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Old Feb 15, 12, 3:19 pm   #1
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Motion Failed: Require Login to View Mileage Run Forum

Moved by nsx and seconded by Cholula:

"The TalkBoard would like to reduce visibility of perishable Mileage Run Deals content to search engines and non-members of FlyerTalk, therefore:

The TalkBoard recommends that, beginning 30 days from the completion of this vote, the Mileage Run Deals forum and its sub-forum Mileage Run Discussion be masked from users who are not registered and logged in."

This vote will close on February 29, 2012 at 5:12pm or after all TalkBoard members have registered their vote, whichever comes first

Per the TalkBoard Guidelines:

A motion shall pass if at least two-thirds of the yes or no votes cast by TalkBoard members are ‘yes’ and a majority of the total TalkBoard membership votes 'yes.'

The purpose of posting voting topics in the public TalkBoard Topics forum is to solicit member feedback on any motions that are up for a vote and to allow for comments after a vote is made. It is at the sole discretion of the individual TalkBoard members whether they choose to post in the public discussion thread, there being no requirement to do so.

So while there are already threads and discussion on this general topic and it is safe to assume that TalkBoard members have reviewed those threads, this thread is about this specific motion.

Please feel free to post questions, comments or any other sort of feedback in this thread, or in the other discussion thread(s).
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Old Feb 15, 12, 4:59 pm   #2
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Not a move I would support. Given the presence of company reps, email list users (which are done by FTers), blogs and twitter feeds from FTers, search engine blocking attempts are ineffective if the goal is to try to protect fare deals.

Also, not everyone is able to always access FT with the benefit of browser cookies.

Who knows what the advocates of this motion are trying to achieve. The horses are already out of the barn, and with fare finders working for the airlines and ATPCO having speed up its game, such attempt at fare deal salvation is not going to substantially prolong an airfare deal. Mileage Run Discussion may be another story, but that has much the same issue as that of the Deals forum.

If this motion were in place when I first came to FT, a lot of the best info I got about airline and hotel programs and fare deals would never have come my way.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 5:12 pm   #3
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I support this motion.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 8:32 pm   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Not a move I would support.
All we're asking are two extremely easy steps that all of us have already taken.

Register a handle with FT and log-in.

That's it. Thirty seconds of your time. No mumbo jumbo, smoke, mirrors or parlor tricks involved.

Search bots can't log-in and if the folks who are looking to glean what information that our fellow FT'ers share and can't be bothered to make themselves known, tough luck IMO.

I'm supporting this proposal to the max unless I see overwhelming arguments to the contrary.
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Old Feb 15, 12, 8:36 pm   #5
 
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I support this motion.. C'mon, if you can't be bothered joining I do not believe you should benefit.. Further more I would be happy with a small number of posts.. Say 20...
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Old Feb 16, 12, 5:06 am   #6
 
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I support this motion too.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 5:44 am   #7
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I lean toward support, but I understand the FUTILITY argument. It gets out anyway.

Supporters- please address this in detail. Would this action actually accomplish anything?

I RESERVE MY VOTE
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Old Feb 16, 12, 6:49 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alhcfp View Post
I lean toward support, but I understand the FUTILITY argument. It gets out anyway.

Supporters- please address this in detail. Would this action actually accomplish anything?
Simple answer: 123 (34 members & 89 guests)

That's who's looking at the MR Deals forum right now. Those 34 members include me who wasn't there to do anything except check the stats. So cutting out the guests will reduce by 73% the non-member eyeballs looking at deals. During a hot deal, the number is probably much higher. A reduction of 73% will slow anything down.

Sure, people might post on Facebook (as I have) that you can fly NYC-MAD on IB-coded, AA-op flights, but that won't tell the common kettle enough to book it. They need to actually pore through the teeming posts on FT to get the details necessary to find available dates, date ranges, etc and book. That means signing up. Signing up means getting hooked. I'd occasionally see FT pages via Google before I was a member (never the MR Deals forum because no one searches Google for that kind of info--reference material is the kind of stuff Google eyeballs come for), but it was only after I became a member that I really got hooked and am now a useful contributor to the community. I would have likely signed up sooner if an FB friend had pointed me to an amazing MR Deal and had said, "You need to sign up to see it!"

So basically, the casual kettle whose friend tells about a smoking deal has two options:
1. Ignore the deal because they can't get the necessary info without signing up, prolonging the life of the deal. (We live in an ADD world as we all know by our legions of non-FT friends that don't take 30 minutes to sign up for 100k Chase BA jackpots.)
2. Sign up and have a very good chance of getting hooked and becoming a productive part of the FT community.

The purpose of this motion is to attract more members and slow the death of hot deals. This purpose is not to allow the open posting of $300 RTW FDs. We know that's not going to happen. The futility argument is a strawman. No-one expects that this will cause a certain kind of deal to be posted that is only shared one-on-one.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 6:53 am   #9
 
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Here's a repost of what I wrote in the other thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by HansGolden View Post
As in every area of life, power is preceded by knowledge and responsibility. (Spiderman's uncle had it right.) The reason FD gurus don't hand $300 RTWs to newbies is that they don't have the depth of knowledge to not kill it. They may be ever so well-meaning (or ever so selfish), but their lack of knowledge alone disqualifies them. The same goes for eye-popping double-dipping tricks and promo stacking (of the sort that allowed me to pick up 1mm DL miles at under 2/10 CPM a few weeks ago). To me, these kinds of restrictions are not being cold and hostile to beginners, it's simply for their own good and the sustainability of the community as a whole. I'm a relative newcomer to FT (signed up in 2009) and I've scaled the ladder by hard work, being helpful to others, and building relationships (despite having never been at one of the magical DOs yet!). I've found folks to be very helpful (and that includes the people that get the worst rap for being the most secretive) if I put real effort into finding deals and being helpful to them in return (or rather to start with). There is a clear hierarchy of secrecy: Step by step FT/blog posts with screenshots, abbreviation-dense FT posts, coded FT posts (Trick it), private lists and forums, and finally one-on-one sharing based upon trusted relationships. All these levels are interdependent. The existence of each level depends on the levels on either side of the continuum. The fact that you may find yourself at a certain level does not mean rejection by the more secret levels; I've found the process of moving up the levels of secrecy to be a very egalitarian meritocracy. Furthermore, my experience with the people at the top of the hierarchy of secrecy is that they're glad to help newbies on the newbie level of help. (There are simply different appropriate venues for different types of deals.) As a person builds their basic travel knowledge, they automatically move up the scale. If they're friendly, they may receive a few boosts along the way. (I'm very, very loyal to two FT members that gave me two key boosts along the way. I still watch out for MRs or deals for their specific travel habits and send them their way.)

Obviously FT (IMHO) can never attain the highest levels of that hierarchy of secrecy. However, it can make itself more relevant and central to the travel world by vertically integrating its way up that secrecy ladder in small steps. Requiring registration is a step in the right direction. Having 180/180 requirements would be another. Even OPs having thread-level control over their threads as being Google, registered user, 90/90, 180/180, or FT Evangelist, I believe would have some merit.

No matter what FT does, those further levels of secrecy will exist because they are inherently necessary for the sustainability of the community. FT's choice is whether it wants to be a part of that or whether they want to let the ad revenue and page views and expert community members go elsewhere
I added emphasis to the above bolded phrase. Cultivating more restricted areas of FT will enhance every single part of FT, not just the restricted part.

I believe this motion is a step in the right direction. However, I believe more needs to be done if FT wants to remain relevant.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 7:01 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cholula View Post
All we're asking are two extremely easy steps that all of us have already taken.

Register a handle with FT and log-in.

That's it. Thirty seconds of your time. No mumbo jumbo, smoke, mirrors or parlor tricks involved.

Search bots can't log-in and if the folks who are looking to glean what information that our fellow FT'ers share and can't be bothered to make themselves known, tough luck IMO.

I'm supporting this proposal to the max unless I see overwhelming arguments to the contrary.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 7:20 am   #11
 
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in favor
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Old Feb 16, 12, 8:14 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
I support this motion.
As do I.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cholula View Post
All we're asking are two extremely easy steps that all of us have already taken.

Register a handle with FT and log-in.

That's it. Thirty seconds of your time. No mumbo jumbo, smoke, mirrors or parlor tricks involved.

Search bots can't log-in and if the folks who are looking to glean what information that our fellow FT'ers share and can't be bothered to make themselves known, tough luck IMO.

I'm supporting this proposal to the max unless I see overwhelming arguments to the contrary.
(and to add, no rocket science either )
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Old Feb 16, 12, 8:21 am   #13
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This motion makes perfect sense, although it won't stop airline employees being designated to scan the forum. But it will stop search engines.

Vote yes, TB!
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Old Feb 16, 12, 8:36 am   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alhcfp View Post
I lean toward support, but I understand the FUTILITY argument. It gets out anyway.

Supporters- please address this in detail. Would this action actually accomplish anything?
I don't expect that to be addressed effectively by this measure or its supporters, but I'd be interested in any substantive answers that attemp that.

The concern about search engines seems largely to rest upon or perpetuate a canard at this point that gets recycled by those who want to lock down more and more of FT.
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Old Feb 16, 12, 10:32 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
I don't expect that to be addressed effectively by this measure or its supporters, but I'd be interested in any substantive answers that attemp that.
Obviously my attemp was too feeble to elicit your interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The concern about search engines seems largely to rest upon or perpetuate a canard at this point that gets recycled by those who want to lock down more and more of FT.
Could you specify the canard about which you are speaking? Requiring registration will keep Google out, that's fact, not myth. I have SEO experience and feel free to ask any SEO guy the same.

As for locking down parts of FT, I have a couple of questions:
  • Would you disagree with the idea that there will always be one-on-one sharing and private forums and such?
  • Would it not follow that if FT provided some medium-security venues that it would give people who feel the high security is necessary, a place to share with the FT community those things that fall between top-secret and email-it-to-the-WSJ-reporters?
  • What do you think of giving OPs thread level permission controls? Wouldn't that give the best of both worlds? It gives the option of various security-level venues while keeping FT at the center of it all. I know there are threads that I would post that I would not otherwise post if I could restrict it to 500+ post people. Right now we're stuck with post or not post. Giving some in-between options will increase posting of good deals.
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