Question 6: Your views on OMNI

 
Old Oct 8, 05, 1:00 pm
  #1  
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Question 6: Your views on OMNI

This question was submitted by member jenbel:

"Some candidates have previously gone on record as being very disparaging about OMNI and the people who participate in OMNI. However, when OMNI was re-instated last year, it followed discussions with the TalkBoard. What are candidates opinions of OMNI, and in a similar situation, would they be opposed or willing to re-instate it?"
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Old Oct 8, 05, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Randy Petersen
This question was submitted by member jenbel:

"Some candidates have previously gone on record as being very disparaging about OMNI and the people who participate in OMNI. However, when OMNI was re-instated last year, it followed discussions with the TalkBoard. What are candidates opinions of OMNI, and in a similar situation, would they be opposed or willing to re-instate it?"

Hello fellow voters,

Well I cant really comment on the OMNI forum. I was not one of the people who is on record making comments about the setup of the forum. I look in it every now and again but find a lot of it to do with stuff which is not that relevant to this side of the pond.

I think its a general discussion forum and really a place for stuff that does not have a place, IMHO.

Anyway I neither like it or dislike the forum.

regards
RadioMan
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Old Oct 8, 05, 1:57 pm
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Although I don't regularly participate in OMNI, I do believe that it does have a place on FlyerTalk and I can appreciate its value to this community. I believe that the posting requirements for access to OMNI are important and I support those requirements. The main purpose of FlyerTalk is the discussion of travel - OMNI is not travel related, so I believe that if a member wants to participate in this community, he or she should first be exposed to the points & miles aspect of FlyerTalk before being a poster in the "extra" part of FlyerTalk. As for whether I would support its reinstatement if it ever went away - I can't answer that right now. My support for its reinstatement would have a lot to do with the reason why it was removed. But, overall, I do believe that it is a good thing for FlyerTalk and I view OMNI as a privilege for the members, not necessarily a right.
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Old Oct 8, 05, 2:30 pm
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It needs to remain privlaged for those who've been here the set amount of time before it appears. Travel is the focus point of FT. Most forums have a general chit-chat forum but in order to encourage people to become regular contributors elsewhere, OMNI access needs to be isolated to those who've have been here past the 180 days (that's the cutoff now, right?).
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Old Oct 8, 05, 3:08 pm
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I think OMNI serves a valuable purpose - like a steam valve in a heating system

The worst of every world would be for Flyertalk to be judged based on OMNI alone. The primary purpose is Points and Miles, and if Randy is happy for us to let of steam in OMNI then a big THANKS to him.
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Old Oct 8, 05, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by bhatnasx
Although I don't regularly participate in OMNI, I do believe that it does have a place on FlyerTalk and I can appreciate its value to this community. I believe that the posting requirements for access to OMNI are important and I support those requirements. The main purpose of FlyerTalk is the discussion of travel - OMNI is not travel related, so I believe that if a member wants to participate in this community, he or she should first be exposed to the points & miles aspect of FlyerTalk before being a poster in the "extra" part of FlyerTalk. As for whether I would support its reinstatement if it ever went away - I can't answer that right now. My support for its reinstatement would have a lot to do with the reason why it was removed. But, overall, I do believe that it is a good thing for FlyerTalk and I view OMNI as a privilege for the members, not necessarily a right.
I too don't participate in OMNI however that doesn't mean it doesn't have a place in FT. This is just another neighborhood in the city of FT. But that too doesn't mean it shouldn't be monitored, the current restrictions for participation are an effort to ensure that we have some sense of order, they might need to be modified to keep the order in the future but this thread does indeed belong in FT in my opinion
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Old Oct 8, 05, 3:36 pm
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I don't have a strong opinion, pro or con, regarding OMNI. Whole weeks go by without my ever visiting the Forum and then a thread will catch my eye ( I have OMNI on MyFlyerTalk home page) and I'll make a post or two.
So while OMNI isn't a priority for me, I don't feel the need to deny others the enjoyment they may find from posting there.
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Old Oct 8, 05, 4:07 pm
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Travel is broadening, and OMNI is a reflection of the fact that a community of frequent travelers is also a community of educated, knowledgeable and opinionated people.

I enjoy participating in OMNI, but I tend to avoid threads dealing with politics, religion, or sexuality -- the information density of such threads tends to be low, there tends to be more flaming than reason, and few minds are changed.
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Old Oct 8, 05, 10:31 pm
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Finding myself spending enough time on everywhere else on FT, I personally spend very little time on OMNI (perhaps a few hours a year).

However, I think it provides a vital service to the rest of the boards. It allows the community a place to hang out and chat among friends. It provides a place for discussions that folks want to have but don't fit into the other well defined arenas. It reduces the tendencies for threads to go off-topic due to pent up demand to discuss certain issues (whatever they may be). Without OMNI, instead of directing someone to take an off topic disscussion to OMNI, we would have to say instead "Shut up, or go elsewhere." Not a very friendly message.

I further believe that the existing system of controls on OMNI do a good job of managing it's growth: keeping participants to the FT community (those interested in points, miles, and travel in general) and reducing the number of trolls.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 9:32 am
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I seldom visit ONMI, let alone post there. But I do and have from time to time when bored. It is a curious spot in the Community that I would miss were it not there. At the same time I know there are many, including several running for FT Board, who post more on that forum than the travel/program related ones. That many of the technical problems experienced on FT come from the servicing of OMNI. That said, I certainly recognize the value of an agora on FT, where a frank exchange of views can take place on virtually any subject other than travel/programs. We all hold views on matters around us, and honest debate within any Community is healthy. Our common interest in travel does not always coincide with our other beliefs and views, however. That's what makes humankind: diversity in the midst of commonality. Unfortunately, we also know that OMNI breeds unhealthy behavior, and has led to more Suspensions and Time Outs from FT than posts on any other forum.

Those who participate in OMNI regularly pretty much know one another, and the tolerance levels of their fellow posters. As long as they keep their feelings from ONMI from spilling over into their posts on the travel/program related fora, I have no problem. Eliminating OMNI might on the surface appear to be a way to reduce rankor in the Community, but I think it would also cost FT some of the "life" that gets injected into it by this "black hole". At the same time, I believe anyone posting on OMNI should also have a healthy post record on other travel/program fora, and should not be disproportionately represented by their posts to OMNI.

Again, like Moderators and adding new fora, OMNI is one of those things that the FT Board needs to coninuously monitor and respond to accordingly.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 12:50 pm
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I love omni. What is not to like: it is the garbage dump of ft! The place that keeps the urban and suburban neighborhoods of ft tidily focused and on topic.

And like any decent garbage dump worth its salt, it is full of both diamonds in the rough as well as a whole lot of junk.

The ‘who is going to post next’ thread cracks me up. The facile political machinations are good sport for a boring afternoon (and, pray God for a Rove indictment, even a couple bottles of liquor). And Richard’s random deep thoughts always make me laugh, think, cry or sometimes all three at once.

Here is the thing about omni: the sign ‘you are entering the garbage dump of ft’ is well posted. Abandon all hope ye who enter.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 7:38 pm
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Although I have very limited experience with OMNI, it seems to be a forum that contributes to FT and as long as it is actively used, I support it.
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Old Oct 10, 05, 12:37 am
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I seldom visit OMNI and certainly would not lose any sleep if it did not exist.

It has nothing to do with miles and points and travel, and to that extent is not consistent with making Flyertalk the #1 site for miles and points and related matters. FOCUS.

There are MILLION sites on the web to argue religion and politics. And to post nonsense.

Only a year back (October 5) Randy gave up in obvious despair once again on this OMNI Forum and closed it down - and after reading this who could blame him:

"... in 2004, more than 300 actions were taken with timeouts, warnings, posting redirection and bans. Of that number, more than 96% were related to the forum we call OMNI. "

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showp...0&postcount=84

Originally Posted by Randy Petersen

I'm comfortable that we've tried several reasonable ways to to urge members of FlyerTalk to embrace a better environment in OMNI - this probably goes back a few years? And all those ways were based on input from the members interested in that forum. I think it fair that none have been that successful in the long term. We're a nation and world of rules and laws - none of them caused by activities of the majority. FlyerTalk is no different.

Certainly for the next while, we need to give it a rest. Already some members are violating the TOS by starting OMNI-like posts in other forums, even indicating they know it is the wrong place. Even those with good intentions have a challenge bringing back OMNI because the basic rules and policies on FlyerTalk are not being adhered to. And you know what, i also miss OMNI though you would not think to hear me say so.

I remember relying on OMNI for info about XM-radio, for input about my beloved Mac computers and even the humor of some of the nonsense. I didn't visit there very often and feel quite sorry I have interrupted the greater pleasure of those types of topics for many members. But in 2004, more than 300 actions were taken with timeouts, warnings, posting redirection and bans. Of that number, more than 96% were related to the forum we call OMNI.

A newly appointed member of the moderator staff sent me an email shortly after volunteering stating their amazement of the sheer number of infractions in that list which they could see with access to the TalkTeam forum. Of all the things they could have said upon starting a volunteer role on FlyerTalk - that was it. Fact is - you wore me out.

I've been known for a long time here at work for my patience and am willing to work and take the flack and risk to see something mature and develop, but there's a limit. Surely some or i would hope many of you members saw this coming. Hasn't this forum been closed once or twice or three times before? I tried reason. I tried threats. I tried being patient. But what I never tried, was admitting that the Internet was not special. That FlyerTalk was not special. As a community, we've got a lot to be thankful for, a lot to be proud of. But frankly, I can't be proud of anything that is less than 100% good.

So, let's take a break from this topic. It's only been closed for a day and already we want to re-open? That's not nearly enough time to learn. That's not nearly enough time to reflect. That's not nearly enough time to really feel the loss of something unique as OMNI.
Clearly it was re-opened later. I am sure that the number of posts to it are good for the $$$$$$$$ bottom line with page views and banner impressions, and it makes FT money, and pays the bills. So would discussion Forums on Right To Life, Gay Marriages and American Politics. They'd get millions of views. Maye we will see them too one day.

If a new member happended onto FT via google link to an OMNI thread would it reflect well on FT? Would they ever come back if they were interested in miles and points? That is a rhetorical question.

I strongly disagree that posting 1000, 5000 or even 10000 inane responses in the:

Mongolian Word Association thread

What did you eat for Breakfast?

Guess which Flyertalker will go to the toilet next


etc. etc, etc .............................


Should have those post counts add to their overall FT total, as they add no travel or miles benefits to another single member. For a while they did not, (smart move) and later on that decision appears to have changed. But things change a lot over there, and I may not be up to speed on the current deal.

One member has ~10,000 posts in a single nonsense thread. 2 other members are in the 7000's region:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/misc....hreadid=309875

Now if folks have that much free time on their hands - great for them, but adding even a FRACTION of that same energy to helping others with miles and points and travel related threads and enquiries, would make for a far stronger FT.

IMHO.

Last edited by ozstamps; Oct 10, 05 at 12:59 am Reason: HTML coding
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Old Oct 10, 05, 8:57 am
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OMNI is a great place to learn about a diverse range of FT'ers. If not for OMNI, I would not know half of the handles that I do now.

Despite the obsession that some non-participants have with closing OMNI, I do not feel that OMNI should be closed. If any member does not care to participate in OMNI, they can feel free to ignore the forum.
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Old Oct 10, 05, 2:08 pm
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d e l e t e d

Last edited by HNL; Oct 11, 06 at 9:26 pm
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