderate posts to ensure that they present a great user experience for anyone visiting the Top Flyer page.
Jun 3, 11, 4:00 pm
Thanks for the reply, and thanks for the congrats! Any idea how to claim the prize? My email has been acting up lately and nobody's contacted me so I don't know if that's the email's fault or I am just being impatient. I'll be without Internet access for a bit so didn't want to miss out!
Well I spilled the beans a bit there (but you could see the leaderboard at the end of May) -- we will be officially notifying May's TF winners next week. You also won a Daily Question I believe, which is cool!
Jun 6, 11, 7:10 pm
We absolutely take every measure possible to limit fraudulent voting, and we have and will continue to moderate posts to ensure that they present a great user experience for anyone visiting the Top Flyer page.
The perception of unfairness has spoiled the feel of that site for quite a number of us. It's one thing when we go to travel related boards like FT where we are known, and ask our friends, people who are active online, to look at TopFlyer and support us. It's different when we see rapid creation of multiple new personae who systematically and sequentially vote for one or two members. It appeared that one would pop up, immediately vote for everything by those one or two members; ten minutes later another would pop up and do the same, followed ten minutes later by a third, and so forth. Of course it is possible someone was hosting a dinner party and had their real human friends join one after another, and coached them in how to navigate the site so they could vote; possible, but it doesn't pass the smell test.
Several other aspects of the site which throw it off balance. If someone is not in the top ten, they are hard for legitimate new members to find and like; their profiles are buried deeply. Site navigation is very awkward. Also, it's very hard for newbies to break into the upper tiers. When an established member has several hundred posts, two or three of their friends (or their Shena's) can come in and in a very short time give them a thousand points. A newbie posts one contribution at a time, and gets a couple points at a time; they will quickly get discouraged and leave.
I think you need to flush out the site and start fresh with a new design and structure. Add features like requiring people to make at least one contrib before voting, and put time limits on voting (for example, you can only give 10 likes per hour).
BTW, there is one superb contributor who has made quality posts from the beginning and who got sniped (e-bay term) out of the top in the last half hour (I believe it happened to him two months in a row)- so I went and liked everything he did this month, so that he will at least have a head start on Shena for this month. I hope he finally gets his due. As for me, I'll keep visiting and supporting those who I know personally, but I'm disillusioned with TopFlyer and tired of contributing to it.
Jun 7, 11, 8:03 am
I think it just needs to be harder to win by inflated numbers. I think post minimums could be counter-productive; many folks did invite friends (real live humans) to join the site specifically for the contests, and that shouldn't be discouraged. I do think there should be more emphasis on quality posts though. Perhaps pics with multiple photos count more? Age limit of photos? Just guesses.
At any rate, I've not heard back about the prize. Any update? I just got engaged (great surprise to start my vacation) and since my fiancé is a British ex-pat, we'll have a lot of family coming across for the wedding, but not all can afford the trip. So I need every mile and point I can get my hands on!