Old Nov 6, 11, 9:38 pm
  #10  
jackal
Moderator, Alaska Airlines & FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SGF
Programs: AS, AA, UA, AGR (ex-75K, GLD, 1K, and S+), Choice Diamond, HZ PC, Costco Exec, NPS Passport
Posts: 22,894
I appreciate that FlyerTalk's rules--and more importantly, the FlyerTalk community itself--value the purity of information and the lack of commercialization in the general forums. No one wants to look for information only to have to wonder if it's tainted by some ulterior motivation. I support that entirely.

The Web is changing, though. Not only do companies expect to be able to use social media, consumers expect to be able to find companies on social media outlets. As long as it's properly organized and handled well, it's a win-win: consumers get to interact with companies on a more personal level, affecting those companies' products and development cycles, while the company gets to benefit from the increased exposure. We've seen it in all manner of companies, from large airline frequent flyer programs (anyone on FlyerTalk would tell you they appreciate it when an airline has an inside representative on FlyerTalk) all the way down to niche providers of travel services like ExpertFlyer or even one I just used a few minutes ago, BiddingTraveler.

The best thing to do now is to acknowledge that changes in the Web are happening and embrace those changes. FlyerTalk can do so with some dedicated places for this kind of dialogue. Segmenting that activity into its own dedicated area will both allow an entirely new way for FlyerTalk members to engage with vendors of services that make traveling easier (in the same way ExpertFlyer and BiddingTraveler do) without "tainting" the regular forums with commercial activity. It's the future of the Web and thus the future of FlyerTalk.
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