Boarding Area's Fall

Old Sep 7, 23, 6:17 am
  #1291  
 
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Originally Posted by Raffles
The network benefits of BA to the writers are so strong that they would stay (given lack of alternatives) even if Randy’s team all left.
Are they really? I am shocked OMAAT, VFTW and Frequent Miler have not left the nest yet...
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Old Sep 7, 23, 11:44 am
  #1292  
 
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Originally Posted by gpapadop
Are they really? I am shocked OMAAT, VFTW and Frequent Miler have not left the nest yet...
Why should they?
They get their IT needs taken care of, they get BA homepage eyeballs, and they keep all the cc money.
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Old Sep 8, 23, 3:46 am
  #1293  
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Originally Posted by gpapadop
Are they really? I am shocked OMAAT, VFTW and Frequent Miler have not left the nest yet...
Originally Posted by gpapadop
I always wondered what is Randy's succession plan...
You know what they say about history repeating itself. Perhaps FlyerTalk has lessons there: sell and move on.

Perhaps the question really comes down to who will buy it and for what price. A lot of people don’t want to run a full operation themselves and take on a more complex — and not necessarily all that rewarding — management challenge that isn’t free from risk of providing sub-par returns on a personal investment in money and time.
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Old Sep 8, 23, 5:25 pm
  #1294  
 
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer
Why should they?
They get their IT needs taken care of, they get BA homepage eyeballs, and they keep all the cc money.
Are you saying OMAAT gets hosted by BA, or what exactly do you mean by IT?
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Old Sep 9, 23, 9:32 am
  #1295  
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Originally Posted by gpapadop
Are they really? I am shocked OMAAT, VFTW and Frequent Miler have not left the nest yet...
Originally Posted by ctownflyer
Why should they?
They get their IT needs taken care of, they get BA homepage eyeballs, and they keep all the cc money.
Originally Posted by GUWonder
You know what they say about history repeating itself. Perhaps FlyerTalk has lessons there: sell and move on.

Perhaps the question really comes down to who will buy it and for what price. A lot of people don’t want to run a full operation themselves and take on a more complex — and not necessarily all that rewarding — management challenge that isn’t free from risk of providing sub-par returns on a personal investment in money and time.
This - the dodgy business model - is what makes BA and InsideFlyer unsell-able. Anybody buying the websites could see the main content providers walk out the door tomorrow. An attempt to tie in said content providers to long term contracts would cost more than the status quo. Nobody bringing in big page view numbers wants to work for a fixed salary and let somebody else take all of the upside.

But at the same time, going off on your own involves a level of fixed costs that only a few can contemplate. And even then, it makes a lot of sense to spread those fixed costs across a bunch of different bloggers. But if people put in different amounts of effort on their own blog, then the allocation of fixed costs can become contentious.

My guess would be that 1 or 2 of the titans buys out Randy, perhaps with an earn-out provision to give Randy a pension...
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Old Sep 9, 23, 10:08 am
  #1296  
 
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Originally Posted by craigthemif
This - the dodgy business model - is what makes BA and InsideFlyer unsell-able. Anybody buying the websites could see the main content providers walk out the door tomorrow. An attempt to tie in said content providers to long term contracts would cost more than the status quo. Nobody bringing in big page view numbers wants to work for a fixed salary and let somebody else take all of the upside.

But at the same time, going off on your own involves a level of fixed costs that only a few can contemplate. And even then, it makes a lot of sense to spread those fixed costs across a bunch of different bloggers. But if people put in different amounts of effort on their own blog, then the allocation of fixed costs can become contentious.

My guess would be that 1 or 2 of the titans buys out Randy, perhaps with an earn-out provision to give Randy a pension...
I don't think Randy needs a pension. He has made more than enough to sustain him by promoting unscrupulous credit card sales over the decades.
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Old Sep 9, 23, 10:42 am
  #1297  
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We sell our own ad space, no programmatic at all. It needs 1 high level person who works 4 days to manage. This means you need to earn back all the money you’d make from programmatic plus their salary before it even starts to make sense. Only Gary and Ben have the views to justify this - FM is way smaller than us.

However, you then compare ad revenue to card sales. In our case it’s probably 50/50, ignoring non card affiliate. This means I am willing to invest in selling ads.

If my card revenue was 5-10x my ad revenue though, which it probably is for Ben and Gary, what’s the point of employing someone to sell ads? Even if they double your revenue you only add 4-8% to total revenue. Not worth the grief.

In fact I am more surprised that Ben and Gary don’t dump ads altogether. The loss of cash is relatively small and improving UX would sell more cards. At the very least dump ads for US readers who are potential card buyers.
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Old Sep 9, 23, 11:01 am
  #1298  
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Why would BA give up any ad revenue. It’s not the main buck for the rainmaker bloggers, but it’s got revenue that will keep coming BA and the bloggers way even after the affiliate card revenue links go stale; and it can provide revenue if the card-pushing environment goes poof and maybe it also generates — and distributes — some scale benefits

Originally Posted by Adam1222
I don't think Randy needs a pension. He has made more than enough to sustain him by promoting unscrupulous credit card sales over the decades.
I am not a fan of the bank card pushing, but I am reluctant to call out as unscrupulous a behavior which has been deemed as being very much within the legal and regulatory framework within which BoardingArea has been operating. Or perhaps we should just say the government as a whole is unscrupulous for allowing that which some or even many may consider to be unscrupulous, a fraud or whatever characterizing term can be assigned to a behavior that is not criminal but some don’t want to see be around anyway.

Arguably, it could be said that the BoardingArea business has been so scrupulously well-conducted that it is why BA and its founder has a lot of fans in the miles and point space and why the rainmaker bloggers, the non-rainmakers and all of their audiences are fond of what he has enabled and not moved on before its founder.
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Old Sep 9, 23, 11:40 am
  #1299  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Why would BA give up any ad revenue. It’s not the main buck for the rainmaker bloggers, but it’s got revenue that will keep coming BA and the bloggers way even after the affiliate card revenue links go stale; and it can provide revenue if the card-pushing environment goes poof and maybe it also generates — and distributes — some scale benefits



I am not a fan of the bank card pushing, but I am reluctant to call out as unscrupulous a behavior which has been deemed as being very much within the legal and regulatory framework within which BoardingArea has been operating. Or perhaps we should just say the government as a whole is unscrupulous for allowing that which some or even many may consider to be unscrupulous, a fraud or whatever characterizing term can be assigned to a behavior that is not criminal but some don’t want to see be around anyway.

Arguably, it could be said that the BoardingArea business has been so scrupulously well-conducted that it is why BA and its founder has a lot of fans in the miles and point space and why the rainmaker bloggers, the non-rainmakers and all of their audiences are fond of what he has enabled and not moved on before its founder.
We can have this debate over and over again as we often have, but just because something is legal doesn't make it ethical. Indeed, predatory credit card sales were a relatively new thing when these blogs started and regulation falls far behind. I'm not sure if you understand how the US regulatory system works, but yes, I agree that it is a shame that regulated entities across industries are very successful in keeping government agencies from effectively regulating unscrupulous behavior. (Via congressional and regulatory lobbying, taking advantage of legislative inertia, and forum shopping for judicial challenges to attempts at pro-consumer regulation.) And Boarding Area's well documented behavior in allowing its member blogs to engage in unscrupulous practices by claiming it is merely an "Internet service provider" is itself within a grey area.

I'm not sure what "scrupulously well-connected" is even supposed to mean.

Anyway, we have to be careful because if you say Randy's name three times, he re-emerges to lob nasty, unsupported comments, insult Flyertalk members who don't recognize him as the second coming of Jesus Christ, then storm off
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Last edited by Adam1222; Sep 9, 23 at 11:52 am
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Old Sep 9, 23, 11:45 am
  #1300  
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Originally Posted by Adam1222
I'm not sure what "scrupulously well-connected" is even supposed to mean.
I typed “scrupulously well-conducted”.
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Old Sep 9, 23, 12:16 pm
  #1301  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
I typed “scrupulously well-conducted”.
Oh. My bad.
I guess that makes even less sense to me.
Occam's Razor suggests that the fact that Randy has lots of "fans" among people who have gotten rich off of credit cards and misleading advertorial content doesn't say anything about whether the profit model is ethical. Elon Musk and Elizabeth Holmes have lots of fans too.

Anyway, this debate is silly. Randy purported to retire in 2015. His businesses continue to make money. Some people think he did a lot for the miles and points community, some people think he destroyed it.

Last edited by Adam1222; Sep 9, 23 at 12:22 pm
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Old Sep 11, 23, 7:43 am
  #1302  
 
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Originally Posted by gpapadop
Are they really? I am shocked OMAAT, VFTW and Frequent Miler have not left the nest yet...
I've been waiting (years and years) to join the Travel Blogger Buzz network, but you keep refusing to make me an offer.
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Old Sep 11, 23, 7:53 am
  #1303  
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Originally Posted by Adam1222
Oh. My bad.
I guess that makes even less sense to me.
Occam's Razor suggests that the fact that Randy has lots of "fans" among people who have gotten rich off of credit cards and misleading advertorial content doesn't say anything about whether the profit model is ethical. Elon Musk and Elizabeth Holmes have lots of fans too.
Anyway, this debate is silly. Randy purported to retire in 2015. His businesses continue to make money. Some people think he did a lot for the miles and points community, some people think he destroyed it.
Loyalty is a funny thing. I knew a guy - a lawyer - nice enough guy if a little abrasive.[redacted] And yet people who knew him still celebrated his life and had a party in his honor.

I'm NOT saying that's Randy. Just that that friendship and loyalty can create blind spots.
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Last edited by oliver2002; Sep 12, 23 at 3:52 am Reason: removed personal details FT Rule 21
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Old Sep 13, 23, 9:33 am
  #1304  
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Following oliver2002 advice on having a look at Boarding Area's twitterX about which creditcard is paying out handsomely to bloggers this season

I googled and i couldn't believe my eyes about the mentally independent content being promoted by Boarding Area:



I can guess the referral links come from Mars but his opnions are his own
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Old Sep 13, 23, 9:55 am
  #1305  
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How dare you question the 'thought leader'? More here: View from the Wing [VFTW] discussions
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