Funny, someone else asked this this same question just a few days ago and i'll try and capture that same answer here. First of all, I am not aware I was leaving. I don't believe i ever said i was leaving and frankly there is not another Web site that I have seen that is as open and informational as FlyerTalk to cause me to leave. You might be referring to "my contract." Actually, let's look at that and it may give you some hints. When most if not all people sell something, they sometimes but not always stay around for a transition period. That period is often months and sometimes a year. In this case, it is over 4 years. Seems a bit long doesn't it? It's long because i personally have no plans to leave FlyerTalk and the length of that was more to do with my wanting to help out members as best i can if there were to be any type of onerous change in FlyerTalk, especially its culture, etc. Granted, changes in advertising and server hosting were a given since Internet Brands could hope to mesh the needs of FT's server and bandwidth with the much larger platform of technology needs that they have thus achieving some expense savings. As for advertising, well, since that was never a focus of how we operated FT, it made sense that they be able to manage its future since it was not a priority for us and frankly we never really quite managed it other than balance it with the culture of FlyerTalk as best we could.
And Internet Brands was quite comfortable having me around for that length of period, if not longer. Heck, from their perspective, it's a freebie and why not take advantage of my love for FlyerTalk and its members and its future. So we picked a period into the future. Four years seemed like a nice number. Without picking a particular period, i could hear members, maybe like yourself, wonder about the immediate future.
The facts are, if I'm doing a good job as determined by the members of FlyerTalk and Internet Brands, I actually see myself going the way i have with FlyerTalk for another 10 years or even longer. At the end of the 3.5 years, I'll ask Internet Brands about staying on in the exact same role if it makes sense and as before, I won't charge them to do so - it's also my way of giving back to FlyerTalk. As for this period - i do not receive any pay related to my role as founder and as the benevolent dictator, I am continuing to volunteer during this time and beyond.
As for the specific things you mention? Well, unlike all other travel communities like FlyerTalk that have sprung up, isn't it pretty cool that we actually have that type of plan already built in other than suspensions and bans and if you want to compare, i don't believe most other travel communities even have an appeals process. If that is your concern, i think over the next 3.5 years that will be resolved to your satisfaction. It might relieve you to know that we have as an advisor for this issue, a recently retired appeals judge with 18 years of experience in such matters and he is graciously donating his experience and time to further our efforts in this area. As for the TOS, the TalkBoard has had some input in that issue and really doesn't seem to find that it needs much work other than an occasional clarity and that is based on evolutionary changes based on growth and topical changes of FlyerTalk. So really, even without me there are many points of input for the way things work on FlyerTalk, including the establishment of the TalkBoard. I don't think you can name another travel-related community that operates in such a manner that the members of the community have as much input.
But really, don't count me out yet and I'd love to remain a member of FlyerTalk and hopefully contributing just as much if not more in the years ahead.
Hope this answers any concerns you had.
Originally Posted by Punki
I love FlyerTalk and am really concerned about what will happen in 3.5 years when you leave.
How do you envision that things will run? Who will write the rules and refine the TOS? Who will review suspensions and bans?
What steps are being taken to assure that our wonderful community continues?