Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Air Canada | Aeroplan
Reload this Page >

Improving organization in the Air Canada forum - suggestions and assistance solicited

Improving organization in the Air Canada forum - suggestions and assistance solicited

Old May 16, 21, 4:57 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC SE MM, UA MP 1K, Hyatt Globalist, SPG Platinum, hhonors Gold
Posts: 3,322
As a more casual visitor, hyper organizing into threads takes away from the experience for me. I scan the list of threads for new information that often gets lost buried in an existing thread. I will sometimes see a new thread that got moved to an exiting and then when I click through get lost in all the other discussion searching for the topic of interest.

I know some like the quirkiness of somewhat scary over Winnipeg but I probably miss a lot because I don’t want to navigate through discussions of every incident from 1983 to today.

I get that we don’t need a new thread every time someone wants to know how to upgrade a flight or what meal to expect, but we can bury the headline and create a convoluted mess of discussions if we lump everything tangentially related together.

Maybe I’m in the minority here, but the need to create this new thread to start any conversation kind of proves the point.
cyralax, WesternCDN and pprrff like this.
yyzgigi is offline  
Old May 16, 21, 11:17 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: YYZ
Programs: SE MM
Posts: 72
I totally agree. This forum would work a lot better, IMO, if it worked more organically with LESS top down moderation. I spend a reasonable amount of time on here, but not enough to know with encyclopedic knowledge of whats in every thread ever posted. I am sure theres lots of us that dont want to go searching through old threads to get an answer to a question (within reason, of course).
The same goes for shutting things down when threads drift off topic. I find many of these diversions the most entertaining and interesting things on here sometimes.


Q
Originally Posted by yyzgigi View Post
As a more casual visitor, hyper organizing into threads takes away from the experience for me. I scan the list of threads for new information that often gets lost buried in an existing thread. I will sometimes see a new thread that got moved to an exiting and then when I click through get lost in all the other discussion searching for the topic of interest.

I know some like the quirkiness of somewhat scary over Winnipeg but I probably miss a lot because I dont want to navigate through discussions of every incident from 1983 to today.

I get that we dont need a new thread every time someone wants to know how to upgrade a flight or what meal to expect, but we can bury the headline and create a convoluted mess of discussions if we lump everything tangentially related together.

Maybe Im in the minority here, but the need to create this new thread to start any conversation kind of proves the point.
flamengo is offline  
Old May 16, 21, 11:23 am
  #18  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 39,961
Originally Posted by flamengo View Post
I totally agree. This forum would work a lot better, IMO, if it worked more organically with LESS top down moderation. I spend a reasonable amount of time on here, but not enough to know with encyclopedic knowledge of whats in every thread ever posted. I am sure theres lots of us that dont want to go searching through old threads to get an answer to a question (within reason, of course).
The same goes for shutting things down when threads drift off topic. I find many of these diversions the most entertaining and interesting things on here sometimes.


Q
Interesting. I find the opposite to be true.

It's incredibly frustrating to come here looking for something specific, only to see four thread on the front page that are all basically "how do I eUp?"

Most information is already here, but repeated duplicate threads and tons off off-topic commentary makes it impossible to find.
canadiancow is offline  
Old May 16, 21, 12:13 pm
  #19  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.03MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite; WoH Dis
Posts: 51,148
My top 10 suggestions are all "No more stickies". One is enough. Stickies are generally useless because most people ignore them and they just take up valuable screen space.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old May 16, 21, 12:55 pm
  #20  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 39,961
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
My top 10 suggestions are all "No more stickies". One is enough. Stickies are generally useless because most people ignore them and they just take up valuable screen space.
Agreed, but that wouldn't be a change from the current situation

Last edited by Adam Smith; May 16, 21 at 1:53 pm Reason: Edit to reflect deleted post
canadiancow is offline  
Old May 16, 21, 1:28 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,945
Originally Posted by yyzgigi View Post
I will sometimes see a new thread that got moved to an exiting and then when I click through get lost in all the other discussion searching for the topic of interest.
Originally Posted by flamengo View Post
I totally agree. This forum would work a lot better, IMO, if it worked more organically with LESS top down moderation.
The same goes for shutting things down when threads drift off topic. I find many of these diversions the most entertaining and interesting things on here sometimes.
Well said and couldn't agree more.
flamengo and EdmFlyBoi like this.

Last edited by Adam Smith; May 16, 21 at 1:53 pm Reason: Edit to reflect deleted post
mileageking is offline  
Old May 16, 21, 1:49 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Edmonton/Calgary/Vancouver
Programs: AC SE100K 1MM, Bonvoy Platinum Elite, IHG Platinum Elite, Hilton Gold, Accor Silver
Posts: 1,121
Originally Posted by flamengo View Post
I totally agree. This forum would work a lot better, IMO, if it worked more organically with LESS top down moderation. I spend a reasonable amount of time on here, but not enough to know with encyclopedic knowledge of what’s in every thread ever posted. I am sure there’s lots of us that don’t want to go searching through old threads to get an answer to a question (within reason, of course).
The same goes for shutting things down when threads drift off topic. I find many of these diversions the most entertaining and interesting things on here sometimes.
I would agree. There is a bit too much rigidity to the moderation. I would suggest most of us come on here for a degree of entertainment and interesting banter is a part of that. Posts don't need to be removed because they aren't 100% on topic. Going off topic within a thread (within reason) often makes the ongoing discussion more interesting and, in turn, entertaining.
EdmFlyBoi is offline  
Old May 16, 21, 1:53 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,945
Originally Posted by EdmFlyBoi View Post
I would agree. There is a bit too much rigidity to the moderation. I would suggest most of us come on here for a degree of entertainment and interesting banter is a part of that. Posts don't need to be removed because they aren't 100% on topic. Going off topic within a thread (within reason) often makes the ongoing discussion more interesting and, in turn, entertaining.
Miss the old days. I have actually moved on and rarely post.
flamengo and EdmFlyBoi like this.

Last edited by Adam Smith; May 16, 21 at 1:54 pm Reason: Remove snark
mileageking is offline  
Old May 16, 21, 5:27 pm
  #24  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, WS Gold, DL PM, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor/Hilton/Radisson Gold
Posts: 14,233
I appreciate that there have been a number of constructive suggestions, so thank you everyone for those, and I have some follow-up questions that I'll post later.

This is teetering on the edge of a running discussion of moderator actions, which is against FT rule 18 and is not particularly constructive (as was noted in the OP of the thread), so I would like to get this back on track. I will note that @tcook052 and I are happy to have discussions on that topic via private message or e-mail, either on specific actions (e.g. "why was this post deleted?") or more general subjects. That doesn't mean we will always agree, but we have, from time to time, reconsidered things as a result of discussion with members. This thread is the result of hearing from a number of forum members about the way certain things are organized, for example, and we do appreciate getting perspectives on the usefulness of stickies, the merits of large threads vs smaller ones, etc...

I'm going to make a couple of broad observations about the FlyerTalk rules and applicability to the AC forum. One of those rules is to stay on topic. FT has hundreds of boards for various airlines, hotels, destinations, and other interests. Those wishing to have in-depth discussions about other airlines, specific hotels, or broad topics that are not particularly related to AC can do so there. Members can also reach out to each other directly via PM or e-mail. We do try to allow discussions to happen organically, but there is also a tendency for topics to veer off topic somewhat gradually. A hypothetical example: rarely does someone post a question about a Taipei hotel out of the blue in a thread about AC 787s. Someone mentions that they're flying to TPE and want to know the best seat. Another person replies, somewhere a comment gets made about what hotel the OP plans to stay at, and very quickly there are 20 posts about the merits of hotels in Taipei, which are definitely off topic to AC 787s, and AC altogether. Those engaged in the discussion may enjoy it very much, but those who come to the thread for information about AC 787s may be very frustrated at having to wade through a couple dozen posts about TPE hotels.

The (unpaid) job of the moderators is to balance those interests and to keep the content in line with the FT rules. We will usually try to allow a bit of meandering, but at a certain point, enough is enough. One person may be frustrated that 15 posts about TPE hotels were deleted, while another may be frustrated that only 15 of 20 were deleted. Rarely is there unanimity on any issue.

We recognize that there is more to the community than things 100% to do with Air Canada. The forum lounge thread and virtual and in-person Dos exist to give members an opportunity to connect and talk about things other than eUps, SQM, 223 seat pitch, and so on, while being somewhat within the AC FT board. But FlyerTalk as a whole is also meant to be a community, and the Air Canada forum is not meant to be the be-all and end-all of travel advice and discussion.

With that context provided, I will ask that any further feedback on moderation be directed to me and @tcook052 via PM or e-mail. I will also remind everyone of the "Alert a moderator to this post" function (red triangle in the left-hand sidebar on desktop, blue triangle in the bottom left of a post on mobile) - if you see a post that you believe has violated the rules, please bring it to the moderators' attention using this function. While we are usually pretty active on FT, we don't read every post in every thread.

Back to the topic at hand...
tcook052 likes this.
Adam Smith is online now  
Old May 17, 21, 12:39 am
  #25  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, WS Gold, DL PM, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor/Hilton/Radisson Gold
Posts: 14,233
It seems that stickies are generally not popular. For those that are not fans (including, but not limited to, @canadiancow, @canopus27, @mahasamatman), is the problem stickies in and of themselves or what threads get stuck? Compare and contrast the BA forum (4 stickies, either locked or with fairly low post counts) to the UA forum (7 stickies, a number of which are among the most active threads on the board), for example.

TL;DR on the rest of this post: I have tried to respond to all of those who posted substantive questions/comments with follow-up questions to better understand what you’re thinking, as your opinions are valued. Thank you to both the frequent posters and the infrequent ones for those contributions, which I think are shedding some light on what people find useful about the forum and what they don’t, and how we might try to improve things going forward.

Originally Posted by canopus27 View Post
I think there are two big picture types of threads - or perhaps I will change that to say that there are two types of reasons that people come to FT.
1. To debate stuff
2. To learn (and lookup) (and research) stuff

The debates could & should be in annual threads, IMHO. My hunch is that those threads tend to be the ones that can grow super long.

Generally speaking, the learning (information sharing) posts would actually lose value if they became annual threads. Although the AC programs & rules do evolve over time, most of them last for more than a year - and so for someone looking for information about upgrades, or the best way to connect in YYZ, or the best seats on a 77L - it would be better to leave those sorts of topics in one thread (each), so that it's easier to search.

How to best manage that separation is, of course, the sixty-four thousand dollar question. I'm not suggesting that "no discussion is allowed" in the information threads - heck, there's lots to debate about which is the best seat on a 77L - but I wonder if we could nominate some threads to be primarily reference/information based, and others to be primarily discussion based?
@canopus27, I think this is an interesting perspective, and I’d like to better understand what you’re thinking. I think some threads inherently fall largely in one category or the other and are probably okay as-is. Could you share an example of a topic that might currently be in one thread, but that you think would benefit from being separated in to reference and discussion components?

Originally Posted by IluvSQ View Post
Please don't go for the easy-hanging fruit - don't rename the " something scary near Winnipeg" thread!!!
That has historical significance.
@IluvSQ, Noted But how do you feel about threads that have less historical significance to them, e.g. my example about the bid upgrade thread?

Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
I'm not sure if I have answers, but to answer this question one must ask other questions.

[...]

I'll grant (and also beg the question) that the likes of "xyz forum lounge threads" are useful to help with community as a free form off topic discussion, but even that implies that discussion is the basic unit of artifact we do here. The default view is of threads of conversation; is this an accident of what VB does, or a desired nature of what FT is? This may open the question of moving to something that isn't VB, or isn't FT. Or that FT embraces something that isn't VB as the main "output" (while continuing VB as the incidental conversation tool)
@RangerNS I think to some extent what you’re asking is part of what I was trying to get at in the kick-off post, although you put it more elegantly. But your question is far more existential

You may have to talk to Internet Brands to have that very meta discussion. The AC forum moderators’ powers are limited to humble tasks like moving posts, merging threads, helping create wikis, and so on, and our mandate is to keep the AC forum largely on the topic of AC. If the view of the members is that wikis are generally the best way to make information useful, then we can try to direct efforts that way. If having small, focused threads, or conversely very large ones, is preferred, we can try to move things in that direction. But if you're envisioning an entirely different paradigm for the forum, there's not much we can do about that.

So I will throw a question back to you: within the limited confines of what the moderators can help accomplish, how would you prefer to see information organized?

Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post
Menus/Meals: I agree that there is little point in continuing threads on menus that have been retired. The suggestion of keeping one thread 'current" so it reflects the current menus and another as an archive for reference is useful. I know AC is slow to refresh menus, or at least slower than other carriers like AF/KLM or even Delta, but it would be easier if the thread reflected current offerings. The older menus can go to a historical topic as they allow for reference.
@Transpacificflyer So, in your mind, how would this look? Let’s say AC (in non-COVID times) changes meals every two months (not sure what the number is or whether it’s that predictable, but just for argument’s sake). Would you like to see a new meal thread created in May 2021, and then another in July, and another in September, and so on? And once a thread is no longer current, are you suggesting it should be merged into a master historical thread, or live on as-is? Lastly, would an annual thread (as suggested by a couple of others) be sufficient in your view to keep things reasonably current?

Sales/ Special fares: Yes i know there is another section dedicated to sales,e.g. premium fare sales, but I would greatly appreciate a target easier to navigate that was only current and specific to AC. Perhaps this is unreasonable as it is so closely linked to to *A fares, but I look for AC fares first.
Can you elaborate on what this would look like? Currently a thread is generally created each time AC has a big promo, e.g. Black Friday, Canada Day, etc. Are you thinking that a running thread for AC premium fare deals (which are often not tied to the big public promotions) would be helpful? Or are you looking for a thread on the AC forum each time there is an AC premium fare deal?

Originally Posted by Jagboi View Post
Based on the BA forum, perhaps copy the Forum Dashboard post there, and how it splits into many sub posts. It's the first port of call for any question about the airline or FF program. Something similar for AC would be a great resource.
@Jagboi Have you checked out the existing AC/Aeroplan FAQ sticky thread? It's not as graphically fancy, but it's very similar in principle, I think. Other than being in need of a refresh (which @Bohemian1 has very kindly volunteered to take on), any specific areas where you think it's lacking compared to the BA one?

(Not quoted for space, but comments re annual threads noted )

Originally Posted by yyzgigi View Post
As a more casual visitor, hyper organizing into threads takes away from the experience for me. I scan the list of threads for new information that often gets lost buried in an existing thread. I will sometimes see a new thread that got moved to an exiting and then when I click through get lost in all the other discussion searching for the topic of interest.

I know some like the quirkiness of somewhat scary over Winnipeg but I probably miss a lot because I don’t want to navigate through discussions of every incident from 1983 to today.

I get that we don’t need a new thread every time someone wants to know how to upgrade a flight or what meal to expect, but we can bury the headline and create a convoluted mess of discussions if we lump everything tangentially related together.
@yyzgigi Could you explain a bit what constitutes the “experience” to you? You mention looking for “new information”, but I don’t think there’s a lot of genuinely new information outside the master incidents thread that doesn’t get its own thread – new aircraft, status benefits for the year, etc. Is there something that more frequent visitors consider not new that you would consider new?

The goal is to avoid having parallel discussions on the same or similar information going in multiple threads, because that’s what truly gets to be a convoluted mess. As an example, when AC released its financial results a few months ago, that thread got a bunch of posts about the cargo operation and general fleet planning. Those same things were being discussed in the dedicated threads on those topics, including questions being asked in one thread that had already been answered in another. Nor do we need a dozen threads with people asking which 787 seat is best.

That being said, I kicked off this thread with an acknowledgement that some threads have probably grown unwieldy, and a request to identify threads that could be more useful if they were split up, either in to separate topics, or divided by time. I get the feeling that the incidents thread is one that you don’t like, but are you looking for each incident to have its own thread, or just have an annual thread for each year’s incidents? And are you any other threads that you think could be improved?

Originally Posted by flamengo View Post
I spend a reasonable amount of time on here, but not enough to know with encyclopedic knowledge of what’s in every thread ever posted. I am sure there’s lots of us that don’t want to go searching through old threads to get an answer to a question (within reason, of course).
@flamengo No one is expected to have an encyclopedic knowledge of what has been posted, but we do want to avoid having 100 threads asking basic questions about eUpgrades and so on. Since we want the forum to be useful for everyone, including those who don’t spend a huge amount of time on the forum, can you share how you currently look for information? Do you use a search, either through a search engine or the forum search tool? Or do you come to the forum and start scrolling down the list of topics?

When you say you don’t want to go searching through “old threads”, what poses the greatest challenge to you in finding what you’re looking for? Is it number of posts? Age of the thread? Do wikis help cut through the stuff you don’t want to find what you do want?

Also, do “newbie lounge” type threads potentially make it easier (and/or more enjoyable) to find what you’re looking for? For example:
Have a Simple Question About United Airlines/MileagePlus? Ask Here [2021]
NEWBIE LOUNGE 2021: Ask AA newbie questions here - flame-free thread
2021 Alaska Airlines *FLAME-FREE* Q&A Thread: All Welcome, New and Old!

Or would an enhanced FAQ thread be sufficient?
Adam Smith is online now  
Old May 17, 21, 4:44 am
  #26  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 39,961
I think my biggest issue with stickies is that we just don't use them in the AC forum, and therefore, I don't look at them.

But also, if a thread is important enough to be a sticky, it likely has sufficient traffic to keep it very near the top of the front page.
canadiancow is offline  
Old May 17, 21, 7:04 am
  #27  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: AC SE100K-1MM, NH, DL, AA, BA, Global Entry/Nexus, APEC..
Posts: 18,878
Reply, part 1 (in case I have other thoughts later )

I'm not the only one who spends time on other forums - be they FT, aviation-related or other topics.

Since we're talking FT here, there are many things that come together to allow a community conversation to work: the participants, the management of topics/threads, the ability to find things and for me (and I'm sure others), the ability to have fun, help others and learn things.

We are all different ages, genders, come from different walks of life, have different educations and completely different skills sets - and face different challenges. Those are some of the basics. Add in those who drive by (are not regular participants here) and others who need help but can't explain their problem (language or communication barrier), and these are just some of the types of people who participate.

My observations include how people process information. This is really important. Some of us can find posts because we have an eidetic memory or we know how to use the right keywords with the right search mechanism.

As for threads, we have some decent master threads which often get ignored when people post asking for something. Is it because it's been months since someone posted in one of those threads? Is it because some people prefer to start new threads ( which will eventually get moved/merged to one that already exists?

Then there are ongoing topics like meals. We have meal threads for pretty much all the North American and International cabins/classes of service. But then a thread was started in the Now Times, asking if anyone is travelling? Some people posted their food photos there. I don't mind but I prefer to post my menus and meal photos in meal threads to allow for easier search and comparison.

I've always really liked the work @Carfield has done on the CX forum over the years with the dedicated threads to Menus. See his OP in this thread. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cath...us-2020-a.html As such, I then tried to so similar when I created some Menu and Meal threads on the NH and NZ forums.

On AC FT where there is more posting activity of meals, we could have new threads with posts from Jan 2020 (just as the Now Times were starting), or some other more recent time frame. e.g. from the AA forum Coronavirus Reduced Inflight Food and Beverage Restrictions as of 03/2020 and changes

In the Wiki of the master meal threads, include links to all previous years.

Another example is threads started asking which is the Best seat on X aircraft... for couples, for people traveling with children, and so on. IIRC, UA, NH and many others have threads with titles like "Best Seat on X's B789", Best Seat on Y's A330. I'm not a fan of the endless parade of new threads started by people asking "which is the best seat for....", but I understand why they do get started. The problem is, all of those threads end up exactly the same - 10 people 15 different options and so it goes.

This is often why - admittedly sometimes for amusement and sometimes to make a point, I post in a thread including all previous existing threads on the same topic that I could find.

These are some of my thoughts for now.

Thank you.
Jasper2009 and FlY2XS like this.
24left is offline  
Old May 17, 21, 12:26 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Halifax
Programs: AC SE100K, Marriott Elite/Ambassador. NEXUS, National
Posts: 3,831
Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
So I will throw a question back to you: within the limited confines of what the moderators can help accomplish, how would you prefer to see information organized?
I think its a collective decision (possibly including site admins). If the site wants something, the mods want a different thing, and the top 10 posters do something else, its going to be constant conflict.

I don't want the site to be a third party (free!) tech support forum, but there are... transnational... questions. "Can someone with EF check the buckets on ABC-DEF on whenever"; I'm not sure how you could (a) convince noobs (or regulars!) to use the appropriate thread, or how you'd mark something a as question, answer, or resolved, but an active Q&A thread could be a thing. How does one distinguish between a normal question with a clear answer and something that really is a new thing? I don't know, but encouraging the question to start in the transaction thread could be done... somehow.

My eyes have been trained to avoid stickies as 25 years ago someone sold that space to banner adds and my brain skips over it. I suppose if they were actually used, then I could unlearn that.

I regularly forget there is a wiki functionality. Its not visibly significant. But if we (all!) want to move to "the wiki is the artifact" model for some conversations (e.g., not the transnational ones per above), then some gentle reminders in thread to update the wiki are due. I'm not sure what technology VB has to encourage this.
RangerNS is offline  
Old May 17, 21, 3:54 pm
  #29  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, WS Gold, DL PM, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor/Hilton/Radisson Gold
Posts: 14,233
Thank you to one member who reached out privately to discuss some moderator actions via PM as opposed to posting in this thread

Originally Posted by 24left View Post
As for threads, we have some decent master threads which often get ignored when people post asking for something. Is it because it's been months since someone posted in one of those threads? Is it because some people prefer to start new threads ( which will eventually get moved/merged to one that already exists?
@24left, you make some good observations about the diversity of those using the forum. The questions asked in the portion of your post that I've quoted above are the types of questions we don't have definitive answers to, and something we hoped to gain some insight in to via this thread. We don't expect any one person to have all the answers either, but by hopefully getting responses from a bunch of people, we can have a larger sample size to work with.

On AC FT where there is more posting activity of meals, we could have new threads with posts from Jan 2020 (just as the Now Times were starting), or some other more recent time frame.

Then there are ongoing topics like meals. We have meal threads for pretty much all the North American and International cabins/classes of service. But then a thread was started in the Now Times, asking if anyone is travelling? Some people posted their food photos there. I don't mind but I prefer to post my menus and meal photos in meal threads to allow for easier search and comparison.


Thanks for the comments around meal threads, which I know are a subject on which you have lots to contribute I agree that the current situation around COVID is a bit messy, as we do have meal posts scattered across a few threads, and that's one of the things I had in mind when asking whether people had suggestions on specific threads. Meals do seem like something that could benefit from being chopped up based on time going forward. You track meals pretty closely. How often do the menus change, and do they carry over year-ends? Just trying to figure out when is the optimal time for the new threads to kick in.

When it comes to the ones we currently have, going back to one of my earlier posts, 2020 might be too early just given the amount of work involved. A more natural break point might be the recent change when plated meals (or "meals on plates", for those who take issue with the first term) were reintroduced, or the beginning of 2021.

Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
I think its a collective decision (possibly including site admins). If the site wants something, the mods want a different thing, and the top 10 posters do something else, its going to be constant conflict.
@RangerNS Internet Brands wants FT to operate according to the rules that it has set (or that were set, with its blessing, by TalkBoard, or whatever the process was). The moderators have agreed to take on the responsibility of trying to keep FT within those rules. As far as what we (the moderators) want, I think what we're looking for, to borrow a bit from Bentham, is for the forum to have the greatest utility for the greatest number of people (@tcook052 and I haven't had deep philosophical conversations on the subject, but I think our mindset is broadly the same).

How to accomplish that is the tricky part, when we know fairly little about what makes the board useful for many people. We obviously have are own views, which may or may not reflect those of the population at large. There are a fairly small number of users who communicate with the mod team, either by using the alert function to let us know about bad posts, sending us PMs or e-mails, or communicating via other channels. Some of those people are frequent posters on the AC forum, others are not (and many people who post frequently don't communicate with the moderators). But it's not a large number. As outlined in the OP, recently we've received a number of comments that are in a similar vein regarding organization of the forum. We therefore thought that this might be an opportune time to solicit feedback from the board at large, to ensure that we consider a broad variety of opinions on the subject, as opposed to simply those of the people who have reached out to us.

Hence the creation of this thread.

As for it being a "collective decision", I think that depends on how you interpret that phrase. Views will rarely be unanimous on any one item, and it's not possible to hold a vote on every topic and how it should be treated. So in the sense of a direct democracy, no, it's not a collective decision. But in the sense that the moderators don't purport to have all of best ideas and are asking for this feedback (as opposed to simply implementing our own vision), then yes. With the additional caveat that even if there's unanimity on a point, e.g. "the AC forum should have unlimited profanity!", if it violates the rules of FT, it's a no-go.

I don't want the site to be a third party (free!) tech support forum, but there are... transnational... questions. "Can someone with EF check the buckets on ABC-DEF on whenever"; I'm not sure how you could (a) convince noobs (or regulars!) to use the appropriate thread, or how you'd mark something a as question, answer, or resolved, but an active Q&A thread could be a thing. How does one distinguish between a normal question with a clear answer and something that really is a new thing? I don't know, but encouraging the question to start in the transaction thread could be done... somehow.
Some folks (newbies or not) are always going to post new threads, some because they didn't find the information they were looking for, others because they never bothered to look before posting. Other people post questions in the right thread (or start a new one with good reason), but post a question that has been answered only a couple of posts above theirs. I think one of the things we're trying to figure out here is how can we better organize and present information so that we get fewer of those threads/posts because people were better able to find what they needed. That's better for everyone - folks looking for information get it quicker, those reading the threads don't have to read the same question and answer a zillion times, and moderators have less moving, merging, etc to do.

So when you say "an active Q&A thread", is that something like the examples from the AA/AS/UA fora that I mentioned in my last post? Or do you envision something along the lines of @canopus27's split between information threads and discussion threads on a given topic?

I regularly forget there is a wiki functionality. Its not visibly significant. But if we (all!) want to move to "the wiki is the artifact" model for some conversations (e.g., not the transnational ones per above), then some gentle reminders in thread to update the wiki are due. I'm not sure what technology VB has to encourage this.
When you say "not visibly significant", can you clarify? The wiki does appear at the top of each page, at least on desktop. Is it the ability to jump directly to the most recent post of any thread, and infinite scroll on mobile, that mean that you don't see the wikis and therefore forget about them? Or did you mean something else?

Last edited by Adam Smith; May 17, 21 at 5:29 pm Reason: Clarification
Adam Smith is online now  
Old May 17, 21, 5:05 pm
  #30  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: AC SE100K-1MM, NH, DL, AA, BA, Global Entry/Nexus, APEC..
Posts: 18,878
Reply, part 2

Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
......

Thanks for the comments around meal threads, which I know are a subject on which you have lots to contribute I agree that the current situation around COVID is a bit messy, as we do have meal posts scattered across a few threads, and that's one of the things I had in mind when asking whether people had suggestions on specific threads. Meals do seem like something that could benefit from being chopped up based on time going forward. You track meals pretty closely. How often do the menus change, and do they carry over year-ends? Just trying to figure out when is the optimal time for the new threads to kick in.

When it comes to the ones we currently have, going back to one of my earlier posts, 2020 might be too early just given the amount of work involved. A more natural break point might be the recent change when plated meals (or "meals on plates", for those who take issue with the first term) were reintroduced, or the beginning of 2021.…..

The issue with AC menus is really multiple issues. In general,

1. The format on AC.com sux, something none of us can fix.

2. There are many errors including spelling, flight times, some of which I showed in my post here, in the second half of this post https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/33240317-post5941.html

3. Whereas AC used to offer a 2 week calendar of menus, it’s now a week at a time, which is fine, but it's not available for all routes, nor the same routes on the same day.

4. Not all of us who post meal photos include the menus. I think it is helpful - either to see the ingredient list, or to see how creative AC gets with menus that don’t match the meals served.

5. My view is that photos and menus are an important or at least a useful component of food threads. Sure some people just like to say they had the omelette. But my (work) experience is that far more people can absorb information when presented visually and not in word-paragraph format.


Meals in the Now Times

5. It seems based on the difference in the meals I received on the YVR-YYZ route versus meals I’ve seen posted from those flying to/from YYC, YQR etc, AC catering must be using up old supplies ex-YVR and likely elsewhere. That’s fine but then we have the lack of anything resembling consistency. Oh wait, AC.

8. You can choose to create a thread coinciding with the return to “food on plates" in North America, which seems to have been May 1 on some routes and for some items on the tray. AC made the return to such on March 1 for International. Thus, you could carve out the new threads from those timelines.

I made the point about including earlier posts because while AC may now offer some plates, some of the actual food is exactly the same as it was in December, January, February etc. Or, going forward, some elements may remain the same for some time.


Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
......
Some folks (newbies or not) are always going to post new threads, some because they didn't find the information they were looking for, others because they never bothered to look before posting. Other people post questions in the right thread (or start a new one with good reason), but post a question that has been answered only a couple of posts above theirs.

I think one of the things we're trying to figure out here is how can we better organize and present information so that we get fewer of those threads/posts because people were better able to find what they needed. That's better for everyone - folks looking for information get it quicker, those reading the threads don't have to read the same question and answer a zillion times, and moderators have less moving, merging, etc to do……..

I’ve segmented your paragraph.

Some people start a new thread because they used FT search and it did not provide the results they needed. I never use FT search mostly because it never gives me the results I'm looking for, and have stated so previously.

As I mentioned, some people are not regular inhabitants of AC FT and the set-up and management of topics and threads may be different on the forum where they may spend more of their time. So they start a new thread because that is how things worked elsewhere. I spend enough time on the FT forums of airlines from the other side of the Pacific. Multiple people will ask the same question in a new thread. It is often because they are not local for that airline and are not familiar with the airline’s rules or services. Sometimes the locals will just answer the new post with the same reply as a previous post. And these threads just disappear, until the next time someone asks the same question, and both threads are on page 1.

AC FT has a few always amusing locals who love to start new threads when they know the topics already exist. The answer to why is found in some of my more interesting courses from CEGEP and McGill. I suspect those folks won’t change and it will be left to “Herb to clean up Aisle 3” (reference to “Mr. Mom”, a 1983 movie with Michael Keaton).

****

Expanding on something I wrote in my earlier post above, we do not all process info the same way. A lot of participants here have science/math backgrounds. They may look at problems differently, they may post replies that make sense to them but are a mystery to others. Whereas @Adam Smith has always presented financial and economic info in a format that I find easy to understand, not everyone can do that - or is willing to. It's unfortunate as some will feel left out, won't ask for help or more clarification and that affects overall contribution, IMHO. And it also affects how threads are organized.
.
Adam Smith likes this.

Last edited by 24left; May 17, 21 at 5:12 pm
24left is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread