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Is there less activity on this forum than in years past?

Is there less activity on this forum than in years past?

Old Jun 16, 18, 12:46 pm
  #1  
BLG
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Is there less activity on this forum than in years past?

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like there are fewer threads and fewer posts than there used to be. Or maybe the mods, who do a fantastic job, have just become better and better at consolidating things. Just curious if it's my imagination or if activity has declined over the years? If it has, then it might be an interesting discussion as to why. If I'm wrong then I've just started a boring thread that should end quickly!
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Old Jun 16, 18, 12:49 pm
  #2  
 
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I think it has the right amount of activity -- I get instant e-mail notifications several times a day...
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Old Jun 16, 18, 1:03 pm
  #3  
 
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My impression is that there is much less activity in this forum. Perhaps as AA has devalued the program and cut back on promotions there is less to discuss. Some of my favorite frequent posters such as brp have lost interest or moved on.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 2:45 pm
  #4  
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Saturday is a very slow day. Yet

213 (40 members & 173 guests) visiting

So, less activity on weekends +0- But historically, I don’t think these numbers vary much from before. And only 19% of those reading are members. Note that there are many (erm, is there a nice word for “parasitical”?) readers who come to glean the generously shared information that choose not to sign up and join in. Of the members, how many came to glean information (How do I estimate EQM / EQD / AWM for my flight? Does my flight from Hawai’i to the mainland have horizontally fat seats? Can I change the date for my award flight?) versus participate in a discussion, share experiences, etc.

Sometimes, in my estimation, activity can be driven mostly by issues. The merger created vast amounts of activity, as US members sought to learn about AA, AA members sought to learn more about US (aircraft, etc.) and many of us were affected by changes that affected all of us - merged and changed FFP, new MM program, EQD, etc.

At the moment, it’s pretty much SOP. No major sales, some relatively lesser changes taking a longer period (W added to widebodies, the “sardinization” of narrowbodies under Project Oasis, etc). so, in my estimation, not a lot of kerfuffle. Activity often in the DYKWIA, least substantive, etc. threads, compared with the Challenge before it was documented (remember FewMiles’ web page?), introduction of EQD, etc.

IMO, the forum is much more welcoming, has some members with an amazing knowledge base and willing to share, has some curating and organization that makes it easier to find information (I hope), and has a sense of community that formed in part by the merger angst not being turned against each other. We came together and crowdsourced our questions, discussed our concerns, shared our knowledge relatively free of animus so we could problem solve productively (and grouse about the changes without blaming each other).

For me, perhaps my best experience as a FT Moderator was seeing (and being a part of) mods from two fora come together as a team. We’re mostly still here! And I enjoy curating information to make it easier to find - I’ve learned a lot that made my travel richer and more economical from members here ( though admittedly it’s become more challenging to read and splice intricate URLs to graphic images, etc. as my cataracts “ripen” to the point I can have surgery and get new lenses, clearer vision).

My saddest experience as an FT mod was losing maguc111, a mod and good friend from Charles Shulz’ of Peanuts fame home town, whose family came to California when it was Mexico. In true FlyerTalk fashion, we last enjoyed a chat, some brew and Mexican food in London with a couple other FT members - a couple of weeks before he was out for a run in his home town and died of a massive heart attack. An active and somewhat renowned football (soccer, not American) coach, I think he taught us some valued perspectives for moderating. “Play the ball, not the player.”

This is totally my gut reaction as a daily-involved moderator of this forum 12 years, beginning at a time this forum was actively avoided by many because it was perceived as possibly the most contentious, belligerent, hostile forum on FT. As well, I’ll blend my impressions gained from moderating / sysop’ing for GEnie and CompuServe. These are strictly my ruminations, not based on statistics or serious studies. I do not claim to speak for any other members of the AA | A forum Moderation Team, nor is it intended to open a discussion on Moderation or moderator actions.

Write on, Travel well, fellow members.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 3:15 pm
  #5  
BLG
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Saturday is a very slow day. Yet

213 (40 members & 173 guests) visiting

So, less activity on weekends +0- But historically, I don’t think these numbers vary much from before. And only 19% of those reading are members. Note that there are many (erm, is there a nice word for “parasitical”?) readers who come to glean the generously shared information that choose not to sign up and join in. Of the members, how many came to glean information (How do I estimate EQM / EQD / AWM for my flight? Does my flight from Hawai’i to the mainland have horizontally fat seats? Can I change the date for my award flight?) versus participate in a discussion, share experiences, etc.

Sometimes, in my estimation, activity can be driven mostly by issues. The merger created vast amounts of activity, as US members sought to learn about AA, AA members sought to learn more about US (aircraft, etc.) and many of us were affected by changes that affected all of us - merged and changed FFP, new MM program, EQD, etc.

At the moment, it’s pretty much SOP. No major sales, some relatively lesser changes taking a longer period (W added to widebodies, the “sardinization” of narrowbodies under Project Oasis, etc). so, in my estimation, not a lot of kerfuffle. Activity often in the DYKWIA, least substantive, etc. threads, compared with the Challenge before it was documented (remember FewMiles’ web page?), introduction of EQD, etc.

IMO, the forum is much more welcoming, has some members with an amazing knowledge base and willing to share, has some curating and organization that makes it easier to find information (I hope), and has a sense of community that formed in part by the merger angst not being turned against each other. We came together and crowdsourced our questions, discussed our concerns, shared our knowledge relatively free of animus so we could problem solve productively (and grouse about the changes without blaming each other).

For me, perhaps my best experience as a FT Moderator was seeing (and being a part of) mods from two fora come together as a team. We’re mostly still here! And I enjoy curating information to make it easier to find - I’ve learned a lot that made my travel richer and more economical from members here ( though admittedly it’s become more challenging to read and splice intricate URLs to graphic images, etc. as my cataracts “ripen” to the point I can have surgery and get new lenses, clearer vision).

My saddest experience as an FT mod was losing maguc111, a mod and good friend from Charles Shulz’ of Peanuts fame home town, whose family came to California when it was Mexico. In true FlyerTalk fashion, we last enjoyed a chat, some brew and Mexican food in London with a couple other FT members - a couple of weeks before he was out for a run in his home town and died of a massive heart attack. An active and somewhat renowned football (soccer, not American) coach, I think he taught us some valued perspectives for moderating. “Play the ball, not the player.”

This is totally my gut reaction as a daily-involved moderator of this forum 12 years, beginning at a time this forum was actively avoided by many because it was perceived as possibly the most contentious, belligerent, hostile forum on FT. As well, I’ll blend my impressions gained from moderating / sysop’ing for GEnie and CompuServe. These are strictly my ruminations, not based on statistics or serious studies. I do not claim to speak for any other members of the AA A forum Moderation Team, nor is it intended to open a discussion on Moderation or moderator actions.

Write on, Travel well, fellow members.
JDiver -- Thank you so much for taking the time to deliver such a complete and eloquent response. And thank you for all that you have done over all these years to contribute to improving our abilities to navigate AA rules and regs and maximize our abilities to get more miles, better seats, better connections, etc. etc. I know that what I've gotten from being a member here, practically since the start, has been truly invaluable.

I do agree with you that over the years the forum has become much more welcoming and friendly. And that's a big deal. And I do believe that the organization of threads and information is better than ever. So again, thank you again.

BTW my comment was not based on a slow Saturday, just a general sense of less activity over a period of time.

Last edited by BLG; Jun 16, 18 at 3:51 pm
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Old Jun 16, 18, 3:41 pm
  #6  
 
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I'm a newbie to this because of a new job that requires me to travel. From what I have seen, the page wikis take care of a lot of the questions I have. It seems that people are probably just reading through those instead of adding to the noise. Also, just as an internet user for 20+ years, it seems that forums in general are not as popular with the growth of social media which makes me sad. I have spent a lot of time in forums and met a lot of great people through them.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 4:04 pm
  #7  
 
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I'm sure the mods like JDiver can answer this more empirically... but I feel there's less activity, yes. I think JDiver's explanations are true.

However, I've noticed over recent years that more threads get merged into Wiki-threads lately. Most times, when I land on the main AAdvantage FT page, at least 75%+ of recent threads updates are wiki-threads. I realize this creates a more organized forum, which is nice, but also buries more recent, relevant postings into threads which can often be up to 7+ years old.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 4:16 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by BLG View Post
Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like there are fewer threads and fewer posts than there used to be. Or maybe the mods, who do a fantastic job, have just become better and better at consolidating things. Just curious if it's my imagination or if activity has declined over the years? If it has, then it might be an interesting discussion as to why. If I'm wrong then I've just started a boring thread that should end quickly!
I'm not sure which forum and which years you're referring to. It's only a couple years since the AA and US forums got merged into one.

During the merger period (both before the forums merged and for a while afterwards) there was more activity than either years before the merger (on the AA side) or now, simply because lots of people always have lots of different questions whenever things are changing in a merger.

So if I compare it to the pre-merger-AA forum several years before the merger, it's about the same or maybe even more, but if I compare it to the height of the merger, then certainly it's less, because most of the merger questions have long been answered since (except a few like plane interior redos which are concentrated in just a few threads).
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Old Jun 16, 18, 5:37 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
I'm not sure which forum and which years you're referring to. It's only a couple years since the AA and US forums got merged into one.

During the merger period (both before the forums merged and for a while afterwards) there was more activity than either years before the merger (on the AA side) or now, simply because lots of people always have lots of different questions whenever things are changing in a merger.

So if I compare it to the pre-merger-AA forum several years before the merger, it's about the same or maybe even more, but if I compare it to the height of the merger, then certainly it's less, because most of the merger questions have long been answered since (except a few like plane interior redos which are concentrated in just a few threads).
Certainly it feels like less activity than during the merger, but it also feels like less than pre-merger. Maybe it's because more new threads are being integrated into stickies and older threads. I've been around here since the early days and it's just a general feeling based on a lot of years of posting and reading posts.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 5:41 pm
  #10  
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As far as US airline forums go the DL seems the busiest (and most DYKWIA) then UA then AA. I can't comment on WN, Spirit, Alaska.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 6:23 pm
  #11  
 
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"IMO, the forum is much more welcoming, has some members with an amazing knowledge base and willing to share, has some curating and organization that makes it easier to find information (I hope), and has a sense of community that formed in part by the merger angst not being turned against each other. We came together and crowdsourced our questions, discussed our concerns, shared our knowledge relatively free of animus so we could problem solve productively (and grouse about the changes without blaming each other). " JDiver

I certainly concur. A few years ago mods conducted an in-depth survey of the AA forum. The main feedback I gave was that imo the forum was too snarky and unwelcoming. There were a few frequent posters who routinely responded to posts with condescending and overly critical comments. Constantly correcting grammar, spelling, etc. and innocent misinformation with a very snarky and passive aggressive tone in the guise of being helpful. After the survey this seemed to lessen and mods were less tolerant of this kind of behavior. I, for one, appreciated it. Nothing wrong with a good joke or zing now and then, but not at the expense of trying to intentionally humiliate a poster.
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Old Jun 16, 18, 6:49 pm
  #12  
 
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agree with this. Basically it seems that the rule now is that every new post has to find an existing thread. On this site I feel the BA forum has the balance right.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 6:34 am
  #13  
 
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I think a lot of web forums are less busy than they used to be. For one thing, social media are highly stratified - you can practically date the year someone came onto the net by what social medium they prefer. Old-timers (pre-1994) tend to prefer email, and many of my acquaintance still use things like IRC and even Usenet, which were all text. Today's youngsters are using FaceTime and YouTube; there's a generation in between who grew up with Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook, latterly Instagram and WhatsApp. Web forums are kind of 2000-2005ish.

Meanwhile, there's always a certain number of people who get bored with seeing the same conversations repeat and move on; at this point in a forum's history there are very few topics that haven't been thrashed out before. In this case of the forum, I agree with others who say that people are drawn to post more because of newly announced changes, and there just hasn't been much announced lately. (Although I did ride on an AA plane from JFK to LHR last week that had fancy new seats in MCE, suggesting the change to add premium economy is getting closer.) What keeps people coming back over a long period of time is usually that the forum has evolved into a close community - which pretty much requires a broader range of conversation and probably offline meetings as well.

wg
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Old Jun 17, 18, 6:35 am
  #14  
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Someone was kind enough to remind me that I had been here quite a while. AA is one of my "daily" Forums as I came here often and learnt much. My thoughts when I read this was that the turnover of threads seems to be much slower than I recall it. The Mods are, as far as I understand it, volunteers. I think that they do sterling work and I'll add my thanks for their efforts.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 9:07 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by BLG View Post
Certainly it feels like less activity than during the merger, but it also feels like less than pre-merger. Maybe it's because more new threads are being integrated into stickies and older threads.
IMHO the AA forum is very actively - and very well - moderated. Stickies and older threads have a lot of value: they represent a collection of wisdom, from multiple points of view, often from high-knowledge posters. Nuances get detailed. Information offered gets validated (or challenged and corrected). It makes for vastly more efficient search, too, when repetitive items get consolidated into established threads. Lots of topic have been covered in substantial detail previously; truly novel questions are pretty rare.

Hmm, yeh, the Delta forum: Home of some high-mileage but low-functioning posters, like the Diamond who couldn't use a lounge location guide to help his own kid...
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