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SUGGESTION BOX: How can we improve this forum?

SUGGESTION BOX: How can we improve this forum?

Old Nov 11, 13, 12:45 am
  #1  
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SUGGESTION BOX: How can we improve this forum?

The Information Desk moderator team invites your feedback! How can we make this forum better?

We're soliciting feedback on anything and everything about how this forum is used, organized, and moderated.

Ideas on how we can make more content easily findable by new (and old!) members? Have an insight into where we should focus discussion here (and perhaps what kinds of discussion might belong better elsewhere)? Think your [ahem, volunteer] moderators need some extra wisdom and inspiration on how to do their jobs more effectively? Post away!

Remember, any FlyerTalk member with 90 days of membership on FlyerTalk and at least 90 constructive posts has the ability to create or edit a wiki. Use this function liberally in threads across this forum! If you think you can organize content in a way that helps your fellow members locate information, don't complain about it...do it! If you can't, then at least post here so we can all see what needs to be done.

~jackal and scoow
Moderators, Information Desk

Last edited by jackal; Apr 8, 14 at 3:52 am
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Old Nov 13, 13, 7:20 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
[*]Basic questions on a subject that doesn't easily fit in a single forum (such as the perennial "Which airline/hotel program should I collect miles in?" question )
Because of this, I think it would very useful to have a link to the Information Desk that's easy to access from the Miles & Points forums.

Right now, you have to go the FORUM drop down, select Forum home (which doesn't expand the Airlines and Hotels sections, which is why I normally don't use it and instead go directly to Miles & Points, where these sorts of questions used to be), and then wait for that to draw and select Information Desk from there.

Hopefully an easier way to get to Information Desk from Miles & Points (and possibly from other places) can be found. Maybe put a direct link to it on the HELP menu, since it's largely here to help newcomers? Then you could just drop donw the HELP menu, select Information Desk from it, and be here with one actual click.
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Old Nov 13, 13, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Because of this, I think it would very useful to have a link to the Information Desk that's easy to access from the Miles & Points forums.

Right now, you have to go the FORUM drop down, select Forum home (which doesn't expand the Airlines and Hotels sections, which is why I normally don't use it and instead go directly to Miles & Points, where these sorts of questions used to be), and then wait for that to draw and select Information Desk from there.

Hopefully an easier way to get to Information Desk from Miles & Points (and possibly from other places) can be found. Maybe put a direct link to it on the HELP menu, since it's largely here to help newcomers? Then you could just drop donw the HELP menu, select Information Desk from it, and be here with one actual click.
We'll definitely take this into consideration. It may or may not be possible, depending on the software that runs FlyerTalk. The admins have said that this isn't set up as a normal forum, so there may be limitations of how and where it can be displayed.

By the way, do you know about the MyFlyerTalk function? It's a much easier way of accessing forums you are interested in than trying to navigate the full forum list (with collapsed sections and all).
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Old Nov 14, 13, 1:19 pm
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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.
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Old Nov 16, 13, 1:47 am
  #5  
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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.
This backbone is in place already. Hence there are folks in several forums that are Ambassadors. These folks have exhibited a strong knowledge of that forum, and are willing to help folks with questions, and just welcoming of new members to the forum or site in general.

So yes I have been volunteered

Moderators are also a nice resource many times, or there are also individual 'newbie' flame free forums in many specific programs. This is more a survey of FT
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Old Dec 3, 13, 11:04 am
  #6  
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Template and/or consolidated thread for "Which FF Program?"-type threads?

We've started to see a proliferation in these kinds of threads here. Would there be any advantage to consolidating them into a single thread, or maybe one of several threads based on some criteria (geographic location?)? Should we create a questionnaire that people can answer that helps us understand their needs/desires/values better?

Thoughts on how to handle this better?
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Old Dec 7, 13, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Template and/or consolidated thread for "Which FF Program?"-type threads?

We've started to see a proliferation in these kinds of threads here. Would there be any advantage to consolidating them into a single thread, or maybe one of several threads based on some criteria (geographic location?)? Should we create a questionnaire that people can answer that helps us understand their needs/desires/values better?

Thoughts on how to handle this better?
There are question templates in
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/onewo...help-here.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star-...post-here.html
The OW thread was started after a proliferation in these kinds of threads in OW.

Sadly both get a poor response from people with experience, especially the in Star thread. Of the people asking here in the http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/information-desk-730/ forum that I have referred to these only 1 has as asked a question.

Edit: started 11 Fen 2014
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...l#post22326740

These threads on a very similar topic here in information desk
04 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...u-asia-us.html
05 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...e-away-dl.html
04 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...f-program.html
19 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...stuttgart.html
14 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...d-yyz-dfw.html
13 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...ssistance.html
24 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...do-2014-a.html
25 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...k-lhr-lcy.html
31 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...s-baec-qr.html
11 Jan 2014 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...itinerary.html
18 Jan 2014 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...-programs.html
20 Dec 2013 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...ia-us-rdu.html
01 Feb 2014 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...-strategy.html
08 Feb 2014 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...rn-points.html Retro claim taking advantage of US Airways/AA merger

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Feb 11, 14 at 1:51 am Reason: added links
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Old Feb 3, 14, 10:44 pm
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START HERE: Welcome to FlyerTalk! What is this "flame free" Information Desk forum?

more and more posts are about one airline, or one hotel. for awhile, these were being moved to the appropriate forum. now, it seems they are being left here. is this intentional? it encourages the development of multiple threads on the same topic, making it harder for everyone - new and old- to find information. It was never suggested that this was the forum for all questions about anything for newbies, but that's what it's becoming.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 11:02 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
More and more posts are about one airline, or one hotel. For awhile, these were being moved to the appropriate forum. Now, it seems they are being left here. Is this intentional?
I have also noted this. I used RBP (red triangle) and often these posts got moved. But less now.

Edit
A lot of post have been moved in the last few hours
Thanks for the good work by the moderator

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Feb 5, 14 at 2:41 am
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Old Feb 4, 14, 12:53 am
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Transit Area is NOT for any permanent stay...

First things first. I totally get it that our Information Desk Forum is still in a work-in-progress stage. That makes it more important to lay out solid foundation to shape any future development. Otherwise, new comers would only model the "discouraging" behavior, such as cross-posting, inquiring specific airline or hotel loyalty programs, asking airport-specific questions,...etc.

Having said that, librarians direct readers to the proper floors and/or shelves when readers don't know where and how to find the books/info they need. No reader gets to stay & sit at Help Desk in the libraries when seeking help.

Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
more and more posts are about one airline, or one hotel. for awhile, these were being moved to the appropriate forum. now, it seems they are being left here. is this intentional? it encourages the development of multiple threads on the same topic, making it harder for everyone - new and old- to find information. It was never suggested that this was the forum for all questions about anything for newbies, but that's what it's becoming.
+1

That's not the "vision" or picture I ever have for Information Desk Forum either. I don't think that's what had planned for during the TB discussion period neither. I say what's becoming in this forum as of now would only discourage savvy FTers to participate or pay a visit to ID Forum.

As welcoming and friendly it may be, this forum at least can function as a "transit area" for newbie and/or don't-know-where-to-post FTers. Meaning threads with proper home (say Travel Products Forum for buying luggage), or definite "destination" fora (say WN Forum for SWA companion pass & getting Skymiles credit) get moved to their respective airline fora eventually. Those "transitional" threads should not stay in ID Forum indefinitely or permanently.

Even Tom Hanks doesn't get to stay in the transit area in the movie "The Terminal", does he?

Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
I have also noted this. I used RBP (red triangle) and often these posts got moved. But less now.
Same here.
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Old Feb 5, 14, 3:56 am
  #11  
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You know, you guys *CAN* PM us if you have question about something.

We're human, too. We occasionally need to come up for air to eat, sleep (sometimes--seems rare these days), and occasionally even engage in that first love of all FTers, travel. Personally, I've just spent two weeks in Israel and am trying to spend the next two weeks in India, although Newark weather and mechanical breakdowns of 777s is making that increasingly difficult. (At least United is paying for my hotels.)

Not an intentional change; just a bit of real-life getting in the way for your volunteer moderators. And please do help us continue to shape the forum, although I did want to address one comment:

Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
It was never suggested that this was the forum for all questions about anything for newbies, but that's what it's becoming.
I'm not suggesting that this forum should be "for all questions about anything for newbies," and indeed, I don't think that's the best direction for this forum to head in. However, the idea that this would be a dedicated flame-free zone where newbies could post their questions without fear of harsh, unfriendly responses or curt "do a search" posts was bandied around--if not in public or in the official motion to create this forum, then definitely in the private TalkBoard forum, and it was never (to my recollection, anyway) officially refuted as one of the goals of this forum. I am still trying to figure out where the balance in all of this is. When voting for the creation of this forum on TalkBoard (and subsequently volunteering to moderate it), I also didn't really realize it was going to be as much of a transit area as it has turned out to be...and moving threads around the forums (and explaining why, even with text on file I can copy and paste) takes time. Perhaps we might need to hire a third librarian one of these days.

I appreciate all of the reported posts that you guys keep sending. Especially with my recent travels, I haven't had the chance to keep up on reading the Information Desk forum regularly, so I depend on your reports to make sure people are getting their questions directed to the best places possible to receive the maximum number of assistance. The way the FT software handles reported posts and tracking of issues and all of that is massively inefficient, and so it does take valuable time to deal with them--I've been working on the backlog for the last several hours and still have about 1/3 of the pile left to go through. We'll get there soon, though, and I'll keep doing my best.

Last edited by jackal; Feb 5, 14 at 4:02 am
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Old Feb 5, 14, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
You know, you guys *CAN* PM us if you have question about something.

We're human, too. We occasionally need to come up for air to eat, sleep (sometimes--seems rare these days), and occasionally even engage in that first love of all FTers, travel. Personally, I've just spent two weeks in Israel and am trying to spend the next two weeks in India, although Newark weather and mechanical breakdowns of 777s is making that increasingly difficult. (At least United is paying for my hotels.)

Not an intentional change; just a bit of real-life getting in the way for your volunteer moderators. And please do help us continue to shape the forum, although I did want to address one comment:



I'm not suggesting that this forum should be "for all questions about anything for newbies," and indeed, I don't think that's the best direction for this forum to head in. However, the idea that this would be a dedicated flame-free zone where newbies could post their questions without fear of harsh, unfriendly responses or curt "do a search" posts was bandied around--if not in public or in the official motion to create this forum, then definitely in the private TalkBoard forum, and it was never (to my recollection, anyway) officially refuted as one of the goals of this forum. I am still trying to figure out where the balance in all of this is. When voting for the creation of this forum on TalkBoard (and subsequently volunteering to moderate it), I also didn't really realize it was going to be as much of a transit area as it has turned out to be...and moving threads around the forums (and explaining why, even with text on file I can copy and paste) takes time. Perhaps we might need to hire a third librarian one of these days.

I appreciate all of the reported posts that you guys keep sending. Especially with my recent travels, I haven't had the chance to keep up on reading the Information Desk forum regularly, so I depend on your reports to make sure people are getting their questions directed to the best places possible to receive the maximum number of assistance. The way the FT software handles reported posts and tracking of issues and all of that is massively inefficient, and so it does take valuable time to deal with them--I've been working on the backlog for the last several hours and still have about 1/3 of the pile left to go through. We'll get there soon, though, and I'll keep doing my best.
Thanks for all your hard work. I think we all recognize that moderating is a thankless job, particularly in a forum that by its design attracts a lot of off-topic or other posts that need moderator attention. (As for not PMing, I don't know if I would have realized others felt the same way if I had just PMed!)
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Old Feb 6, 14, 12:20 am
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
Thanks for all your hard work. I think we all recognize that moderating is a thankless job, particularly in a forum that by its design attracts a lot of off-topic or other posts that need moderator attention. (As for not PMing, I don't know if I would have realized others felt the same way if I had just PMed!)
No need to PM; just making the comment that if you had questions about changes and felt like you weren't getting a response to your inquiries, a PM saying "Has something changed or happened?" is one possible avenue of getting a quick response.
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Old Feb 6, 14, 2:22 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
No need to PM; just making the comment that if you had questions about changes and felt like you weren't getting a response to your inquiries, a PM saying "Has something changed or happened?" is one possible avenue of getting a quick response.
And as an ambassador I can also direct issues to those who can change, so feel free to send me a note. That said, there is a bit of travel upcoming... we'll do our best to get things done. But soon it will be BBQ Friday
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Old Feb 18, 14, 7:56 am
  #15  
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Flyertalk Evangelist & Flyertalk Posting Legend

There have been comments and/or questions re: Flyertalk Evangelist & Flyertalk Posting Legend titles and how they're earned.

Some have thought that the titles are conferred on those who have contributed greatly to FT and/or know/share correct information re: airline, hotel, etc, programs. That's not totally true.

Flyertalk Evangelist & Flyertalk Posting Legend appears under a FTer's handle when they reach 10,000 and 40,000 posts on FT respectively. It's something the FT software adds automatically & has nothing whatsoever to do with the content of a FTer's post.

One would hope that somewhere in the 10,000 and 40,000 posts there has been some value added in terms of content!, but FTers shouldn't rely on titles only or let a title sway one when reading FTers posts. Someone can have FTE or FTPL under their title & still post incorrect information.

Perhaps a better way is to look at a FTer's join date & post count, in addition to evaluating the content of a post.

There is discussion in the public Talkboard forum re: whether to add intermediate titles between 5K & 40K and/or eliminate titles entirely.

But for those who might have thought FTE and FTPL meant some special wisdom, that's not necessarily the case. Again, one hopes that in the 10K & 40K posts there is valuable content, but it's not necessarily a guarantee.

Cheers.
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