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SUGGESTION BOX: How can we improve this forum?

SUGGESTION BOX: How can we improve this forum?

Old Dec 1, 14, 5:40 pm
  #46  
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I started a close the information desk thread on talk board. Please post your thought in there

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/talkb...esk-forum.html
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Old Dec 2, 14, 5:28 pm
  #47  
 
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Jumping to answer

As I mentioned in my information desk question (Ready to Jump) here are my not-so-brief thoughts on how this thread may be improved:

-1a) Create a matrix that distills all the primary FFPs through an automated form that reacts to user's answers as plugged into a questionnaire (a questionnaire based on the 'which frequent flyer program' thread's list of questions) and give an answer that points new users in the right direction. I would imagine for many questions the answers are fairly simple in nature, such as "which FFP is best for flyers looking for lounge access and highest accrual, but that flies out of Chicago", etc.

-1b) This list could be used to generate mailing lists (with great marketing/demographic specifics) of new folks who may disappear just as quickly as they came. A simple targeted email may bring them back to the forum sooner -especially if made to believe they have an opinion and it could count to the community at large. Not to mention good stats for marketers…

-2) Perhaps a side bar could be helpful to the forum as a whole… I'm a fan of sidebars for links to suggested similar/related forums or threads and stickies. It could cut out a bunch of the stickies, for what that's worth.

-3) Perhaps a point system that is based on number of posts offering advice/help for users (everyone here like points I'm sure something exists, but not being a user until today, I'm unaware. Points could be worth anything from "gold" such as in Reddit, or access to special promotions from advertisers. Quora also has a thoughtful reward system.

I like the information desk for the fact that it provides a friendly wading-in point. To better understand and participate in the overall community, a new user starting here, with the basic arm-floaty questions, is great. Beginners need to learn what, for each user individually, is the best way to travel, best FFP, best luggage, best whatever to get started.

Getting up to speed and making these basic choices opens the door for experience -which is what is valued in the "deep end" portions of the rest of the forum (this and grammar ). It keeps the deep end more enriching. Plus, for what it's worth, it's a serious undertaking to find answers to questions as "simple" as the one I just posted (Ready to Jump), and I even love research. In fact, I expect the answers I receive will better direct me to the "correct path" for researching the answer I'm hoping for. The borrowing of a few experienced brains is far more valuable than most any search as the good and current information is at their experienced finger tips.

-4) My last thought is this: Assuming one views the site as divided into 'deep end' (real and meaty forums) and 'shallow end' (information desk, etc): perhaps have new users able to post only in existing threads in the 'deep end' and start threads -or post within threads- in the 'shallow end' until they've participated X number of times. This way they can't just do drive-bys in the deep end, thus keeping amateur hour to the shallow end.

-4b) With this in mind, and perhaps if the reward thing is a possibility, answering questions in the shallow end gets all users double points and answering questions in the deep end get's them single points? The starting of threads gets points or does not -I'm not sure.

Sorry for my lack of familiarity with the structure of the forum as a whole. My thoughts above are just a quick response to actually trying to understand the best place to post my very first thread. Outside of visiting the home page for interesting articles or browsing forums for fun or nifty insight, I usually search for specifics through the forum via Google (I oddly have a difficult time eyeballing the search function as it's not where I expect it).

Everyone here seems super friendly most all of the time. The mods seem to keep things in good repair and on point as best as I've always been able to see. Kudos to everyone for this fantastic resource!

Safe travels!
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Old Dec 10, 14, 9:25 am
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Flyertall View Post
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.
AFAIK people can use the advanced search function before registering. If you search for posts by username there, in the upper right part of the advanced search page, you can easily check for existing usernames that have ever posted on FT, which I suspect would include the vast majority of registered usernames.

Moreover, starting to type a potential user name automatically brings up about a dozen usernames that start with the same letters, so you don't even need to check one by one. I think the list includes those with zero posts.

Unfortunately a list of suggested similar and available usernames doesn't appear on FT as it does on gmail when you set up a new account.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 12:12 pm
  #49  
 
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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.)"' 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.
It seems like these fare requests have come up more frequently of late (or maybe I've just noticed them more).

I guess the first question is, whether we want the ID forum, or anywhere on FT, to be a home for "fare requests" - i.e., a free travel agent.

If yes, then what is the best way to address them. If no, perhaps wording added to the existing sticky that fare requests are not permitted.

In either case, perhaps a sticky with generic tips/resources for fare research would be warranted. It wouldn't be difficult as the resources and tips are pretty well known. Could even address the repeated requests that are made on the assumption there is some sort of "secret" to finding hidden ultra-low fares.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:47 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
In either case, perhaps a sticky with generic tips/resources for fare research would be warranted. It wouldn't be difficult as the resources and tips are pretty well known. Could even address the repeated requests that are made on the assumption there is some sort of "secret" to finding hidden ultra-low fares.
IMO, some members are quick to call a query a fare request, when the poster may actually be asking for guidance on how to search for fares. Since one of the reasons the info desk is was created is to teach people how to use FT, these queries are not necessarily out of line.

That said, regarding your suggestion, we do have the http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...flyertalk.html — it's an open thread with a wiki, so please feel free to add a n instructional post and/or edit the wiki to make it more useful to all members.
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Old Jan 3, 15, 12:05 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by aBroadAbroad View Post
IMO, some members are quick to call a query a fare request, when the poster may actually be asking for guidance on how to search for fares. Since one of the reasons the info desk is was created is to teach people how to use FT, these queries are not necessarily out of line.

That said, regarding your suggestion, we do have the http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...flyertalk.html — it's an open thread with a wiki, so please feel free to add a n instructional post and/or edit the wiki to make it more useful to all members.
Yeah I've seen some members mis-label a query as a fare request, but there are many queries that are obvious fare requests, no question about it.

You didn't really answer the question (or state your opinion): Is FT a place for specific fare requests (whether in the ID forum or elsewhere), or not?

I really don't care what the answer is, but it is an unanswered question where a variety of responses are posted to such queries depending on the point of view of each member. I don't believe this is helpful to anyone.

I'd be happy to add some stuff to the Wiki but as noted, that's pending some clarification on the fare request policy! In my mind the content and instructions will differ depending on what is and isn't supposed to be posted for responses in the forum.

As a reference point, I would note that the Budget Travel forum (which is probably the most relevant to folks searching for the best non-award- redemption deals) has a policy prohibiting fare requests.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 1:28 am
  #52  
 
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This thread exists for members to make specific suggestions that might improve the functioning of the Information Desk in its current form. I cannot speak for my co-mods, but I myself am actually very sympathetic to some of these concerns. However, whether I do or don't agree with much of what's been recently posted here, the fact is that eliminating, redefining, and/or renaming the forum are the venue of the TalkBoard, and all such discussions belong in the existing thread in that forum. They are off-topic here, and are subject to moderation, as they lead to a hostile atmosphere that is not appropriate in this forum.

Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
You didn't really answer the question (or state your opinion): Is FT a place for specific fare requests (whether in the ID forum or elsewhere), or not?
Honestly, I did not read your post as a specific question so much as a general observation, probably because you seem to already know that FT's culture has long discouraged blatant fare requests.

That said, as long as the Information Desk exists in its current form, with its current stated mission, these types of posts need to be dealt with according to the forum rules. I.e., a friendly flame-free welcome and a link to the resources sticky with a helpfully-worded explanatory comment, followed by an alert to the mods to close the thread.

Members who find these posts so aggravating that they cannot bring themselves to reply with anything but snark and ridicule, should simply refrain from posting a response.

Those who find the forum an abject failure are encouraged to campaign the TalkBoard for a forum redesign and/or to create and expand on the wikiposts they expected to find here and/or to take this forum off their lists altogether.

And, of course, if you have concrete ideas and suggestions that we moderators are able to help implement, please post them here!
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Old Jan 5, 15, 5:26 am
  #53  
 
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SUGGESTION BOX: How can we improve this forum?

except when we had this discussion over at the TalkBoard, they told us to make these suggestions to you.... So for those of us who are trying to make this forum more useful, you are supposed to be responsive instead of petulant.

As Sharon said there,
Tweaking a forum is something for the mods & FTers more than TB. You've got specific suggestions & my recommendation that you post either in the public ID forum or send a PM to the mods re: specifics if you think that will garner their attention sooner.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/23931866-post20.html

And there have been dozens of concrete suggestions. All have been defensively ignored. This thread itself says it should have suggestions for how this forum should be organized. You deleted a post in which I recommended 3 specific subfora. That was inappropriate.


Please tell us what the current stated mission is. Certainly from looking at the posts in the forum, no one has any idea.

Last edited by Adam1222; Jan 5, 15 at 5:59 am
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Old Jan 5, 15, 5:46 am
  #54  
 
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SUGGESTION BOX: How can we improve this forum?

And as for the "just stay away from the forum" point, the problem is you have created a forum where people ask questions and give answers on every topic under the sun. So if you want "information" on anything that would fall appropriately in another forum, you are required to check this forum.

Edit: This point has been made to you before
Some advice us unhappy campers to not visit or simply ignore ID Forum. Such advice might have a merit if the existing forum carried a clear-cut boundary so everyone can choose to explore topics of their interests. But the status quote of ID Forum is so oddly cluttered that valuable cross-program threads have to call it home. It's hard to turn a blind eye for those of us want to learn a thing or 2 in cross-program challenges.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/23945541-post55.html

Last edited by Adam1222; Jan 5, 15 at 5:58 am
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Old Jan 5, 15, 6:47 am
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by aBroadAbroad View Post
This thread exists for members to make specific suggestions that might improve the functioning of the Information Desk in its current form. I cannot speak for my co-mods, but I myself am actually very sympathetic to some of these concerns. However, whether I do or don't agree with much of what's been recently posted here, the fact is that eliminating, redefining, and/or renaming the forum are the venue of the TalkBoard, and all such discussions belong in the existing thread in that forum. They are off-topic here, and are subject to moderation, as they lead to a hostile atmosphere that is not appropriate in this forum.

Honestly, I did not read your post as a specific question so much as a general observation, probably because you seem to already know that FT's culture has long discouraged blatant fare requests.

That said, as long as the Information Desk exists in its current form, with its current stated mission, these types of posts need to be dealt with according to the forum rules. I.e., a friendly flame-free welcome and a link to the resources sticky with a helpfully-worded explanatory comment, followed by an alert to the mods to close the thread.

Members who find these posts so aggravating that they cannot bring themselves to reply with anything but snark and ridicule, should simply refrain from posting a response.

Those who find the forum an abject failure are encouraged to campaign the TalkBoard for a forum redesign and/or to create and expand on the wikiposts they expected to find here and/or to take this forum off their lists altogether.

And, of course, if you have concrete ideas and suggestions that we moderators are able to help implement, please post them here!
Nowhere did I suggest or imply closing, renaming, or doing anything to the forum. Nor have I ever replied to fare request queries with snark or ridicule, though some folks have, unfortunately.
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Old Jan 22, 15, 4:55 pm
  #56  
 
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Although I consider myself as above average in terms of knowledge in the travel industry, is there a place on this forum as far as glossary? There are many abbreviations, acronyms and possibly slang that may not be known for many users on this forum. A glossary would be nice. Maybe there is one already, but I haven't found one.
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Old Jan 22, 15, 5:46 pm
  #57  
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Adding a Mod who is always on FT should be helpful. Congrats to our new Mod, Beckoa.
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Old Jan 22, 15, 9:31 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by Vegasrider View Post
Although I consider myself as above average in terms of knowledge in the travel industry, is there a place on this forum as far as glossary? There are many abbreviations, acronyms and possibly slang that may not be known for many users on this forum. A glossary would be nice. Maybe there is one already, but I haven't found one.
Yes, look at the bottom of this page and click on "Glossary."
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Old Jan 23, 15, 4:33 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
Yes, look at the bottom of this page and click on "Glossary."
Very Nice, Thanks.

Now for another suggestion, like from another forum I belong to, this forum needs a thanks button after each post to keep the post counts for each thread down and help keep the thread free of clutter from posts just to thank someone with a very useful post. By clicking the thanks button would recognize the member who submitted the thanks by indicating their screen name and date and would reflect right below the post.
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Old Jan 23, 15, 4:36 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Vegasrider View Post
Very Nice, Thanks.

Now for another suggestion, like from another forum I belong to, this forum needs a thanks button after each post to keep the post counts for each thread down and help keep the thread free of clutter from posts just to thank someone with a very useful post. By clicking the thanks button would recognize the member who submitted the thanks by indicating their screen name and date and would reflect right below the post.
A like this post feature is currently under discussion. Not sure where it's at now. Being discussed in talkboard. Not sure if you have enough posts to add input but it's under the community section
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