submitted by scoow
Over the past year, there have been over 50 topics discussed in the Talkboard Topics Forum. BDJohns1ís handy spreadsheet shows 36 votes. Posts in the public forum are the best way we the voters have of knowing where you stand on issues before the TB. Therefore, I am curious as to how many posts each candidate has made in the public TB forum this year.Do you feel these posts have done an adequate job of informing voters of your position(s)?
You donít have to count every one of your posts Ė I could do that if all I was looking for is the raw #s. Iím more interested in comments along the lines of ďI commented on every issue the TB vote onĒ or ďI got really involved in discussions on one issue, but didnít comment at all on othersĒ and why you did so. This question is applicable to both current TB members and candidates since we can all post in the public TB Topics forum.
Oct 31, 08, 11:42 am
As a current member of TalkBoard, I've participated in every single vote (haven't missed a vote & I don't believe I've abstained on any votes either). I've also participated in every topic brought up in the public forum as well as many that were brought in the private forum. I make it a point to view the TalkBoard Topics forum every single time I log into FT and try to answer any questions I can and comment when relevant.
Oct 31, 08, 11:50 am
I believe that I've posted in the TalkBoard Topics forum on 50%-75% of the threads / issues presented. I only have posted on topics where I have a fairly strong opinion on.
Oct 31, 08, 12:27 pm
My contributions have been minimal, though I did have some conversation in the forum regarding the recent branching out of the OMNI forums.
My initial thought about OMNI went to a moderator, who pointed me to the TalkBoard topics page. Had some good discussions with another member running for TalkBoard regarding the OMNI upgrade.
I have made suggestions, but they largely went directly to moderators instead of the forum. Happy to say that many of the suggestions were welcomed by those moderators.
Oct 31, 08, 12:52 pm
I read through the posts but have not made any comments about things. If it was something that I felt strongly about then I would say something.
Not everyone will share the same views as yourself, so by the question you are actually asking is did we take part and if not why not.
If there is nothing of interesting or I dont disagree with something that is being discussed then I will not say anything.
There are others that would reply to everything that is posted and love to get right into the hardcore debating.
Oct 31, 08, 1:36 pm
I try not to post unless I have something unique to contribute to a thread, or unless I feel really strongly about an issue.
That isn't unique to this forum though, I am quite sparing with my posts in all forums. Quality over quantity.
Oct 31, 08, 2:26 pm
I don't think this question addresses a useful metric for assessing FT participation and community commitment.
I've posted to Talkboard Forum topics in which I had a personal interest. "FT member" and "TalkBoard member" are different designations and carry different responsibilities. Why, for example, would I, as an FT member who doesn't gamble much, have anything worthwhile to contribute to a thread on establishment of a gaming loyalty program forum? On the other hand, I proposed the Travel Photography forum because it's a subject in which I am very interested. I've previously supported a number of charity requests and, of course, was a very vocal opponent to the charity request involving Mission to the World.
As a TalkBoard member, my personal interests would become irrelevant as I see the TalkBoard as a representative body -- the voice of all FlyerTalkers and the means of communicating community concerns to Randy and IBB. My views on FT as a very real and important community are hardly secret -- my posts on this topic can be found in many FT forums, including the TalkBoard forum.
Oct 31, 08, 4:12 pm
Great question, scoow. To my knowledge, I haven't responded to any TB proposals thus far this year. I've read quite a few, although probably not all. This is consistent with my previous TB experience, as well as my experience as a trustee and director. I like to listen to members for feedback, ask questions to help clarify their opinion. I'm happy to debate issues as well, but I usually listen first.
Oct 31, 08, 4:16 pm
Only over the past year i became interested in FlyerTalk more seriously then as an information source.
Flyertalk is my home - not only for my web-browser - but as a person who spends most of his days on planes it's my FOX, CNN and Playboy. I eat drink and breath it. (no - seriously.. i have lunch while reading posts daily - and sometimes i choke while drinking at the same time).
Until the announcement about the talk board elections, i have not entered the talk board forum once, and to be brutally honest it's the election notice itself that made me aware of it. Previously i heard about the world of the moderators from moderator friends but not deeper then that.
After reading talk board post and learning more i've decided to join in the race as i was amazed about the way this online community is run and wanted to contribute to it - even though, yes - i have never posted on talk board before.
I look forward to having the opportunity to devote from my time and online exprience to the talk board if elected.
Oct 31, 08, 6:41 pm
I'm not at all shy about expressing my opinions when there's something to be said. I also have no problem keeping quiet and sampling the mood of the community so that I can make my voting decisions with the input provided in the public forum. This isn't always a direct correlation as I also take into account PM, email, other forums, and what's best for FlyerTalk when I cast a vote.
Oct 31, 08, 7:20 pm
Something I hadn't considered. I read the TB forum on a regular basis, and contribute posts when I have a strong opinion the matters being discussed. I've talked about pictures in forums (happening now, I wasn't too crazy about it); in favor of a disability travel issues forum; contributed to the discussion on Sober Travelers forum, for example.
I tend to stand back if I don't have a strong opinion, for a few reasons:
- I have strong opinions on several things so I like to make sure I contribute to those discussions.
- If I don't have a preference on the outcome, I am very happy to let those who do sway the discussion. Like the very lengthy smilie discussion I don't care either way so why post just to make noise?
As a TB member I obviously would take a more active role in discussions and read the board even more often than I do.
Oct 31, 08, 8:07 pm
I've made 215 posts on TalkBoard Topics since the last TalkBoard election. I stuck around after the Election 2007 forum closed because I had gotten to know the people and (blush) they had said some nice things about me.
Here are the subjects on which I wrote:
1. I was initially in favor (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8800120#post8800120) of a forum for VX (Virgin America). The proposal failed on December 3, 2007. Two days later, with the newly elected members seated, RichMSN recommended an immediate re-vote (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8800120#post8800120). I was dismayed. As I explained (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8842028#post8842028), an immediate reversal would be disrespectful to the prior TB. If the only constraint on what you do is having the numbers to win, the TB becomes a purely political body.
On December 28, kokonutz and Punki went ahead and made the proposal anyway. I called them out (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8971984#post8971984), despite my belief that VX deserved a forum. A significant number of posters disagreed with me on this. I explained myself further here (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9021827#post9021827) and here (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9043402#post9043402). I guess I'm just a stickler for giving respect in order to get respect.
The motion failed when Jenbel abstained, as she explained eloquently here (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9061270#post9061270). You might also read my posts below hers, numbers 168, 169, 173, and 197.
VX finally got its forum on April 1 by unanimous vote, after Randy privately brought some new information to the TB.
In summary, the VX debacle exposed a difference of opinion on process. Some believe that the TB should behave like a political body, where numbers are all that matter and collegiality counts for nothing. I disagree. If you want a politician on TB, don't vote for me.
2. I participated in a fun discussion on smilies. Adding smilies is still an open issue, but it does not appear to be high on anyone's priority list.
3. I supported a proposal to create Choice Privileges forum (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8976556#post8976556) to give us a place to whine about zero-notice changes. The motion passed.
4. I expressed an open mind about OMNI post counts but I deferred to Randy's long experience (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9272221#post9272221) with OMNI. I once again advocated a less confrontational process here (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9279360#post9279360) and here (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9323310#post9323310). Then I added some humor (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9285019#post9285019).
5. I posted a few times on the "Input Welcome for Talkboard Meeting" thread. The tail end of this thread foreshadowed the recent intense debate on what to do when a TalkBoard member receives a 30-day suspension.
6. After the TalkBoard meeting all the discussion was about the Ambassador proposal. In this case, the formal proposal preceded the public discussion (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9776400#post9776400), a procedural error IMHO.
The public discussion revealed several concerns that the drafters had not anticipated. The Achilles heel of that proposal turned out to be the question of how Ambassadors would be chosen.
I proposed self-nomination (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9776501#post9776501) but kokonutz convinced me that my idea was defective. I couldn't come up with anything better, and the discussion spiraled down into questioning of motives. The motion failed, attracting only 2 votes.
I participated in a subsequent discussion, stating why I now thought the concept was fatally flawed (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9941392#post9941392).
7. In a classic case of bad timing, I suggested adding ATA to the title of the Southwest forum in January. Just over 3 months later, ATA shut down. Good thing the TB is so slow!
8. All the above makes it seem as if TBT and even the TalkBoard is mostly aggravation and a waste of time. I was not particularly planning to run for TB again this year until the final and biggest debate of the year: the new TalkBoard Guidelines.
When the new TalkBoard Guidelines were proposed in early September, it quickly became clear that the issue of how to handle future 30-day suspensions of TalkBoard members was the main obstacle. I participated heavily in the discussion, attempting to identify the objections and resolve them. As you can read for yourself in posts 184, 185, 188, 189, and 193 of this TBT thread (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10379473#post10379473), I eventually discovered what it would take to bring the most vocal opponent of the provision on board and achieve a consensus agreement. Cholula revealed a few days later (in post 321) that he was on board with this idea. The latest version of the proposal, expected to be approved any day now, matches the "wait until Randy decides" compromise described in these posts.
Unfortunately, it took several weeks for the rest of the TB to catch up. First the proponents tried to ramrod through the original proposal, despite the fact that the public discussion had shown the very realistic prospect of a compromise. I expressed my regret at this course of action here (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10421232#post10421232). Perhaps someone on the TalkBoard listened, because the proposal failed.
Then the other side made a formal proposal at the other extreme: no suspension provisions at all. I called the proposer out on that
here (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10535377#post10535377), again citing the lack of consensus. This proposal was not voted on, so perhaps it was not seconded. Next came the back room negotiations that gave us the latest version, which even kokonutz and CluebyFour could agree on.
We could have achieved this consensus result a month earlier if not for the steamroller crews. If I am elected to the TalkBoard, I will stand in front of the steamrollers on behalf of any TB member who is willing to compromise.
The favorable outcome of the great TB Guidelines debate encouraged me that perhaps the future of the TalkBoard is indeed less political, not more. I will work to continue this progress.
Oct 31, 08, 8:32 pm
I expressed only one thought on the TB Topics that was regarding a new forum for Virgin America Elevate. Since then the Forum is growing and new member of our family :)
Most of the time I address the respective moderators of the forums for questions and queries.
Nov 1, 08, 3:29 am
Nov 1, 08, 3:55 am
I was extremely active with regards to the Mission To The World issue and I've waded in with the odd other post. Generally though I've just stuck to reading the forum.
As much as anything I've been rather put off posting because a lot of threads seems to go down the 'high school debate' route where people (both TBers and non-TBers) adopt extremely entrenched positions on issues which, put bluntly, are of no relevance to them. The phrase 'signal to noise ration' comes to mind.
If elected I'll obviously be more active on the forum and I'll be happy to interact with members with regards to my views - but endless back and forth discussions won't be part of my TB membership. I'll value feedback and information from the wider FT membership and that feedback and information will obviously go into the mix when I'm forming my views - but equally my views will very much be a 'they are what they are' thing.
TB needs to consider proposals simply on the basis of whether they are a good idea or not - and the best defence against a bad decision is simply to have a reasonable number of people voting (say 9 :)) based on the application of a bit of common sense. Overall the 'common sense' thing is the key - working on that basis TB won't go too far wrong.
Nov 1, 08, 5:52 am
I think that TalkBoard forum can have more noise than clarity sometimes. I often post once and let people read my comments. Important to me this year were the votes on:
- Mission to the World
- Ambassador proposal
- New rules for TB
Nov 1, 08, 10:18 am
RichMSN recommended an immediate re-vote (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8800120#post8800120). I was dismayed. As I explained (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8842028#post8842028), an immediate reversal would be disrespectful to the prior TB. If the only constraint on what you do is having the numbers to win, the TB becomes a purely political body.
I feel the need to address this before answering the main question. After all, I was mentioned, by name. I wonder if this would've happened if I was not a candidate.
When a TalkBoard turns over, only 4 or 5 of 9 members are replaced (potentially, since members can run for re-election). If a motion barely passes during or after the election period, I do not consider it political to run the motion up the flagpole again. I consider it taking the temperature of the electorate who made the changes to the TalkBoard in the first place. And had the motion passed unanimously, changing out 5 members of TalkBoard would not change the vote, since a 2/3 vote is required.
(Real example: I lived in a town as a child where the school board recommended a new high school, at the cost of $20+ million dollars. The need for the new school was debatable -- it wasn't a slam dunk where the old school was falling down or anything like that. The entire school board was voted out in the November elections based on this and immediately, upon being seated, revisited the recommendation. I found this to be quite appropriate. BTW, the school was built 2 years later at a lower cost and EVERYONE backed the plan.)
My contributions in the TBT forum are different as a general member than they would be as a TB member. As a general member, I find no reason not to challenge the status quo or challenge what I consider to be a poor decision. I have no qualms about being a bit snarky from time to time and no qualms about making my opinions known.
As a TalkBoard member, though, I feel my main job would be to listen. And not just the fake kind of listening where I delay my vote for 13-and-a-half days to make it look like I'm listening. TBT, PM, email, it doesn't matter. Listen to every side of an issue. Try not to let any conflict of interests interfere with my ability to listen and consider what's best for FlyerTalk.
And if I disagree with you and vote opposite you, hopefully I can remain positive and respectful and not use symbols like this @:-) or cute acronyms that make you feel like I'm just blowing you off.
I would continue to participate in the TBT forum, but probably not post as much there as I do now. Quality over quantity. I'd ask questions there, explain my votes there, ask for clarification there, but most of my communication with members would be via PM and email unless that member wanted those communications out in the open.
Nov 1, 08, 12:08 pm
The signal-to-noise ratio in the TB forums is often less than ideal. That said, it's obvious that TB members over the years have adopted a consensus-building approach to their proposals and voting.
I approve of this consensus-building approach, which is not to imply I won't have strong views on particular subjects. I'll simply be a pulling, rather than a pushy, salesman with my views.
Nov 1, 08, 2:25 pm
I somehow overlooked the big Mission to the World debate. That was truly a difficult issue, mixing general FlyerTalk Cares principles with a contentious example. As lawyers say, hard cases make bad law.
I believe Randy was wise to take control of FlyerTalk Cares, removing it from the political realm of the TalkBoard. I found his explanation (http://flyertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10590481&postcount=27) of this situation persuasive.
Nov 1, 08, 3:54 pm
Well, maybe I won't make a good politician, but in all honesty, I haven't focused much on the TalkBoard in the past. I've left it up to others.
My attitude is generally to leave things alone, unless I can make a difference.
My approach has been to let those responsible for managing/guiding the community do their thing. Now, I am ready, professionally and otherwise, to get involved and try and make a difference.
It's all about timing.
Nov 3, 08, 8:35 am
Question 5: Your Interest/Contributions in the TalkBoard Topics forum
Well this should be easy as itís early and I have only had a couple of beers and counting is easy still. Give it a couple of hours and that could change..
I have only participated in talkboard once before and that was on a charity debate / debacle. This was brought to my attention and I wanted to contribute. On a day to day basis I tend not to check it and I think this is true of 95% of FTers and something that needs to be addressed by some means, my answer to Q1 might help this.
Nov 4, 08, 9:33 pm
I like the idea of looking at our track records to form part of a basis for an opinion of us. Posts to the TB forum are very relevant to this. While I am pleased I participated in some discussions, I look at the number of issues I have not commented on and wonder why. I suspect that like many of FTers I just did not even bother with the political side of FT. This is what makes this question so relevant. Those posters in the TB forum that have taken a stand, shared an opinion and offered advice are really going the extra distance to make the place better. In my case it has been a short story with regard to the posts I have made in the TB forum. Two topics really. The first was the proposed fitness forum. I feel passionate about this but as the discussion evolved I became aware of the views of others and took a step back to look at what it would take to really implement this idea. The proposal while failing led to the discussion of another key topic in which I participated. This was the one discussing ideas for how to set rules or standards for closure of fora which detract from the data searchability that would be enjoyed if the forum in question were closed. In both cases I found people that agreed with my point of view, and I also came up against opposing ideas. Those very same opposing ideas when discussed led the discussion forward. I feel strongly that I would want to be very active in posting thoughts and ideas that would not only reflect my basic position but that would cause the ideas of others considering posting to be effectively elicited for consideration by all. We all benefit from these posts and I think I would have a real duty to get into the thick of it as often as needed to keep discussions alive and to allow all points of view to be heard.