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Old Aug 23, 12, 10:46 am   #1036
formerly known as felinaar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftizzy View Post
LOL, you've got to be kidding me. It's hardly a personal attack, I don't know the guy at all.

But to take your bait, lets use some constructive criticism. He should remove the photo, or replace the bow tie with a necktie. That better?
I think both Daraius and Lesko use the bow tie to attract attention. Good for them if it works. If it's a personal style choice, no biggie. I had a physics professor who always wore bow ties. We teased him, but he enjoyed them because they were different and made him stand out. It was part of his personality that we liked.
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Old Aug 23, 12, 10:50 am   #1037
 
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To answer the title of this thread:

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/frequentmiler/

is easily the best blog. For me it is a bit Chase/UR heavy, but it isn't a nonstop advisement for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. There is also something to be said for one post per day--focusing energy in one quality post instead of other blogs which just throw everything up that is even remotely new. I also enjoy the experimentation that is done, and the reporting back what works and doesn't. It reads like a personal journal more than a tabloid.

I also commend FM's writing at a level above rookie--and for admitting where you've made slip-ups. The blog is unique--unlike so many others which make everything seem simple, and over-emphasize the huge unbelievable value of the $20,000 flight they took for $12.50 and a dozen postage stamps.

Now a rant: it irks me when blogs discuss a signup bonus, or anything really as "Enough points for a Business class flight to London." Really? How do you get home then? I also don't know if the bloggers are mostly single, but not many people travel by themselves for leisure.

I've spoken to people who fall into this trap, they sign up for a card that has a 40,000 point bonus, and ask "where can me and the wife go with that?" and I tell them... nowhere really. Then I do the cleanup and try to help them get more points/miles. But if you read certain blogs they continue to stress that 40,000 points will get you a Business class ticket!
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Old Aug 23, 12, 10:57 am   #1038
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max M View Post
Seriously!!!

There was a blogger there whom I will not name that didn't apparently have anything better to post one day besides post a cookie recipe and opine about Sesame Street's parody of the song "Call Me Maybe", and then tied both to frequent travel/frequent flyer miles because of airlines serving cookies on board.

That's the last day I read this individual's Boarding Area blog.
I can't please everyone. Like others have said, it's a restaurant. You can argue that something is wrong and send it back. You will have more difficulty changing the menu. Especially if you don't complain (first I heard about this). The biggest complaint I've gotten was about the recap posts, and I actually did stop writing them for a while. I thought about how to make them better. And in the meantime, I was getting many MORE emails from people telling me they liked them. Now it seems that a lot of bloggers have started doing recaps.

I try to limit the number off "off topic" posts like the one that offended you, but I'm not the only abuser. It's just meant to be a fun break. The majority of people still like the majority of the content, and I continue to add more readers than I lose.

For blogs in general, if you don't like one post, don't read it. But if you like the rest of the content, I think one post is a poor excuse to stop reading everything else from the same blogger. I have lots of favorite restaurants where I only like one or two items on the menu.
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Old Aug 23, 12, 10:58 am   #1039
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mile-a-holic View Post
I disagree: I think most FTers think bloggers deserve to be compensated for their time and effort. Where a lot of FTers take exception is the execution of that on some blogs.

So, were I a blogger, I would look at FT feedback differently. Just like the health "nuts" were the "few disgrunteld customers" to McD's in the early 90s. So, if you broadly group feedback into two groupings:

1) Consumer feedback (add content, keep the TR trip reports and not personal vacation, etc): at some point, today's satisfied clients will likely grow seasoned enough to have the same issues. Do the bloggers want to gamble that the market of newbies will continue to constantly grow? Or, maybe take some of the feedback?
2) Consumer-rights feedback: this is my personal hobby-horse. If a blogger is going to provide a "newbie primer," then it needs to at least mention that redeeming airline miles requires planning. Don't push credit cards that benefit the blogger, regardless of what benefits the newbie (e.g., not even mentioning the USAir no spend card when the person lives in a hub and mentions not spending a lot, but pushing the CSP). The reality is that this game isn't for everyone, but certain bloggers make it appear that way. I get capitalism, but....the "me too" blogs that are clearly out to bilk this are offensive to me.
About #2, you're preaching to the choir. I completely agree with the points you mention. As to everything else...

The interests of newbies and seasoned frequent flyers are extremely different. Catering to everyone never works. Even though I've been here for a very long time and certainly not a newbie, my interests differ greatly from most of the flyertalkers since I'm not a business traveler and not interested in earning status as much as miles and points. So can you imagine trying to target everyone out there who loves to travel including the veterans and the folks who know nothing about FF programs to begin with and then somehow churning out the content that would be beneficial to everyone?

It simply cannot be done. At least, I don't know one blogger who's able to do this successfully. Do you?

About your statement that "most FTers think bloggers deserve to be compensated for their time and effort", well, it all sounds fine--in theory, but the ways for a blogger to get compensated are extremely limited. Since people in this day and age refuse to pay for content, it's either ads, affiliate links, or selling merchandise or services, and all the methods above are annoying to the reader. What else is there, really?
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Old Aug 23, 12, 11:15 am   #1040
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubtify View Post
To answer the title of this thread:

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/frequentmiler/

is easily the best blog. For me it is a bit Chase/UR heavy, but it isn't a nonstop advisement for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. There is also something to be said for one post per day--focusing energy in one quality post instead of other blogs which just throw everything up that is even remotely new. I also enjoy the experimentation that is done, and the reporting back what works and doesn't. It reads like a personal journal more than a tabloid.

I also commend FM's writing at a level above rookie--and for admitting where you've made slip-ups. The blog is unique--unlike so many others which make everything seem simple, and over-emphasize the huge unbelievable value of the $20,000 flight they took for $12.50 and a dozen postage stamps.

Now a rant: it irks me when blogs discuss a signup bonus, or anything really as "Enough points for a Business class flight to London." Really? How do you get home then? I also don't know if the bloggers are mostly single, but not many people travel by themselves for leisure.

I've spoken to people who fall into this trap, they sign up for a card that has a 40,000 point bonus, and ask "where can me and the wife go with that?" and I tell them... nowhere really. Then I do the cleanup and try to help them get more points/miles. But if you read certain blogs they continue to stress that 40,000 points will get you a Business class ticket!
Well, three points. First, FrequentMiler is indeed a fantastic blog, but as you yourself said, it is indeed on a completely different level. It would be totally overwhelming to newbies. So it is not the best blog for newbies. Agreed?

Second, I find it strange that you're against talking about sign up bonuses. There is nothing out there as easy and lucrative as getting insane amount of miles due to sign up bonuses. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because if there is anything like that out there, I would sure like to know about it.

Third, I take exception to your statement about CSP sign up bonus. 40,000 UR points will take you all the way down to Latin America (and back) on United or it can get you 8 nights at Hyatt. No hacking required. Hardly a trap for a newbie, I'd think.
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Old Aug 23, 12, 11:49 am   #1041
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnscout View Post
Second, I find it strange that you're against talking about sign up bonuses. There is nothing out there as easy and lucrative as getting insane amount of miles due to sign up bonuses. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because if there is anything like that out there, I would sure like to know about it.

Third, I take exception to your statement about CSP sign up bonus. 40,000 UR points will take you all the way down to Latin America (and back) on United or it can get you 8 nights at Hyatt. No hacking required. Hardly a trap for a newbie, I'd think.
I agree Sign up bonuses are the best way to gain points right now. My issue is that I don't like every other post on a blog to be an ad for the CSP. I have the card, I love it, it is great. But blogs will write about a hotel and then end saying "if you're thinking of flying United to get to Miami and stay at the Four Points why not apply for the CSP, which is the greatest card ever invented." I get it, Chase pays you for approvals... it just gets old, very quickly. I also take issue when a link is poorer than the best available link found on FT (bloggers have gotten better at posting the best links lately, but some still do not).

As to the second point: Your assumption is that the person applying for the card is 1-flexible in where/when they want to go, and 2-Understands the complexities of booking points/miles related travel. It sounds as if you and I are aware of both 1&2 but I know a lot of people are not. Again in both examples you included you are either buying a second ticket for $$$ or if you use the points for the hotel you are buying at least 1 ticket or maybe 2. Again neither example explains where your wife/gf/mom/friend will get down with you to LA. There are many blogs that make it seem like you can travel for *Free.* When it comes down to it you can dramatically reduce your expenses, but for some people (borderline credit, $0 in the bank, high CC balances) the game will never work. They will end up using the 40,000 points for $400 worth of gift cards and mutter under their breath how they wasted time trying to book flights home for thanksgiving with miles.
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Old Aug 23, 12, 12:20 pm   #1042
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnscout View Post
The interests of newbies and seasoned frequent flyers are extremely different. Catering to everyone never works. Even though I've been here for a very long time and certainly not a newbie, my interests differ greatly from most of the flyertalkers since I'm not a business traveler and not interested in earning status as much as miles and points. So can you imagine trying to target everyone out there who loves to travel including the veterans and the folks who know nothing about FF programs to begin with and then somehow churning out the content that would be beneficial to everyone?

It simply cannot be done. At least, I don't know one blogger who's able to do this successfully. Do you?

About your statement that "most FTers think bloggers deserve to be compensated for their time and effort", well, it all sounds fine--in theory, but the ways for a blogger to get compensated are extremely limited. Since people in this day and age refuse to pay for content, it's either ads, affiliate links, or selling merchandise or services, and all the methods above are annoying to the reader. What else is there, really?
There's nothing wrong with blog specialization - clearly it can't serve everyone. I never read the blogs prior, so I don't know the "good old days" but I am reading the feedback trend as content being driven by financial interests, and drivel to fill in the blanks. Sure there's some chafe that should be ignored, just like any market research. Take what is helpful and ignore the rest.

And, I think most folks are okay with ads, affiliate links, and services if reasonable. It's only the above (where it drives the content) that it becomes an issue.
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Old Aug 23, 12, 12:24 pm   #1043
 
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I think maybe the elephant in the room needs mentioning : Chase in particular requires a large number of sign-ups to stay "active" under their referral program. They also do not like you posting alternative links to their cards. That is why you see so many repeats on Chase SP. They do not want the hand that feeds cutting them off.
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Old Aug 23, 12, 12:25 pm   #1044
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnscout View Post
Third, I take exception to your statement about CSP sign up bonus. 40,000 UR points will take you all the way down to Latin America (and back) on United or it can get you 8 nights at Hyatt. No hacking required. Hardly a trap for a newbie, I'd think.
It is a trap if they only wanted a r/t in the US, could have applied for the USAir instead (40k first purchase), can't take another credit hit, and end up spending money they shouldn't following UR mileage earning "tips" (when either they could have spent much less for the same merchandise or could simply do without).
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Old Aug 23, 12, 4:20 pm   #1045
 
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What is the most useful frequent flyer blog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by edrags View Post
Wow,

Dozens and dozens of pages of pro and anti blogger rants, and not a single post that actually relates to the subject of the thread.
For my purposes, goals, and continuing education . . .

Scott at http://milevalue.com/ Unique and useful content. And I highly recommend his award travel booking service.


MommyPoints http://boardingarea.com/blogs/mommypoints/ She catches the deals I might miss if I can't prowl FT, and if there is a GS12 I'll be following her around like a lost puppy.
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Old Aug 24, 12, 9:55 am   #1046
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubtify View Post
I've spoken to people who fall into this trap, they sign up for a card that has a 40,000 point bonus, and ask "where can me and the wife go with that?" and I tell them... nowhere really. Then I do the cleanup and try to help them get more points/miles. But if you read certain blogs they continue to stress that 40,000 points will get you a Business class ticket!
Side note, but yeah... the wife has crappy credit, so I have to do the heavy lifting myself. However, the last year and a half have been good to me, our blowout vacations are taken care of for the next four years. But so many of those offers were "you have to be there" types. I mean, I milked UA/CO pretty hard -- got one 50k card from each pre-merger, the 50k Explorer card post merger, and a CO small business card.

Anyway, when someone says "the wife and I want to fly J to XXX in six months" they have their work cut out for them. If that XXX is Europe, your best bet is Citi/AA, but be prepared for fuel surcharges. United is preferable, but good luck getting that many Chase points all at once.

I told one of my coworkers that I plan these trips years in advance (sometimes) and boy did I get a crazy look.
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Old Aug 24, 12, 10:49 am   #1047
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubtify View Post
I agree Sign up bonuses are the best way to gain points right now. My issue is that I don't like every other post on a blog to be an ad for the CSP. I have the card, I love it, it is great. But blogs will write about a hotel and then end saying "if you're thinking of flying United to get to Miami and stay at the Four Points why not apply for the CSP, which is the greatest card ever invented." I get it, Chase pays you for approvals... it just gets old, very quickly. I also take issue when a link is poorer than the best available link found on FT (bloggers have gotten better at posting the best links lately, but some still do not).

As to the second point: Your assumption is that the person applying for the card is 1-flexible in where/when they want to go, and 2-Understands the complexities of booking points/miles related travel. It sounds as if you and I are aware of both 1&2 but I know a lot of people are not. Again in both examples you included you are either buying a second ticket for $$$ or if you use the points for the hotel you are buying at least 1 ticket or maybe 2. Again neither example explains where your wife/gf/mom/friend will get down with you to LA. There are many blogs that make it seem like you can travel for *Free.* When it comes down to it you can dramatically reduce your expenses, but for some people (borderline credit, $0 in the bank, high CC balances) the game will never work. They will end up using the 40,000 points for $400 worth of gift cards and mutter under their breath how they wasted time trying to book flights home for thanksgiving with miles.
I agree (obviously) with your first point that content should not be driven by the desire to sell the affiliate. That's a good point. About your second statement, I honestly don't know a single reasonable person who would expect to get everything for nothing. If you don't have enough miles to fly every member of your family, redeem one ticket and book revenue for the rest of the pack. What's wrong about that? In case of LA you 're still saving about a grand or more. I don't see how it is a bad thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mile-a-holic View Post
It is a trap if they only wanted a r/t in the US, could have applied for the USAir instead (40k first purchase), can't take another credit hit, and end up spending money they shouldn't following UR mileage earning "tips" (when either they could have spent much less for the same merchandise or could simply do without).
If you are a blogger, there are dozens of possibilities what to advise to your readers. It might be they would be better off with Southwest or AA rather than US Air or CSP. Who can possibly know everyone's needs? The important thing, however, is even if they are pushing CSP, they are still pushing a great product and not a lame duck. In the end, the blog readers can and should think with their heads too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHAST View Post
Anyway, when someone says "the wife and I want to fly J to XXX in six months" they have their work cut out for them. If that XXX is Europe, your best bet is Citi/AA, but be prepared for fuel surcharges. United is preferable, but good luck getting that many Chase points all at once.
That's not quite accurate. You don't incur any fees on American, only on some partners, and in case of Iberia, the fees are not anything drastic.
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Old Aug 24, 12, 11:36 am   #1048
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnscout View Post
If you are a blogger, there are dozens of possibilities what to advise to your readers. It might be they would be better off with Southwest or AA rather than US Air or CSP. Who can possibly know everyone's needs? The important thing, however, is even if they are pushing CSP, they are still pushing a great product and not a lame duck. In the end, the blog readers can and should think with their heads too.
Fair enough - but when a blogger comes and pushes it on FT to a newbie without mentioning other cards that said blogger wouldn't get a bonus for - with a blog link in the signature - then I think that seriously crosses the line.
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Old Aug 24, 12, 1:06 pm   #1049
 
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I find Darius' blog the most transparent in terms of explaining to readers how each referral link benefits him. He is upfront about it and not misleading. Knowing this, I have used his credit card referral links in appreciation of his honesty. He and his new wife also look like they are really enjoying their honeymoon using airline and hotel points. He doesn't appear snobbish with his nose up in the air (and I can't say this for all bloggers), but appear to be just a regular blogger/FTer that have benefited from using airline miles and hotel points.
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Old Aug 24, 12, 2:45 pm   #1050
 
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A perfect example of what is wrong, 2 minutes of googling found this:

http://thepointsguy.com/2012/03/my-b...ines-for-2-50/

Stressing the $5,000 flight for 60,000 points and $2.50 makes you feel you can actually take this trip with just a signup bonus or two. It includes two links to Chase signups. It doesn't discuss how you would take anyone with you, or even how you get home.

There is an underlying subtle danger in telling people the longest flight in the world is availble for $2.50 and one or two signup bonuses--they then will expect the shortest flights in the world to be just as attainable. Signing up for cards first, before you know the ropes, before you know if you can go where and when you're planning is a dangerous game.

Award travel means sacrificing something:

1) Travel dates
2) Travel Destination
3) Number of Stops
4) Class of service

It is very, very difficult to get all 4 of those without paying for the highest level awards (which are not even open to partners).

The lack of transparency is what irks me--posts like this one can be misleading to newbies.
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