Strange as my answer might seem for a TalkBoard candidate -- I did what I thought was the right thing for FlyerTalk: I resigned from TalkBoard.
It is a long story, detailed in this post, but it boils down to the fact that a mistaken medical test had convinced me that I would not be able to give TalkBoard the attention it deserved. Rather than leaving it short a member, I resigned.
Beyond that, I have only done what many of our members have: I arranged several meets (Tel Aviv, PBI-FLL, and Lugano) and posted when I thought I had something of interest to say.
In my year on TalkBoard, I pushed for two forums: Religious Travelers and Budget Travel. Budget Travel was (and is) a great success and a major asset to FlyerTalk. If I am going to claim credit for my success, however, than I must also admit to my failure: Religious Travelers has been a very big disappointment.
Still, I am happy that both were given a chance. I have long objected to the requirement that there be "proof" that a forum will succeed. Such proof is impossible to produce. The only way we can know is -- assuming that TalkBoard members consider the forum to be a good idea -- to give it a chance to show what it can do.
I am relatively new to FlyerTalk, and, as far as I can tell, the only newbie running for the board. I have experience on other travel discussion boards, but have only been a member of FlyerTalk for a few months.
Many long-time members are comfortable using acronyms and and sharing inside jokes. A small number of veterans express frustrations with newbies posting comments and asking questions.
I'd like to bridge the gap between the veterans and the newbies by recommending ideas such as creating an acronym dictionary and updating the FAQs on a frequent basis.
I am also relatively new to Flyertalk, but quickly grown accustomed to the ways this community runs. I usually post in United Forum and Travel Technology. I try to share my past experiences with members and any new members that might have questions, I will point them in the right way, including with the United promotion this year (Denver You Mean the World to Us) I brought the experience with a detailed trip report and answered any questions anyone might have had. I also have posted around the board with personal experiences from the recopies to the flight calendar.
I've always been one to try to help wherever possible based on my knowledge of the programs, but I mainly have stayed near the programs I frequent: NW and Marriott. I also follow and participate in TravelBuzz, TS/S, and OMNI. I mainly lurk in other forums.
Unlike some of the other candidates, I have not organized or attended a DO. Matter of fact, I probably have never met another FTer outside of FT. My business travel and personal life outside of my business travel do not leave a lot of opportunities for social events, not at this time.
But I appreciate and value the online community that is FlyerTalk has been to me. FlyerTalk is something that is always there -- whether I'm working from my office (like now) or on the road trying to get through another hotel meal.
Lately I have been an advocate for the community that is FlyerTalk. Not very aggressively, I'll admit, because of the hot-button nature of some of the discussions and the potential for others to misinterpret my posts and intentions. I do try very hard to be respectful of other's opinions, although I won't hesitate to make my opinions and feelings known. Feel free to search my posts and make up your own minds.
So lately, I have been looking for ways to become more involved in FT and trying to determine how I can best contribute in making FT a better online community, one where the question "How will this help me in my knowledge of points and miles" is rarely used in determining the direction of FT since it's not what makes FT a great community nor, I would argue, what brings people back day after day.
To this end, I've applied for a volunteer moderator position in the past year (I never heard back) and now I'm seeking to volunteer my time to serve on the TalkBoard.
__________________ I'm a member of TalkBoard. Please send me a PM with any suggestions.
Programs: DL PM/1MM, IC Platinum, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Silver; National Car Executive
I have made many sacrifices for FlyerTalk. Just yesterday, I slaughtered a ram in its name.
I have made close to 7000 posts, and over a dozen of them have been useful to others here.
I was the first to post that "Skyteam" was being considered as a name for that alliance (months before it happened). I broke the news that Delta was "de-hubbing" Portland. And, most importantly, I invented the term "OBA" over on OMNI.
I suppose the number one thing which springs to mind - and itís basically because Iím living it, breathing it, eating it, sleeping it, dreaming it, and taking time off from it to respond to these questions - is the London Mega Do on the 11-12th of November. Itís been long in the planning, we (SanDiego1k, Wingnut and myself) started discussing it in February, and all our hard work seems to be paying off, with around 175 FlyerTalkers assembling in London for what is going to be the largest collection of FlyerTalkers ever, anywhere (we think!). Working several hours a day on it for the last few weeks has been hard, but also very rewarding, work and we all hope a lot of people are going to get a lot of pleasure from our efforts. To us, this is what FlyerTalk is all about Ė the community coming together like never before.
In addition, Iíve (who said foolishly?!) got another couple of events Iím running single-handedly Ė one is a pre-Mega Do gathering to hopefully reach some FTers who canít make the weekend Do, and the other is the London Christmas Drinks, which this year weíve turned into a ĎDetox Doí. I believe that the sense of community we have on the BA Board is strongly reinforced by the fact that so many of us have managed to meet in person, and one of the greatest Ďthank youís I can give to FT for all it has given me personally is to continue to try and help provide the opportunity for everyone to meet up in real life at events such as these Ė which probably explains why Iíve organised three, and been involved in facilitating another two in the last 12 months, not counting the ones still to come!
I also maintain the Consolidated Do thread on the BA board, as an easy way for people to find out what else is happening in Europe, and at the other big Dos around the world. It's a simple service I provide, highlighting some of the great events going on elsewhere in the world, but some on the board have said they find it useful Iím also currently involved in another board project to assist in gathering together information into a useable format, and hopefully, weíll be seeing the results of that in the near future (thatís next on the list of FT things to do for tonight, followed by sorting out do instructions!).
I am always willing to answer a question that is within my scope of knowledge. In terms of the travel program forums, I mainly peruse Delta, Marriott, Avis, and Hertz, where my experience and thus my knowledge is the greatest. Outside of the travel programs, I've been known to make an appearance in various destination forums, adding the tidbits of information I have gleaned in my travels or residences. You will usually see my handle in threads that appear about Cincinnati or the DFW area, where I have spent much of my life. My travel has been severely curtailed since I first appeared on FT 5+ years ago, and thus for the past couple years most of my contributions have been outside of the program forums.
In terms of community-building, I am organizing the current month's DFW Gathering, which has proven to be a little more challenging than I thought it would be, but I am persevering. Thanks partly to a previously unforeseen connection between my Better Half and a couple of FlyerTalk members, I am slowly integrating into the DFW area real-life FlyerTalk Community.
Lastly, it seems lately that I've been in the right place at the right time and reported some spamming in various forums shortly after it got posted. I guess I'm just lucky like that.
A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.
Last edited by empedocles; Nov 7, 06 at 10:44 am..
TalkBoard Member, Ambassador: External Miles and Points Resources, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 7 minutes from DCA
Programs: UA 1K/MM refugee to cheapest business class fare, SPG Lifetime Plat, CBP Global Entry, TSA Pre!
Let me begin by thanking you, Randy, for this opportunity to spout off. And for not choking me to death Friday night. You're a good egg. And let me thank you, gentle reader, fellow poster, handsome and/or beautiful devil. Because without you - each and every one of you sitting there at your desk or on your bed or sofa reading this - there would be no Flyertalk. This place is more than the sum of its parts, this place is you, me, us shooting the bull, talking travel gambits and having a good time. It's a hell of a community and well done us! I mean that.
So, anyway, what was the question? What have I done for you lately?
Well, just today I explained that goatees are stupid. Even included photographic evidence. Where would you be right now without that little tidbit!?!?!? Probably thoughtfully stroking your stupid goatee, that's where!! Ah...good times...good times. Nothing like needlessly alienating a random group of voters during an election, doncha think!?
But, see, that's the kind of awesome strateegery that I can bring to the Talkboard.
Hm, what else? I have harassed and harangued the current Talkboard members over conducting their affairs in secret. So there's ANOTHER group of people I've torqued off and who would now rather stick needles in their eyeballs than vote for me.
I dont think I am going to win many votes from IAD employees, either after my rants on the UA and DC Airports forums.
For the rest of you: macaca. There, I said it. More strateegery. Trust me, it'll work!
A fares on US for 150% of S fares on AA or UA have turned me into a pretty regular US flyer!
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
I visit FT almost every single day and am more than happy to answer any question I can and/or add to a discussion.
In addition, from my prior posts, I also answer PMs, emails from people too shy to post or who would have to give out personal information in order for me to give them a good answer.
In short, I try to be a contributing member of the community every time I visit.
I also asked Randy to increase our PM boxes not too long after going to the new boards and he did - to the 500 messages we have now. Mine kept filling up since communicating with people was so much easier. It still keeps filling up.
Randy, can we have more space, please???
Life is too short to spend it being angry
Last edited by Mary2e; Nov 7, 06 at 3:13 pm..
Reason: I never could spell ;) & to add one other thing
I'm sorry, but I don't like Mary2E's response. It is accurate, but it is not complete.
Mary does a lot of her posting on Omni. She has strong partisan views (almost always polar opposite of my own) but she presents them in a calm, reasoned, manner and without the intolerance so often shown by both sides in these disputes.
Moreover, she often succeeds in curbing the over-abundance of enthusiasm (which is as diplomatic a way I can find of putting it) of other participants.
This, to me, is a very major contribution she has made to FlyerTalk -- injecting some sanity when things start to get out of hand.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected to TalkBoard, I want somebody like Mary there, too. Not only to bring others back down to earth but to do the same with me. That is why, when I first learned that she would run, I immediately decided that she would get one of my five votes.
I've committed quite a bit of my time & energy to FlyerTalk over the past few years as a volunteer moderator for the Mileage Run & Budget Travel forums. I've been updating (and currently am in the process of doing a new update) of the Mileage Run Tools thread - a comprehensive resource for travelers old & new to to FlyerTalk that provides tools to help them maximize travel experiences.
This past week, I helped organize a moderator meeting in Washington DC, where over 30 moderators got together to try to figure out things that can be done to enhance the member experience here on FlyerTalk. I've also helped out quite a few individual members with various mileage runs and other FlyerTalk related issues they may have - not everything I've done is necessarily visible, but it's out there.
I've been, what I believe & strive to be, an active & helpful participant within the community.
And if you vote for me, I look forward to representing your thoughts & beliefs as a member of the TalkBoard - many of you know me to an approachable and fair moderator who listens to all sides of the story - I plan on being that same way as a member of your TalkBoard.
Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of faces if you look at them right.