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Are bloggers ruining Flyertalk????

Are bloggers ruining Flyertalk????

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Old May 8, 12, 4:30 pm
  #1  
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Are bloggers ruining Flyertalk????

Note to Mods: Please don't move this thread into the "What is the most useful FF blog" thread as this thread has nothing to do with that, in fact it's quite the opposite.

Recently it seems that the bloggers have been really ruining deals for us FTers. Tricks/deals that some of us may have known about and kept on the downlow (sometimes for years) somehow get on the radar of a blogger who then disects it and spoonfeeds it to their blog readers step by step. It then gets hat-tipped to death by about 5-10 other copycat bloggers and all of a sudden the deal/trick/loophole dies very quickly due to overexposure. There are numerous examples of this such as Amex Bump The Bonus, free VS Gold status upgrade, Brazil fuel surcharge loophole, TYPs, certain creative award routing tricks, Amex prepaid 5% off everything (dying soon at an Office Depot near you), credit card churning, Citi bank acct funding, SpaFinder certs, FTD 1500 fixed miles + 30 miles/$ spent, and plenty of others (including the Presidential Coins deal by some idiot who supposedly posted every singe step in the process, documented it with pictures, then got kicks by being interviewed about it by several large newspapers). Not to mention the Discover America promo. It used to be fairly easy to get most of those auctions. Now that bloggers highlight every single decent deal on there (which again then gets hat-tipped to death by 5 other bloggers), it is almost impossible to get in on any of the decent deals. In years past the Choice and Hertz deals would be available for days if not weeks. This year they are gone instantly, thanks in a large part by all the bloggers pumping them IMHO. And worse, for the most part the bloggers mostly just mine all their info from FT then post it in a concise easy to (ab)use format. All this does is take away from us oldtime FTers who have spent considerable time reading, learning, sharing tips/tricks, etc over the past decade. The bloggers ruin it by spoonfeeding all of our hardearned info to lazy people who can't be bothered to take the time to browse through FT on their own to find deals. Now I'm sure there will be plenty of FTers with under 100 posts who will come out to flame me and defend these bloggers as doing a "needed service". However for the rest of us who are mad about losing out on deals to the lazy blog leeches, maybe we should try to do something about it, preferably hitting bloggers where it hurts (ie, credit card referral signup links).

We FTers are a smart group of people, can't we collectively figure out a way to stop the CC referral money from going into the bloggers pockets, and instead go back into our own pockets? Say the average CC referral kickback is $100 per card. I'm sure with all the CC pumping the bloggers do and all the quarterly App-O-Ramas FTers are doing these days, that collectively the bloggers are easily referring over 10k FTers a year. That's $1M+ that these bloggers are getting annually. There must be a way to cut them out of the affiliate referral kickback loop, and keep this money for ourselves. Maybe somebody could start a business that is a shell blog that people sign up for CC's thru. They could kick back maybe 50-75% of the referral proceeds (after taxes & expenses of course). If direct cash kickbacks aren't allowed, maybe that person could kickback some type of cash equivalent like Amex pts or Chase UR pts or miles, etc. Any thoughts? And more importantly than getting our CC referral money back, it would hopefully stop this huge proliferation of bloggers that have no discretion regarding what they post, nor any cares about what deals they will ruin. It currently seems like one giant race to the bottom and all the bloggers seem to care about is lining their pockets. It started with MMS exposing anything and everything he could, and it seems like he has dragged all the other bloggers down to his level which has forced them (?) to expose deals too in order to keep/gain readers (and all those reader's CC applications). I don't like the direction these blogs are going, and if anybody here has any ideas regarding how to salvage it, please post your ideas here.
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Old May 8, 12, 4:36 pm
  #2  
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From what I know, what started out as a hobby for some bloggers is now their full time job. This turns it into a money making enterprise. No longer, just about tips, but how to get the most readership, credit card referral fees, and the like.

I'd say that while FT is great for giving normal info, it spells death to any jumbo deal that is posted here. And it's not new. After posting my own Jumbo here 5 or 6 years ago, and getting it blown by a senior FT'er, I would never post one here again.

People don't know how to act in moderation, and stay under the radar. It's sad, really, as some of my best memories have been in discovering and sharing deals on FT.
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Old May 8, 12, 4:37 pm
  #3  
 
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Interesting post, thanks for taking the time to write this. I read this as more of reminiscence of old times. Reminds me of the current political situation in America. Unfortunately/Fortunately times have changed. Some say for the better, some say for the worse. The best thing I can do is work harder to stay ahead of the bloggers. Or better yet, seek out and find my own deals that work best for our travel goals. Maybe then I could start my own blog...
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Old May 8, 12, 5:32 pm
  #4  
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Thread of the century The funny thing is, most of these bloggers have absolutely no real knowledge to contribute and are absolute amateurs when it comes to the number of airlines they have flown and the places they have been to All the valuable information are just stolen from FT and pasted onto their blogs.

OP, why don't you start a user restricted site that requires extensive interviews before becoming a member. I'm game
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Old May 8, 12, 5:37 pm
  #5  
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Loose Lips Sink Ships.

And FT has become too big as a community and too prominent a resource now for bloggers and others, to spill one's best beans on open forum.

I do not know what the answer is, beyond targeting one's best tips and discoveries to smaller "trustable" groups within FT, or writing in code, etc.
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Old May 8, 12, 5:38 pm
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Anything that can be googled, can be googled.
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Old May 8, 12, 5:39 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by gregorygrady View Post
Recently it seems that the bloggers have been really ruining deals for us FTers.
That anyone thinks they "own" a deal is preposterous. Simply silly.
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Old May 8, 12, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
Thread of the century The funny thing is, most of these bloggers have absolutely no real knowledge to contribute and are absolute amateurs when it comes to the number of airlines they have flown and the places they have been to All the valuable information are just stolen from FT and pasted onto their blogs.

OP, why don't you start a user restricted site that requires extensive interviews before becoming a member. I'm game
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Old May 8, 12, 5:41 pm
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Very interesting premise. You may be right. I do enjoy the blogs I read but I have never found anything on a blog that I had not heard of or heard about from another source. Sometimes it seems that when there is less stuff to blog about they start blogging about (and interviewing) each other.
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Old May 8, 12, 5:43 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
That anyone thinks they "own" a deal is preposterous. Simply silly.

I'm not one bit surprised to see a post like this from somebody with a link to his blog right underneath his post.

BTW, I never said anybody "owned" certain deals, I just said that all the exposure from bloggers seem to be killing deals much more quickly than used to be the case.
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Old May 8, 12, 5:43 pm
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I agree with you 100% GregoryGrady. I couldn't have worded it better myself and I would love to do anything to at least get credit card referrals out of their pockets and maybe diverted to a charity like Red Cross or something. I haven't been able to find a charity that offers credit card referrals but one thing we can do is push either the bank's direct sign ups or use links on Credit Karma (I don't work for them, just a happy customer) as Credit Karma doesn't blog about "deals" they just give you a free approximation of your credit score.

I still don't know fully how these blogs are monetized. I try to avoid even loading the pages so they don't move up Google ranks and I avoid mentioning the ones I dislike the most by name so they don't benefit by a reference on FT which has huge Google rankings. I def don't click on any link I find on their pages. Really, I just started lurking a few to see how they are messing up the Discover America deals.

Blogging has drastically changed from my concept of what it was supposed to be. I have a "blog" linked in my siggy which is a Travelpod diary of our trip RTW in 2007. Making money off it was the furthest thing from my mind, I just wanted to have a place where friends and family could keep up with us and not have to send everyone personal emails. Then I was happy to have information about some wonderful eco-tourism places in South America out there as I am committed to saving endangered species, especially parrots and other birds.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that next year, Discover America will be hugely different than this year. I think the hotel points will be replaced with gift vouchers like Marriott was selling that are valid in the USA only. The bloggers and "hat-tipping copycats" have done such a huge job of publicizing ways to exploit the deals that don't involve travel in the USA and rubbing the sponsor's nose in it with all the comments of people bragging about their J class trip to Paris staying at the Choice hotel.

The best deals and promos are sustainable by a small group of people (like Flyertalkers) and I have no problem with helping newbies who are willing to put in time and research but there is no way these deals will last when they go viral and over-exposed. Some of the bloggers like the one that is supposed to appeal to "families" is attracting people who never even heard of frequent flyer miles, let alone would have been actively seeking information about them, but they are now getting spoonfed all the info that us old-timers took years to perfect.

Just yesterday, a female blogger copy-pasted word for word a post someone made on FT regarding the new Club Carlson promo which is dispicable. If he had wanted her to share it with her readers and let her profit financially from it, he could have sent it to her.

Does this hurt Flyertalk? Of course it does! I stopped sharing a few little exploits I currently do that would be shut down if they went viral. I am a creative thinker and don't need to be spoonfed anything and am willing to spend time online doing my research. I think a lot of other people similar to me have stopped sharing too. I will share only mass-promoted links (like US 100% bonus Buy Miles kind of thing now). And I def don't want ANYTHING I ever post on FT to be copied onto some blog whether or not they give me a reference.

Last edited by Tiki; May 8, 12 at 5:48 pm
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Old May 8, 12, 5:44 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by gregorygrady View Post
There must be a way to cut them out of the affiliate referral kickback loop, and keep this money for ourselves. Maybe somebody could start a business that is a shell blog that people sign up for CC's thru. They could kick back maybe 50-75% of the referral proceeds (after taxes & expenses of course). If direct cash kickbacks aren't allowed, maybe that person could kickback some type of cash equivalent like Amex pts or Chase UR pts or miles, etc. Any thoughts?
FWIW, I have been doing exactly this for several years. Whenever someone signs up through an offer on my site, they can opt to receive half of the commission back as an Amazon GC (as much as $150 on the Amex Plat for Business card). Right now, I'm only able to offer it on Amex, though I'd certainly be inclined to look into doing it with Chase, Citi, etc if it was popular enough.
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Old May 8, 12, 5:45 pm
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Right - That's the part that irks the most. The fact that these idiots write blogs as if they are so-called 'experts' and that others should take advice from them. Some of them do know what they are talking about, but most don't, and their content is pure rubbish. How this can turn into a full-time business is beyond me, but the credit card kickbacks have to be the driving force.

They do just take everything straight off here and try to turn into $$ for themselves at the expense of others.

That being said, FT is (beyond) huge now, and I'm a young guy who hasn't been around forever. It's easy to see the influx of noobs and the fact that they somehow stumbled on this site and told everyone they know and so on. It is quite ridiculous some of the naivete being thrown around in the RGN thread......

In the ideal world - we could just sue the blogs for stealing our posts off FT. It would be very funny if the bloggers had to actually come up with all their original content, not being able to take anything from FT.
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Old May 8, 12, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
OP, why don't you start a user restricted site that requires extensive interviews before becoming a member. I'm game
Already exists...
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Old May 8, 12, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
That anyone thinks they "own" a deal is preposterous. Simply silly.
Talk about missing the point!
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