Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Information Desk
Reload this Page >

SUGGESTION BOX: How can we improve this forum?

SUGGESTION BOX: How can we improve this forum?

Old Aug 16, 14, 3:11 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: BKK
Programs: AA Plat, HH Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,396
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
I'm noticing a lot of new members coming to Information Forum and posting questions and then "never coming back" (or at least not in time to answer the follow-up questions that often have to be asked). Do new members get an opt-out automatic "subscription" to new threads they start here, so at least they're notified that they're get replies?
This phenomenon is not unique to the Info Desk, and my very quick non-scientific analysis suggests that it probably doesn't even happen here more than other FT forums — it's just much more noticeable here due to the nature of the posters and questions.

Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
it seems the decision has been made to leave Information Desk poorly named and a place for people to ask questions answered in appropriate fora, or available on Google. And thus moderators have to move the questions to appropriate fora except for those 1) asking for people to be their travel agents or 2) asking for people to help them travel for free because The Points Guy and Million Mile Secrets told them they could.
if that's the case, why does the Information Desk exist?
Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
Yes, a very sad turn, if you ask me. ID Forum as of recent has the feel of a dump site.

I don't know if a different forum name would make some positive changes though.
I'm not sure there's been a big change in posting, and I'm pretty sure the forum name has less to do with the types of posts than the fact that this is the landing forum for all new registrants. You may be noticing the effect of recent moderator absences, however, which has led to some mislocated threads lingering a bit longer than normal.

In any case, this thread is for suggestions on ways of improving the forum — do you have anything in mind?
aBroadAbroad is offline  
Old Aug 16, 14, 7:27 am
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: DL PM; IHG PlatAmb; Hilton Dia; Marriott Plat; Radisson Gold; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 6,077
The Meta-Information Desk: How can we improve this forum?

require new registrants to read something explaining where to post thinks
adding a sticky "WHAT NOT TO POST HERE"- explaining to use the airline forums ans the search function
and/or "HOW TO MAKE A USEFUL POST" (eg, your title shouldnt be 'newbie question' or 'help needed')
Changing the name and or eliminating the forum and replacing with:
-Help Me Find a Flight to
-Questions About Collecting Miles in General
- Questions about how to fly on planes or I dont understand how to read or google.
Adam1222 is online now  
Old Aug 16, 14, 9:43 am
  #33  
iff
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,335
Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
"HOW TO MAKE A USEFUL POST" (eg, your title shouldnt be 'newbie question' or 'help needed')
I agree with this. It would also be very helpful if posters asking questions would give some basic info. For example:
  • origin and destination, if asking about transportation
  • specific budget (because "inexpensive" or "moderately priced" may mean $30 to one person and $300 to another)
  • their interests, if they're looking for food or activity suggestions (instead of just asking "what to eat/do/see in DestinationXYZ?", give details: "we like hiking, cathedrals and modern art" or "looking for traditional xyz cuisine").

I would hesitate to put too many stickies at the top of the forum, though, because people don't seem to read them.
iff is offline  
Old Aug 16, 14, 4:51 pm
  #34  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SGF
Programs: AS, AA, UA, AGR (former 75K, GLD, 1K, and S+), now an Elite Peon
Posts: 22,987
Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
require new registrants to read something explaining where to post thinks
adding a sticky "WHAT NOT TO POST HERE"- explaining to use the airline forums ans the search function
and/or "HOW TO MAKE A USEFUL POST" (eg, your title shouldnt be 'newbie question' or 'help needed')
Changing the name and or eliminating the forum and replacing with:
-Help Me Find a Flight to
-Questions About Collecting Miles in General
- Questions about how to fly on planes or I dont understand how to read or google.
I don't think there's anything we can do in the software itself to force anyone to read anything, other than a single thread that new registrants are directed to immediately after completing the sign-up process (currently this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...how-works.html).

Perhaps we can make something more explicit in that thread about what is permitted and not permitted? If anyone has some specific edits they can suggest, we'd be glad to consider incorporating them into that welcome post.

Otherwise, the best we can do is create a new thread and sticky it, if necessary, although I think we're at the saturation point of stickies and should try to consider alternate solutions to new stickies of possible. Anything beyond that is really something that requires a change in the software which, suffice it to say, ain't gonna happen.
jackal is offline  
Old Aug 21, 14, 12:46 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Programs: Hilton credit card Diamond, Hyatt Glob Lite "riff-raff"
Posts: 2,547
I notice that this question is often asked "How do I get a good fare for my trip?" or "When is the best time to buy my ticket to get the lowest price?" Sometimes the question contains specific dates, origin, and destination.

Sometimes the answer is "this is a fare request and is not allowed". Other times the response is "use a tool (ITA matrix, google flights, etc.)"' Other times people provide specific help with airlines, flight numbers, and dates. Is there some way to have a thread or wiki that provides help for this type of question? It seems like the new users often want to know the same sorts of things and if they could just be referred to a place that answers their question generically it would help.

Last edited by jbeckett; Aug 21, 14 at 12:57 pm
jbeckett is online now  
Old Aug 21, 14, 12:56 pm
  #36  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SGF
Programs: AS, AA, UA, AGR (former 75K, GLD, 1K, and S+), now an Elite Peon
Posts: 22,987
Originally Posted by jbeckett View Post
I notice that this question is often asked "How do I get a good fare for my trip?" or "When is the best time to buy my ticket to get the lowest price?" Sometimes the question contains specific dates, origin, and destination.

Sometimes the answer is "this is a fare request and is not allowed". Other times the response is "use a tool (ITA matrix, google flights, etc.)"' Is there some way to have a thread or wiki that provides help for this type of question? It seems like the new users often want to know the same sorts of things and if they could just be referred to a place that answers their question generically it would help.
I think there is merit to this idea. It's one of the most common questions my non-frequent-flying friends and family ask me. While I hesitate to open a "Hello, we're happy to play travel agent for you!" thread, there is definitely room for a general tips and tricks thread on how to find the best fares.
jackal is offline  
Old Oct 28, 14, 12:23 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 49
Is there a master lounge meetup thread for those willing to guest someone in and people seeking to be guested in?
MileMan123 is offline  
Old Nov 3, 14, 11:10 am
  #38  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
yes

Originally Posted by jatink129 View Post
I propose to create a thread of volunteers. Where people can just post their name, saying "I volunteer" and their area of expertise. Any newbie who comes in and has a question, can then PM someone if they want some more one-on-one help.
I second this
jenni4n4 is offline  
Old Nov 4, 14, 4:54 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: BKK
Programs: AA Plat, HH Diamond, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,396
Originally Posted by jatink129 View Post
I propose to create a thread of volunteers. Where people can just post their name, saying "I volunteer" and their area of expertise. Any newbie who comes in and has a question, can then PM someone if they want some more one-on-one help.
Originally Posted by jenni4n4 View Post
I second this
See here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...pt-newbie.html
aBroadAbroad is offline  
Old Nov 6, 14, 8:11 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Programs: DL FO, DL Reserve, AMEX Plat, Priority Pass, Global Entry
Posts: 248
Well, as a newbie, I just registered. And the directions I was given at the top of the first page I logged into, the moment I verified my email, was to come to "Information Desk" first. I dutifully did, and found this Information Desk thread, and posted. If every newbie is presented with the same initial page that I was when I joined today, then that might explain the nature of some of the questions found here.

Also, it took about (exaggeratedly) 100 attempts just to pick a user name. I was this close to giving up after much time went by with each of my user names rejected. As an older person with marginal vision, having to resolve those cryptic captchas each and every time I couldn't guess at a user name that had not been taken, was a bit unnerving. After a 30 minutes or so, it becomes a contest of will, but I think some people wouldn't have the patience and just skip it.

A suggestion would be to incorporate the feature found on other forums, like the credit card forum, where as you are typing in a potential user name, a box appears immediately letting you know if the user name is taken or not. That would be so very helpful. Think of all the half hours of life you would be giving back to new members. Hope you consider it.

Anyway, I look forward to learning how to fly here.
Flyertall is offline  
Old Nov 10, 14, 1:58 pm
  #41  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SGF
Programs: AS, AA, UA, AGR (former 75K, GLD, 1K, and S+), now an Elite Peon
Posts: 22,987
Originally Posted by Flyertall View Post
A suggestion would be to incorporate the feature found on other forums, like the credit card forum, where as you are typing in a potential user name, a box appears immediately letting you know if the user name is taken or not. That would be so very helpful. Think of all the half hours of life you would be giving back to new members. Hope you consider it.

Anyway, I look forward to learning how to fly here.
Great idea!

The forum administrators don't usually look in on this forum, but you might consider posting your experience and suggestion over here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/techn...-feedback-386/

The forum administrators do monitor that forum, and as they plan their future software upgrades, they may be able to incorporate your feedback!
jackal is offline  
Old Nov 11, 14, 10:45 pm
  #42  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend, Moderator, Information Desk, Ambassador, Alaska Airlines
Hilton Contributor BadgeIHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: FAI
Programs: AS MVP Gold100K, AS 1MM, Maika`i Card, AGR, HH Gold, Hertz PC, Marriott Titanium LTG, CO, 7H, BA, 8E
Posts: 42,216
Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Great idea!

The forum administrators don't usually look in on this forum, but you might consider posting your experience and suggestion over here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/techn...-feedback-386/

The forum administrators do monitor that forum, and as they plan their future software upgrades, they may be able to incorporate your feedback!
Agree. There is a bit of this built into FT already- as when sending a PM (private message) it autofills the possible user names during the process- and there are a lot of similar ones. But I can see how it could be helpful during the initial registration. That said, I like the name you developed ^.
beckoa is online now  
Old Nov 26, 14, 8:23 pm
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: DL PM; IHG PlatAmb; Hilton Dia; Marriott Plat; Radisson Gold; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 6,077
The Meta-Information Desk: How can we improve this forum?

just shut this forum down and replace it with Requests for Booking Assistance abd New to Mileage Programs. Everything else that gets posted here is better suited for other fora, and ends up being moved there most of the time. Info Desk is just encouraging lazyness.
Adam1222 is online now  
Old Nov 27, 14, 9:00 am
  #44  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: BOS/ORH
Programs: AS 75K
Posts: 18,234
Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
just shut this forum down and replace it with Requests for Booking Assistance and New to Mileage Programs. Everything else that gets posted here is better suited for other fora, and ends up being moved there most of the time. Info Desk is just encouraging laziness.
I thought this forum would end up more as a place to house cross program wikis. Now it has turned into what you say. I know the example that caused you to write this post today and you are exactly right about laziness. That OP was fully aware of where the MS forum is (first ever post was there) but used Info Desk as a way to bump his money making venture click bait thread to the top level of the forum for more eyes to see.

There's so many different type of newbies. We want to help those that may be new to internet forums that may need a little nudging.

There are also those that are well versed in forums in general, who may be new here and are fully capable of navigating their own way around.They just use info desk as a dumping ground for their posts or they know their post will get more reads in the top level general forum. These aren't the people info desk was designed for.

This may be something you want to suggest in the Talkboard section of FT http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/talkboard-topics-382/
CDKing is offline  
Old Nov 27, 14, 11:04 am
  #45  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Home
Programs: AA, Delta, UA & thanks to FTers for my PC Gold!
Posts: 7,672
Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
just shut this forum down and replace it with Requests for Booking Assistance abd New to Mileage Programs. Everything else that gets posted here is better suited for other fora, and ends up being moved there most of the time. Info Desk is just encouraging lazyness.
Things are not getting any better since we last chimed in here back in August, does it?

Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
I thought this forum would end up more as a place to house cross program wikis.
I thought so too.

I still don't think lumping basic newbies' questions with cross-award planning in the same forum is a best move since different levels of knowledge and skills are involved. Maybe it's time to have separate fora for newbie Q&As and cross-award planning discussion, as I had vigorously proposed in the original TB discussion thread:

A new award planning forum?

I know creating new subforums should be brought up in TB Topics Forum but I would like to have MOD's input on this "trend of development" in the current ID Forum before rehashing my idea over there. Just look at what's happening to the new Premium Fare Deals Forum. Things can be chaotic and confusing when parallel discussion & input happens in both TB Topics Forum and the target forum concurrently, especially when members are not sure who decides what, MODs or TBers.

I understand a newbie's misplaced thread may sit in ID Forum for a few days before being relocated and MODs' effort to have a friendly "environment." But when people can quickly learn the ropes and figure out the structure of FT, why make them stay in newbie's corner and unnecessary prolong their transit time in ID Forum? There are newbies and there are newbies. After all, not every newbie needs to be handheld and/or spoonfed. There are also times I don't know how to distinguish TravelBuzz and ID Forum no more. Very frustrating.

I think I've been participating in ID Forum mostly by sending RBPs recently. So exactly what is ID Forum and what should ID Forum look like in forum mods' eyes?
lin821 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread