WikiPosts Currently Being ßeta Tested on FlyerTalk — and Your Assistance is Requested

The new FlyerTalk Wiki functionality — albeit in ßeta mode — is currently activated and being tested in the American AAdvantage and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan forums on FlyerTalk, and the image above demonstrates the location of where you can access WikiPosts on FlyerTalk.

“Wiki” — a Hawai’ian word meaning quick or fast, although some prefer to use the acronym What I Know Is — functionality is probably one of the most requested technological improvements suggested for FlyerTalk by members such as you.

Internet Brands — the company which owns FlyerTalk — has responded by having FlyerTalk technical administrator IBxAnders work with FlyerTalk members dstan, jackal, Xyzzy and nsx to get enough input on the FlyerTalk Wiki functionality to at least bring it to a workable ßeta mode.

I interviewed FlyerTalk member jackal — who is one of the moderators of the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan forum — via telephone a few hours ago to tell me more about the FlyerTalk Wiki functionality. According to him, any discussion throughout FlyerTalk can have a WikiPost added to it at the very top of each “page” of the thread — unlike “sticky” threads which used to be found at the top of each “page” of a thread but now is relegated only to the first “page” of a thread. If they become too cumbersome, they are collapsible on a per-WikiPost basis — or, like signatures, the ability to view FlyerTalk Wiki functionality can be disabled throughout FlyerTalk altogether by you if you prefer not to see them at all.

Admitting that he is “very excited” about the FlyerTalk Wiki project and proud to be a part of the team working on its development, part of the vision which jackal has is to use it in forums with longer consolidated “mega-threads”, for purposes of frequently-asked questions, and for forums with numerous trip reports and reviews, amongst other uses.

According to jackal, because it was “developed and maintained in-house”, the FlyerTalk Wiki functionality will be a “game-changer” which will be flexible to the needs of the FlyerTalk community while increasing accessibility for new members of FlyerTalk. The FlyerTalk Wiki functionality will be a collaborative effort by all members with content and commentary to be kept “fresh” while also keeping in consolidated.

It is expected that FlyerTalk moderators will be able to restrict access to the FlyerTalk Wiki fucntionality from known saboteurs without restricting their normal access privileges to FlyerTalk itself, which is why jackal is not worried about anyone attempting to sabotage it. In fact, he believes that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” — a phrase credited to Eric S. Raymond and one of the two statements known as Linus’ Law as an homage to Linus Torvalds, the principal developer of the Linux operating system — and based on the same concept as wikipedia.org which does not seem to experience sabotage by its readers despite their ability to edit content on that Internet web site.

According to dstan in this announcement, FlyerTalk WikiPosts are intended to contain general reference information and will appear at the top of every page of a given discussion.

While editing capabilities are currently limited to moderators of the American AAdvantage and Alaska Airline Mileage Plus forums, wider community access is envisioned for the future once the testing concludes — and this is where you come in. You are being asked to please identify any glitches, issues or problems associated with the ßeta version of the FlyerTalk Wiki functionality. Comments and suggestions for improvement by you are also welcome.

To get you started, you can access the discussions which are currently using the FlyerTalk Wiki functionality from here. One example of a FlyerTalk discussion using the FlyerTalk Wiki functionality is this thread about Trying to avoid hurricane Sandy and related issues (consolidated).

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