Mobile access. It has improved over the past year or so, but there's room for improvement. I'm a little bias towards this, because I feel there is room for a new forum, one that reports "breaking news" at an airport, something that could be of use for fellow FlyerTalkers (weather delays, incidents in terminals, for example).
and one thing you would never want to see changed about FT.
That's tough, as there's a lot.
The most important would be the spirit of FlyerTalk. I know that's a borderline "non-answer," but when you really think about it, the helpfulness and kindness that comes from not only folks like Randy, but the moderators and even the regular FT contributors -- that means a lot.
You could have all the pertinent forums and setup in a forum, and that's nice, but winning over the hearts and minds of many intelligent, and very busy, doesn't just come overnight.
That spirit has also brought on board a lot of representation from big companies. As United, Continental, Marriott and Starwood have people assigned to monitor and contribute to FlyerTalk.
So, definitely the spirit of FlyerTalk is essential.
I would like to see a policy introduced that does not permit people to hold office as both elected TalkBoard members and appointed Moderators concurrently.
There is no shortage of capable candidates willing to volunteer their time and resources here. It is not in the best interest of the community as a whole for their talents to be marginalised in favour of additional responsibilities for fewer people.
Never Change :
Flyertalk is nothing without its users. Their immense generosity in time, information and friendship has enabled a small internet forum to grow into the world's leading interactive travel resource.
As I mentioned in my "talk the vote" page (http://www.flyertalk.com/talkthevote/?candidate=233), I am not in favor of very much changing. Really, the only issues I have are problems with the search functions, and certain technical problems with moderator tools.
Flyertalk is a well oiled machine. There's nothing I feel *needs* to change. If you're asking about how to improve Flyertalk, I also mention on the abovereferenced page that I would like to see even more contribution from industry stakeholders and employees of airlines/hotels/etc. I think that the kind of stuff that goes on in the Starwood and Continental fora really bring the utility of this site over the top. It would be great to be able to get more of that. I have connections at at least one airline, and I'm sure if we pool the board's resources, we could find a few more.
Don't throw any produce at the stage but I would like to revisit offering gift cards in the coupon connection forum. I know this was a big issue that was recently decided upon and I didn't keep up with the long discussion. I would at least like to open the dialogue to see what type of landscape would be needed to consider reinstating this as an option. I thought this was a nice option for some travelers who hadn't accrued many UG's, points, etc themselves at that particular time to still be able to enjoy those benefits. I personally would like to see an increase in the time of membership and posting requirements to have access to coupon connection as well.
Any forum is only as good as it's posters. Not it's members but it's posters. FT has a large amount of knowledgeable posters on a variety of forums. This is it's biggest strength by far. If the knowledgeable posters weren't here we wouldn't be here in the first place. FT was an good idea that hatched and continues to grow. I don't think it must continue to grow either. What is wrong with staying the same, if the same means a great forum already?
"Love ya don't tell ya enough" & God Bless
2013 UA EQM's-7,104
I'd like to see greater engagement with members. The ability to spot a new user in a forum they have posted in for the first time and to welcome them would be great. I'd like to see some development work done to assist TB members in identifying brand new posters and encouraging them in to the community. Some of this is left to the Mods at the moment, but an additional welcome from TB would make it feel more friendly I think.
The openess, the way we engage with each other and the information we post.
Change -- In the new term I think it would be worth reconsidering some sort of "Ambassador" proposal to make FlyerTalk a more welcoming place. Among internet communities FlyerTalk is great, but I think we could work a bit harder to welcome new members.
Not Change -- As seems to be a trend here, the people, the sense of community, and the "real life" aspects of FlyerTalk.
TalkBoard Member / Moderator: Alaska Mileage Plan; FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MDT / Amtrak: MJY
Programs: UA 1K, AS MVPG, AA, AGR S+, HZ 5*, Nat'l Exec, Costco Exec, NPS Passport
While I'm sure each candidate will have great ideas for change (I'm continuing my practice of not reading responses until after I post), and I will no doubt agree with and support many of them, as I stated in my platform goals, I'd like to make a conscious effort to reach out to every travel industry company represented on FlyerTalk (airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, online travel agencies, etc.) to bring on as many high-level insiders as possible. Several forums benefit greatly from the presence of such people already, and I'd like to make that as universal as possible--which will increase their respect of our opinions.
What I hope absolutely never changes is the openness and generosity we see constantly from FlyerTalkers willing to help each other--both with information they post and behind-the-scenes assistance. That community aspect is one of the richest parts of the FlyerTalk experience, and it's both stronger here than I've ever seen on any other forum and unique in that deep bonds (and constant meet-ups!) are forged literally around the entire world.
The one thing I'd like to see change falls outside the TB's purview. It seems as though IB has pretty much taken over everything regarding the operation of this site and has managed to do some pretty dreadful things without even keeping Randy in the loop (the Skimlinks nonsense comes to mind). While I wouldn't even begin to tell IB how to run their business, I would like to see someone act as a liaison between IB and FlyerTalk. I'm not sure Randy is the right person as his busy schedule means he isn't really posting here that often, as demonstrated by the TTR on the ORP board.
So, I'd like to see someone (maybe TalkBoard?) develop a relationship with someone who would act as a Lurker on this board that actually represents IB or their technical staff. If I'm elected, this would be one of the first things I'd propose to Randy and to IB -- to appoint a FT member as the IB liaison -- with no power or control, but just someone who can take questions to IB and can form relationships (as customers) with IB.
The one thing I've said over and over throughout the years I've run for this position is that to me the accumulation of miles and points is the reason we all come -- it's the community that brings us back. Without the sense of community here, people would come once a week or so and pick up whatever information they needed and that would be it. FlyerTalk is so much more.
I'd like to try to help keep that sense of community going in the future and that is my number one reason for running for TalkBoard.
__________________ I'm a member of TalkBoard. Please send me a PM with any suggestions.
Programs: CoFounder & Chairman, FFOCUS CO Plat, HH Diamond, Marriott, SPG, AA Gold, US Dirt Preferred
First of all apologies for the late responses. We just left the crowd at MegaDO. It is exhausting and I chose not to pay $18euro per day for internet in Frankfurt.
One thing I would change about Flyer Talk is the mobile access--a better mobile site would be a top priority-a point driven home during the DO where I couldn't get on line from the laptop, and where I wanted to read and post. My browser locks up when I try to use the mobile site-so I'd like to see us keep up with latest mobile technology.
One thing I would never change about Flyertalk is the original mission-while we realize that this is a commercial web site, let us NEVER lose sight of the fact that this is a community-where people socialize, get together, and share their knowledge and experiences with each other..and I also think that is one thing which separates this from other sites- the STRONG sense of community here.
I agree with many of the previous responses especially the mobile access response. Additionaly, i would possiblly consider changeing the organization of forums if it made sense. (don't know how yet or which ones).
The members and sense of family of this community. It is one of the best on the internet and I don't want to see that change.