Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > External Miles and Points Resources
Reload this Page >

Sample of a helpful blog post

Sample of a helpful blog post

Old Apr 18, 13, 1:49 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 211
Sample of a helpful blog post

This blog post is not an amazing deal by any means, but it is an example of a helpful blog. Why?

1. It told me something I did not know before.
2. It was short and sweet, with a working link to a deal that was exactly what the blog promised it would be.
3. While many CCs were mentioned, no CC links embedded in the text!
4. I spotted it on Boarding Area, which has, to my mind, a much more user-friendly layout than First2Board. Much easier to scan for something new on BA than on F2B, which has too much going on on the Home page, is very repetitive (links to the same blog appear in numerous places on the page), and seems to have less new material on a daily basis. Also, as someone pointed out on another thread, you have to scroll down quite a bit to see what's new on F2B, whereas BA shows you the newest stuff right on top.

Wish the link was to something more rewarding than 2 for the price of 1 movie tickets, but, hey, it still is an example of one way to do it right.

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/pointm...t-bogo-friday/

Not sure if the links the blog has (on a tab) to CCs are the best links out there, but the cards listed do seem to be cards I think are good to have, and are appropriate to consider for an AOR. I typically check FT to make sure I use a link to the best offer anyway, but it is not like the links are to cards that are simply not good deals for points and miles folks.

I'm still pretty new at this. Is this post typical of posts by Point Me to the Plane? Is this generally a blog I can trust?
TWA44 is offline  
Old Apr 18, 13, 11:28 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle
Programs: United Airlines Premier, Starwood Gold Preferred Guest, Hyatt Gold Passport, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 356
Originally Posted by TWA44 View Post
This blog post is not an amazing deal by any means, but it is an example of a helpful blog. Why?

1. It told me something I did not know before.
2. It was short and sweet, with a working link to a deal that was exactly what the blog promised it would be.
3. While many CCs were mentioned, no CC links embedded in the text!
4. I spotted it on Boarding Area, which has, to my mind, a much more user-friendly layout than First2Board. Much easier to scan for something new on BA than on F2B, which has too much going on on the Home page, is very repetitive (links to the same blog appear in numerous places on the page), and seems to have less new material on a daily basis. Also, as someone pointed out on another thread, you have to scroll down quite a bit to see what's new on F2B, whereas BA shows you the newest stuff right on top.

Wish the link was to something more rewarding than 2 for the price of 1 movie tickets, but, hey, it still is an example of one way to do it right.

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/pointm...t-bogo-friday/

Not sure if the links the blog has (on a tab) to CCs are the best links out there, but the cards listed do seem to be cards I think are good to have, and are appropriate to consider for an AOR. I typically check FT to make sure I use a link to the best offer anyway, but it is not like the links are to cards that are simply not good deals for points and miles folks.

I'm still pretty new at this. Is this post typical of posts by Point Me to the Plane? Is this generally a blog I can trust?
Can't comment on whether you can trust this blog, but just want to second the point about boardingarea's layout vs first2board. F2B currently looks very messy to me and I have hardly seen any good content recently.
vtqanh is offline  
Old Apr 19, 13, 6:24 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA Plat, Copa Pres. Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond, SPG LT Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 769
Originally Posted by TWA44 View Post
4. I spotted it on Boarding Area, which has, to my mind, a much more user-friendly layout than First2Board. Much easier to scan for something new on BA than on F2B, which has too much going on on the Home page, is very repetitive (links to the same blog appear in numerous places on the page), and seems to have less new material on a daily basis. Also, as someone pointed out on another thread, you have to scroll down quite a bit to see what's new on F2B, whereas BA shows you the newest stuff right on top.
Appreciate your perspectives on F2B's homepage. A few reactions:
  • We're trying to surface content in several different ways, which I think is what is leading to a "busy" and sometimes repetitive home page (newest posts overall, while also showing the latest post from each blogger, and the latest in certain categories). This is a work in progress.
  • Certainly less new material on a daily basis than you'll see at BoardingArea. We have less than 1/3 the number of bloggers! We are planning to bring more bloggers into the mix in the future, which will mean more content and a wider array of perspectives / voices.
  • I don't really following your point about the scrolling piece though. If I look at the homepages, I only see a small number of posts "above the fold" in both cases - you need to scroll the full length of the homepage to see all the new stuff. Am I missing something here?


Originally Posted by vtqanh View Post
Can't comment on whether you can trust this blog, but just want to second the point about boardingarea's layout vs first2board. F2B currently looks very messy to me and I have hardly seen any good content recently.
Thanks for the feedback - take a look at my comments above.
milesmuncher is offline  
Old Apr 19, 13, 8:51 am
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,210
Originally Posted by milesmuncher View Post
  • I don't really following your point about the scrolling piece though. If I look at the homepages, I only see a small number of posts "above the fold" in both cases - you need to scroll the full length of the homepage to see all the new stuff. Am I missing something here?
I see nil on any personal F2B page (not the main homepage) above the fold. That's not a good UI decision.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Apr 19, 13, 11:06 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA Plat, Copa Pres. Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond, SPG LT Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 769
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I see nil on any personal F2B page (not the main homepage) above the fold. That's not a good UI decision.
That's fair, but I think the OP was referring to the master homepages (could be wrong, but that's how I read it). I don't disagree with you, but they also doesn't seem to be THAT different from the personal BA homepages, most of them anyway. Not trying to get into a "mine vs. yours", just calling it like I see it.
milesmuncher is offline  
Old Apr 19, 13, 10:58 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 211
You are right, Milesmuncher, I was referring to the Home pages. I just took another look and you are right again - both sites do show some info above the fold.

However, my understanding and experience using BA is that the newest blogs appear at the top, so I really don't need to scroll very far before I know I've seen the new stuff, especially if I pop by once or twice a day. I like the paragraphs that appear after the blog titles - helps me know without necessarily clicking if I want to read the full piece. BA is more linear and seems more organized. Very easy on my aging eyes - and indeed, age may be an issue here.

The F2B site is less easy on my eyes - 3 unequal columns such that items do not line up across the 3 columns, so my eye has to jump around to see what is there. Different fonts, different font sizes - it just seems, as someone said, much too busy. Halfway down the column sizes change again; ads pop up in the middle. It just seems disorganized and hard to negotiate. Having looked more carefully at the site, I think I get the organization you are going for, but it just doesn't work for me. It may very well work fine for others.

------------------

Here's another example of a helpful blog. Again, it gave me info I did not know before and did so in an engaging style:

http://www.doitforthepoints.com/2013...The+Points!%29

Thanks!
TWA44 is offline  
Old Apr 20, 13, 2:29 am
  #7  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,210
Originally Posted by milesmuncher View Post
That's fair, but I think the OP was referring to the master homepages (could be wrong, but that's how I read it).
Given the reference to the "post in the other thread" which I'm pretty sure was talking about something I posted in another thread I figured I'd chime in to clarify what I was talking about.

Personally I think that both front pages leave quite a bit to be desired.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Apr 20, 13, 1:19 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 211
You know, sbm12, I did try to find the comment to properly quote it. But it seemed hopeless to me. Now I readily admit that I am new and may not be great at searching, but even once you took credit, I tried a quick scan of your posts and soon gave up, not sure which thread it was on (the big one on blogs or the one on the vote about this forum) or the date you wrote it. Maybe the soon-to-be implemented wikis will help....

-----------------------------

On another topic, I signed up to get emails from Hack.Travel, which I have been happy to receive, with one small quibble. Here is a cut/paste of the email I received about one post; the italics are mine to show I am quoting and I added the colored font used here:

Flying SWISS Intra Europe Business Class
by Food, Wine & Miles

First 2 Board | First2Board FWM

After flying SWISS for the very first time, I had a short layover in Zurich before my intra Europe business class flight to Manchester. As many have noted before, intra Europe business class isn’t all that special: The seat is the same as you’d get in economy (just with the middle seat blocked out), the [...]

The post Flying SWISS Intra Europe Business Class appeared first on First2Board.
Read more of this post

Food, Wine & Miles | April 19, 2013 at 11:36 am


There are 8 links in the email, but only one - which is in red above - takes me directly to the original article. Even the one in purple which the reader might think would go to the original post goes to your site. Of the other links, not all of them take me to a version on your site that include your red "Read Original Post" link. Now that I know what link to click to go directly to the full post, it is a small problem, but it was very aggravating at first. Perhaps this could be made more clear in the email alerts?

That said, thanks for a nice addition to the points and miles blogging world.

Last edited by TWA44; Apr 20, 13 at 1:29 pm
TWA44 is offline  
Old Apr 21, 13, 12:52 am
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,210
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9930; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.11+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.1.0.755 Mobile Safari/534.11+)

I have no idea where the original post was; I just remember making it. And my post volume here is such thta tracking things down after a day or two is generally a losing battle.

As for the emails from hack.travel, I can look in to the content there to see if it can be adjusted but I'm mostly using the stock wordpress functionality and I'm not sure how customizable that is.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Apr 30, 13, 1:32 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: USA
Programs: UAL 1MM, Marriott Plat, Hyatt Globalist, AA 3MM
Posts: 829
Originally Posted by vtqanh View Post
Can't comment on whether you can trust this blog, but just want to second the point about boardingarea's layout vs first2board. F2B currently looks very messy to me and I have hardly seen any good content recently.
You comments were discussed at length at last Friday's F2B meeting in McLean, VA. We are in agreement with you and have made changes already. Hope you like the new format.

We are open to listening to readers constructive criticism and willing to act accordingly. Please come back and tell us if you approve of the changes.
mrpickles is offline  
Old Apr 30, 13, 2:20 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Four Seasons Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: London
Programs: BA, VS, HH, IHG, MB, MR
Posts: 26,502
Originally Posted by mrpickles View Post
You comments were discussed at length at last Friday's F2B meeting in McLean, VA. We are in agreement with you and have made changes already. Hope you like the new format.

We are open to listening to readers constructive criticism and willing to act accordingly. Please come back and tell us if you approve of the changes.
Much improved.

But still room to improve.

The pictures are too big ... Its not as if they are original masterpieces. Shrink them.

Then increase the font of the headline.

Then increase the number of posts beyond 8. 10 or 12 is better. 8 is also a bit unfair given there are more than 8 F2B bloggers.

However, you have done enough for me to add f2B to my favourites list next to Boarding Area
Raffles is offline  
Old Apr 30, 13, 10:58 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 211
Originally Posted by mrpickles View Post

We are open to listening to readers constructive criticism and willing to act accordingly. Please come back and tell us if you approve of the changes.
I already had a fun twitter exchange with you about the improvements to F2B but will chime in here too.

I agree with Raffles that the photos could shrink, but today's Rocketmiles post on the home page takes it too far ! Hopefully it is just a mistake or the photo is en route.... It matters because I do suggest that you keep the headlines in line across the columns. I think doing otherwise is a step backward. I'd like to see the "Read More" line lining up too.

I do not agree with Raffles on the size of the font in the headlines for each blog. What you have today is fine. I'd rather see smaller photos and longer paragraphs below the photos - more text to tell me whether to click through. I realize that less text may get readers to click through which obviously the individual bloggers would like, but the friendlier the Home Page is to me, the more often I'll look at it. And the more often I stop by, the more chance I'll click through!

A question: How much editorial is done by F2B? In other words, does F2B provide any editorial control before a blogger posts something? Are bloggers ever told that a topic is weak or a photo poor or unnecessary? Or does F2B just post whatever a blogger submits?

Thanks for your efforts to date and I look forward to how F2B continues to evolve.
TWA44 is offline  
Old Apr 30, 13, 11:33 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA Plat, Copa Pres. Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond, SPG LT Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 769
Originally Posted by TWA44 View Post
A question: How much editorial is done by F2B? In other words, does F2B provide any editorial control before a blogger posts something? Are bloggers ever told that a topic is weak or a photo poor or unnecessary? Or does F2B just post whatever a blogger submits?
I can comment on that.

As long as we're within the boundaries that everyone agreed to when we decided to join (e.g. no CC links, no talking about "schemes", etc.), then we basically have free range over our content. Everything posts automatically to the home page, so it's not like it goes into a "pending approval" status or anything like that first.

In theory, that could allow a "rogue blogger" to post something to the F2B page that isn't in the spirit of F2B - but I can't really envision that happening with the group we've got together right now
milesmuncher is offline  
Old Apr 30, 13, 12:10 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
We'd like to thank you all for your feedback on the First2Board redesign. We've been listening attentively here on FlyerTalk, through email, Twitter, Facebook and in person at FTU. We understand that the previous design was too busy, cluttered and difficult to navigate. We're in the process of launching a redesign, and some additional tweaks may be made over the coming days and weeks. Regardless, we think it will now be much easier to find the new content, since it will always be at the top of the page. You can easily get directly to your favorite blogger page or search by topic on the homepage. Hope you all like, and has been said before, feel free to provide us with your feedback. After all, First2Board is here for you - our readers!

Also, for the record - Food, Wine, and Miles is exactly right. We do not editorialize our posts (unless it is something we are completely disagreeable to). We have not yet had to limit anything from our team, and don't plan to in the future!
First2Board is offline  
Old Apr 30, 13, 1:23 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Programs: Starwood, US Airways/The New American
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by TWA44 View Post
I already had a fun twitter exchange with you about the improvements to F2B but will chime in here too.

A question: How much editorial is done by F2B? In other words, does F2B provide any editorial control before a blogger posts something? Are bloggers ever told that a topic is weak or a photo poor or unnecessary? Or does F2B just post whatever a blogger submits?

Thanks for your efforts to date and I look forward to how F2B continues to evolve.
Hi
As one of the founders of First2Board I can give you some more detail. F2B does not control any of the content of our bloggers, but does reserve the right, per the terms and conditions signed by all bloggers, to remove content that either breaks the law in some way, contains forbidden content per the T&Cs or is plagiarized.

We have a sub-site called The Taxiway on First2Board that allows guest bloggers to upload posts and requires a F2B HQ team member to approve and publish them.

We provide help to any blogger who requests it with images or photography. We will provide feedback to bloggers if we feel a specific post is weak, but that is always done in confidence.

As we continue to grow and add bloggers we'll be evaluating the homepage and bloggers sites and look forward to continued feedback.

Stacey
Founder | First2Board.com
Blogger in Chief - VeryGoodPoints
verygoodpoints is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread