Top Flyer

 
Old Nov 9, 10, 7:55 pm
  #1  
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Top Flyer

Our Top Flyer program was announced in Community Buzz today:

Introducing Top Flyer
We are pleased to announce Top Flyer, an upcoming online program for travelers from American Express and FlyerTalk. Top Flyer will be featured on Flyertalk.com — it promises to be fun, informative, AND rewarding for our users. Together with American Express we want to make travel better for everyone, and we think Top Flyer will be another great way to help accomplish this.

How it works
Top Flyer is a program within FlyerTalk that rewards users for sharing their best tips about flying as rated by the Top Flyer community. The 10 highest-ranking users at the end of each month will achieve Top Flyer status – and receive either 5,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points from American Express, or a $25 American Express® Gift Card.

Become a BETA tester
A BETA version of Top Flyer will be released this month within a closed community. We plan to invite about 50 FlyerTalkers chosen by FlyerTalk to become our testers. Feedback from our BETA testers will help make Top Flyer a better experience for everyone.

If you are interested in becoming a BETA tester or have any questions, please email us at [email protected] or you can post any questions you have here. If you’re chosen to become a Top Flyer BETA tester, you will receive an e-mail with further details on the program and how to participate. For more information about the Membership Rewards program from American Express, visit membershiprewards.com.
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Old Nov 10, 10, 10:22 pm
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Whatever happened to the concept of posting tips on FT for the common good?
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Old Nov 11, 10, 12:35 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by IBAngel View Post
The 10 highest-ranking users at the end of each month will achieve Top Flyer status – and receive either 5,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points from American Express, or a $25 American Express® Gift Card.
This won't work with a Costco AMEX, then, will it? That card does not accrue membership points. If you're going to limit this contest to only certain AMEX cards, you'll need to identify the correct cards. A $25 gift card just doesn't get me excited.

Is this just going to be another forum on FT that we can subscribe (or not subscribe) to?

I should warn you that prior to the Internet Brands takeover FT did experiment with rating threads. It did not go well.
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Old Nov 11, 10, 11:23 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
This won't work with a Costco AMEX, then, will it? That card does not accrue membership points. If you're going to limit this contest to only certain AMEX cards, you'll need to identify the correct cards. A $25 gift card just doesn't get me excited.

Is this just going to be another forum on FT that we can subscribe (or not subscribe) to?

I should warn you that prior to the Internet Brands takeover FT did experiment with rating threads. It did not go well.
Thank for the feedback on the gift card, I can't do too much about it immediately but I will take a hard look at it mid term.

Top Flyer will exist completely outside the forum. There are several reasons for this but one is to address the last point. We are aware of the impact of reputation points on the forum and spent a lot of time thinking about how to avoid the problems that came with it. I would say that what happens in Top Flyer does not change a members reputation in the forum.

brent

Last edited by bconver; Nov 11, 10 at 11:47 am
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Old Nov 12, 10, 10:38 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by bconver View Post
Thank for the feedback on the gift card, I can't do too much about it immediately but I will take a hard look at it mid term.

Top Flyer will exist completely outside the forum. There are several reasons for this but one is to address the last point. We are aware of the impact of reputation points on the forum and spent a lot of time thinking about how to avoid the problems that came with it. I would say that what happens in Top Flyer does not change a members reputation in the forum.

brent
1. I'm confused. Will Top Flyer be a separate place (perhaps a separate forum) where people go to post their tips, or will it be a place where "the Top Flyer Community" will recognize tips made in the individual airline, hotel, car rental, etc. forums?

2. Watching the implementation of this will be interesting, to say the least. As an AA flyer, I know absolutely nothing about the Thai Airlines program or the Alatalia program. If I were presented with tips for each program, I would find it very difficult to appreciate more expert tips, but I could probably understand the most basic tips (the ones that all regular members of those forums know by heart). If the very basic tips are the ones that win, that will send a signal to the more expert members that their contributions are not valued, and will accellerate the trend of those members leaving for other sites, accelerating FT's march to be the go-to site for people who have never flown before. If the more expert tips are the ones that win, it seems to me that selection would be pretty arbitrary, because there would likely not be many members of the Top Flyer community that could appreciate the value of one vs. another. It seems like a difficult problem to me, and I will be interested to see if it can be solved.

2. IB can't do anything to change a "members (sic) reputation" in a forum. Members with a posting history already have a reputation for giving solid information or a reputation for posting in an authoritative manner misinformation that is worth less than nothing. If one of the latter gets a Top Flyer award, it won't change that member's reputation, it will change FT's reputation (but not by much, I grant you).
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Old Nov 12, 10, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by IBAngel View Post
How it works
Top Flyer is a program within FlyerTalk that rewards users for sharing their best tips about flying as rated by the Top Flyer community. The 10 highest-ranking users at the end of each month will achieve Top Flyer status...
A couple of quick questions:

1). Does the Top Flyer Program have anything to do with the previous recruitment of writers for FT?

2). Do the "selected" Top Flyer Community have to review every single thread/tip posted on FT (without pay) then rank them every month? Or do you guys plan to have a contest type of games that Top Flyer Community only review & rank submitted tips?

If it's the former, I doubt how feasible it is.

3). Where will the Top Flyer Community be? A separate section/forum on FT or what? And how does Top Flyer Community interacts or works together with FT Community?

4). When 10 ranked users (assuming FTers?) claim their rewards every month, how will "the Top 10 Tips of the Month" be shared with FTers? Through TalkMail? In this "New Features" Forum? Or does IB plan to "publish" it somewhere else so both Amex and IB can benefit?

Originally Posted by gemac View Post
If I were presented with tips for each program, I would find it very difficult to appreciate more expert tips, but I could probably understand the most basic tips (the ones that all regular members of those forums know by heart). If the very basic tips are the ones that win, that will send a signal to the more expert members that their contributions are not valued, and will accellerate the trend of those members leaving for other sites, accelerating FT's march to be the go-to site for people who have never flown before. If the more expert tips are the ones that win, it seems to me that selection would be pretty arbitrary, because there would likely not be many members of the Top Flyer community that could appreciate the value of one vs. another. It seems like a difficult problem to me, and I will be interested to see if it can be solved.
Well put.
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Old Nov 12, 10, 3:09 pm
  #7  
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Thank you for such great questions!

Originally Posted by gemac View Post
1. I'm confused. Will Top Flyer be a separate place (perhaps a separate forum) where people go to post their tips, or will it be a place where "the Top Flyer Community" will recognize tips made in the individual airline, hotel, car rental, etc. forums?

2. Watching the implementation of this will be interesting, to say the least. As an AA flyer, I know absolutely nothing about the Thai Airlines program or the Alatalia program. If I were presented with tips for each program, I would find it very difficult to appreciate more expert tips, but I could probably understand the most basic tips (the ones that all regular members of those forums know by heart). If the very basic tips are the ones that win, that will send a signal to the more expert members that their contributions are not valued, and will accellerate the trend of those members leaving for other sites, accelerating FT's march to be the go-to site for people who have never flown before. If the more expert tips are the ones that win, it seems to me that selection would be pretty arbitrary, because there would likely not be many members of the Top Flyer community that could appreciate the value of one vs. another. It seems like a difficult problem to me, and I will be interested to see if it can be solved.
1. Top Flyer is a separate part of this site. It is on the same domain. Just like FlyerTalk, the program will focus on frequent flyer and travel related subject matter.

2. The structure of Top Flyer is different in that it is an open format so participants are free to post their best tips, information, experience etc. Participants are also free to "like" any and all posts they find useful and or engaging. Your concern is valid, and is something we have thought through in creating this program. This is precisely one of the reasons why we are beginning with Beta rather than a full live launch.

Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
A couple of quick questions:
1). Does the Top Flyer Program have anything to do with the previous recruitment of writers for FT?

2). Do the "selected" Top Flyer Community have to review every single thread/tip posted on FT (without pay) then rank them every month? Or do you guys plan to have a contest type of games that Top Flyer Community only review & rank submitted tips?

If it's the former, I doubt how feasible it is.

3). Where will the Top Flyer Community be? A separate section/forum on FT or what? And how does Top Flyer Community interacts or works together with FT Community?

4). When 10 ranked users (assuming FTers?) claim their rewards every month, how will "the Top 10 Tips of the Month" be shared with FTers? Through TalkMail? In this "New Features" Forum? Or does IB plan to "publish" it somewhere else so both Amex and IB can benefit?
1) No, it is a completely different program. All of the content will be exclusively posted by FlyerTalkers.

2) As stated above, Top Flyer is a separate part of this site. It is on the same domain. The program simply rewards FlyerTalkers for essentially what they are already doing, sharing their knowledge and experience with other FlyerTalkers.

3) After Beta testing is complete and Top Flyer is launched to the public we plan on setting up a separate forum on FlyerTalk for open discussion of Top Flyer so as not to interrupt conversations in other forums.

4) The Flyertalkers participating in the Top Flyer community are the ones who decide who has the best, most useful content. We do plan on posting the top 10 Top Flyers on the Homepage, in TalkMail etc. so the whole FT community can benefit from their winning content.

Last edited by IBAngel; Nov 15, 10 at 3:47 pm Reason: For clarification
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Old Nov 12, 10, 10:13 pm
  #8  
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Maybe this is a blonde moment, but if Top Flyer is a different site, aren't you basically 'mining' tips from FTers to make it viable & throwing out the carrot of a gift card to get folk to contribute, or did I miss something?

Cheers.
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Old Nov 13, 10, 12:03 am
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Question

Originally Posted by IBAngel View Post
3) The program itself is on a separate site but after Beta testing is complete and Top Flyer is launched to the public we plan on setting up a separate forum for open discussion of Top Flyer so as not to interrupt conversations in other forums.
Let me make sure I understand you correctly.

You are saying the Top Flyer Beta is separate but will be a new forum on FT (possibly under the Community Section?) once it's officially launched?

Or are you saying Top Flyer is and will be a different site, say TopFlyer.com, but FT will have a dedicated forum to discuss TopFlyer once the site goes public?

Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
if Top Flyer is a different site, aren't you basically 'mining' tips from FTers to make it viable & throwing out the carrot of a gift card to get folk to contribute, or did I miss something?
+1
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Old Nov 13, 10, 11:22 am
  #10  
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Sounds like somebody got a nice check from AX. From what I could always tell Randy was an advocate of FTers when a vendor/supplier made policy changes he thought were unfair. Having a strategic alignment with AX would seem to cede 'editorial control' to a sponsor who has a separate agenda. Just my opinion.

I am wondering if signing up for an AA Cit MC or BA Chase Visa to get a 75k bonus would be a winning tip? How about booking through a Virtuoso agent to get free, added value amenities?
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Old Nov 15, 10, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
Maybe this is a blonde moment, but if Top Flyer is a different site, aren't you basically 'mining' tips from FTers to make it viable & throwing out the carrot of a gift card to get folk to contribute, or did I miss something?

Cheers.
For clarification: TopFlyer won't be a separate site. It's a separate part of this site. It is on the same domain.

It is also not a forum.
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Old Nov 15, 10, 3:42 pm
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Question

Originally Posted by IBAngel View Post
3) The program itself is on a separate site but after Beta testing is complete and Top Flyer is launched to the public we plan on setting up a separate forum for open discussion of Top Flyer so as not to interrupt conversations in other forums.
Originally Posted by IB-Dick View Post
For clarification: TopFlyer won't be a separate site. It's a separate part of this site. It is on the same domain.

It is also not a forum.
Mom and Dad are telling us different stories and this kid is really confused.

So, which version of Top Flyer Program, Beta or not, is "more" accurate? Angel's or Dick's? Which one should I listen to?
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Old Nov 15, 10, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
Mom and Dad are telling us different stories and this kid is really confused.

So, which version of Top Flyer Program, Beta or not, is "more" accurate? Angel's or Dick's? Which one should I listen to?
Dick is correct. I apologize for any confusion. I amended my post.
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Old Nov 15, 10, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by IBAngel View Post
2) The program simply rewards FlyerTalkers for essentially what they are already doing, sharing their knowledge and experience with other FlyerTalkers.

4) The Flyertalkers participating in the Top Flyer community are the ones who decide who has the best, most useful content. We do plan on posting the top 10 Top Flyers on the Homepage, in TalkMail etc. so the whole FT community can benefit from their winning content.
Why do FTers need a 'reward' to post tips & help out their fellow FTers? Kind of goes against the philosophy of FT & why it was created, or has IB not heard of 'pay it foward'? PIF does not require a reward, btw.

Are you planning on posting the Top 10 of other forums? Why recognition on this one alone? Like others I'm a bit suspicious of the Amex tie-in, and quite frankly think it's more to the benefit of IB & Amex, with the ancillary being that it will help FTers.

If someone posts tips but aren't in the top 10, does that mean they don't have winning content or valuable content and are losers? Realize IB is new to FT, but the ratings game & like this thread didn't go over too well back when they were in place & caused a lot of controversy, to the point that ratings & liking a thread got shut down. Something to think about...

And as someone said to me in a PM you want to mine FTers for tips & all you're offering is a 'chance' at a measly $25 gift card or 5K points???

Cheers.
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Old Nov 17, 10, 11:11 am
  #15  
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Would it be purely speculative to assume that the payment might be applicable for US-resident members only?

It would be difficult, but perhaps not impossible, to get a well rated tip for something which doesn't apply to US carriers.
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