Question 9: How Will You Seek Input?

 
Old Oct 9, 05, 3:27 pm
  #1  
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Question 9: How Will You Seek Input?

This question was submitted by member Kiwi Flyer:

""It has been written: "This council establishes the direction that FlyerTalk is heading into our future and represents and directs the general membership in issues that serve both the short- and long-term interests of the FlyerTalk community."

I would like to know how the TalkBoard candidates will seek input from the membership at large whom they're seeking to represent."
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Old Oct 9, 05, 3:58 pm
  #2  
 
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Hi Kiwi Flyer and other members of the voting public,

As with any board it’s only as good as its members. Like most boards or even organisations we have people who input and others who I would call “lurkers”.

Currently FlyerTalk put up banners and post stickys to inform membership of things i.e. this Debate.

I think that this is the only way that they could seek input from the membership unless they start sending out 80,000 pms or even send out mail to peoples registered email address, some folk would not like this and may consider it spam. Even then I doubt if they would get a great response because there is always so much apathy in any group.

So I would not really change things from how they are done just now.

Regards
RadioMan
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Old Oct 9, 05, 4:34 pm
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I concur with Radioman as I have been a “Lurker” for a long time and advocate getting as much feedback as possible from all users, including our “Lurker” community. Banners and whatever it takes to solicit input from all should be employed.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 4:40 pm
  #4  
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I disagree with the 'secrecy' of the current TB. ALL issues should be open to the public to feed input.

I didn't even know that the NW Newstand vote was brought up until AFTER, which is VERY POOR IMO.

It's ridiclous - why? How can people show support or dislike for something that they're not even knowing comes up for a vote? It isolates the TB into the ideals of the 9 that are elected.

I welcome feedback from ANYONE regardless of postcount, interests, demographics etc. Questions, comments, inputs on a proposal.. anything.

I aim to please
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Old Oct 9, 05, 5:12 pm
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Much input can be gained by simply READING the threads, not only in our favorite forums, but it a grand majority of them.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 6:45 pm
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This is a great question. One of the problems of websites like FT, is that although they have a lot of traffic and a lot of members, only a very small portion of the membership wants to get involved.

Look at this forum, at last check, it has had only 448 views on a field of 35 (hmm...it looks like someone dropped out).

Now I have mixed feelings. I presume all candidates would be receptive to pm's from general members, and to a certain extent feel that if someone doesn't feel strongly enough about an issue to send a PM, their view is apparently not very important.

On the other hand I realize that there are a lot of people that will simply leave rather than make waves. I know that I have had bad experiences in restaurants that I never returned to, but never said anything to their management.

So we do need some way to pull opinions in from the membership as opposed to simply expecting them to push them.

I personally would do all the obvious, read pm's, discuss things with other FT'ers that I know - and I will likely get some new info from those people that live near me, fly the same airlines I fly, and sleep in the same hotel chains that I do. Seems kinda' skewed to me.

Beyond that I think it would be interesting to try some new things. In the past there have been chats with industry executives and spokescritters. Perhaps we could have a regular chat with TalkBoard members. Either or a group or individually. It could actually be a lot of fun to watch.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 8:03 pm
  #7  
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Issues before the FT Board should be posted on in the Board forum several weeks in advance of their being discussed by the Board. This would allow members at large to offer their views, and those sitting on the Board, to get a sense of the range of opinion present. This does not necessarily mean the Board member's mind will be changed, but s/he should be more informed by reading this range of opinion. As with any "legislature" or "parliament" members are elected from the general population to present their own views in debate, along with those of their constituents. In the case of this Board, we would be elected to sit as ourselves, in effect a focus group randomly selected by election to reflect the overall consensus of opinion that exists on FT. Any legislator will want to know what constituents believe, but sitting as an independent, must vote his or her own view. That view, however, should be an informed one, and have been weighed on the basis of evidence and arguments made in the course of arriving at it.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 8:26 pm
  #8  
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As this is supposed to be a debate with other candidates, I must say that I couldn't have said it better than Shareholder did. I agree with Shareholders views on this matter.

Originally Posted by Shareholder
Issues before the FT Board should be posted on in the Board forum several weeks in advance of their being discussed by the Board. This would allow members at large to offer their views, and those sitting on the Board, to get a sense of the range of opinion present. This does not necessarily mean the Board member's mind will be changed, but s/he should be more informed by reading this range of opinion. As with any "legislature" or "parliament" members are elected from the general population to present their own views in debate, along with those of their constituents. In the case of this Board, we would be elected to sit as ourselves, in effect a focus group randomly selected by election to reflect the overall consensus of opinion that exists on FT. Any legislator will want to know what constituents believe, but sitting as an independent, must vote his or her own view. That view, however, should be an informed one, and have been weighed on the basis of evidence and arguments made in the course of arriving at it.
The true way to determine what the membership wants is to ask. The only challenge with this is that I honestly don't believe that the majority of our 80,000 members are active and I don't believe that the majority of them even bother reading the TalkBoard forum. Looking at the number of views that a lot of these threads have had after almost 3 days of debates, I don't even know if a lot of members are even reading these - I'm sure half the views are the candidates viewing what the other candidates have to say. I believe that the TB should have member input and leave threads opened in the TB forum for a select period of time - or determine a period of time that they will be voting on an issue - they should let the members post all of their thoughts on those particular threads. However, they should also recognize that NOT all of FlyerTalk is represented by the input on the particular threads given the fact that there are almost 80K users (not sure the active amounts) and rarely do the TB threads go over a few thousand views. In the past year, out of the approximate 123 threads posted in TB, only about 24 of them have peaked 1000 views - out of those, only 6 have been viewed almost 2K times or more. I think that posting in the TB forum about upcoming votes, as Shareholder suggested, is an excellent idea - but I do want to caution all (and this includes all current & future TalkBoard members - even if I don't elected, the people that do should please try to bear this in mind) that I don't believe the input in the TB forum is necessarily represenative of the general membership. As we would be elected by the general membership (and only a few thousand voted last year if I recall correctly?), we have to make sure that we listen to what they say - but we also have to place ourselves in the shoes of the newbies who are to intimidated to post on FT - or the new folks that just discovered the forum. We are being elected by our membership & our peers - they are voting for us because they feel that we will best represent them. We need to keep true to that & make sure our votes are not being cast in what we believe to best for the future of FlyerTalk.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 8:48 pm
  #9  
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There are a number of ways to seek input on issues facing FlyerTalk.
Perhaps the easiest way is via TalkMail which is sent to every registered member of FT on a monthly basis. A link to critical issues asking for input could be placed prominently in TalkMail.
Do all FT members read TalkMail?? Most likely not. But, anecdotally, Mrs. Cholula reads every word and she's not exactly a FlyerTalk Power Poster™.
A second way to seek input is via an Announcement on top of key forums. But I'm not a big fan of Announcements as too many tend to degrade the FT experience.
A third way is to have every elected TalkBoard member carry the TalkBoard Member designation under their FT handle. Similar to what we see with the Moderator designation.
That would remind everybody who the TalkBoard members are and perhaps encourage dialogue.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 8:56 pm
  #10  
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Once the TB debate is open for real-time review Flyertalkers can decide for themselves who is doing the best job representing them whether tb members actively seek user input or not...

Frankly I believe in representational democracy not direct democracy. I would debate and vote my conscience.

And just like during this campaign, you will be able to read it all for yourself and if you don't like it, dont vote for me.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 11:36 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer

"I would like to know how the TalkBoard candidates will seek input from the membership at large whom they're seeking to represent."
I get enough emails now from members about FT matters.

If elected I have no doubt that volume will increase.
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Old Oct 9, 05, 11:41 pm
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I agree with ~Matthew~

MUCH can be learned just by reading postings, you can see where the direction should be going by reading the postings in the forums and noticing trends.
Sure, you can ask the membership for input, but that membership changes by the minute, let alone by the month. Do we have a large number of devout members who come on here every day ? I would doubt it, not a LARGE number anyway, most folks I have seen come on here, ask a question or two, check replies, and don't come back for quite some time.
It seems to me the ones that come on every day are the ones with the most flying experience, and I'm not so sure those fit the model of where the direction of FT should go in 2, 3 or 5 years, most of them already 'know everything'.
Here's an example of what I'm trying to get across here: I am a pro photographer, have been since 1978, in FILM photography. I am on some photography websites, I'm quite well-known, I helped shape some of them into what they are today, BUT, the world changed from film to digital, and I didn't keep up, I didn't need to keep up because the kind of work I do cannot be done digitally, so as the photo website evolved to a digital world, I dropped off the slate, I could no longer relate, I had nothing to add to it, and I seldom post on it anymore.

The moral of the story is: you can have all the experience in the world, that doesn't mean you can predict the future. Wall Street is littered with unemployed millionaire CEO's that couldn't keep their companies afloat in changing times, just ask Kodak, IBM, even Chrysler in the early 80's, to name a few.
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Old Oct 10, 05, 1:56 am
  #13  
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I'd just like to clarify a couple things about current TB operation.

Until recently, TB members could not discuss what was going on in the private forum until a vote had been held. That changed when we voted to overturn the Period of silence that had been around since the original TB was formed. This gives the membership an opportunity to see whats being discussed, and offer opinions. This also opens the opportunity for the TB to solicit member opinion.

However, keep in mind that most of the TB discussion comes from ideas/topics brought up in the public Talkboard Topics forum. Others come from different areas of the board that one of us frequents or has stumbled across. The vast majority of the issues we discuss ARE in fact posted on the board for few/several weeks before the TB gets involved in voting. The other issues are ones that Randy comes directly to us for an opinion (such as the NW Newsstand). Even those have generally come to him from the membership.

Now to address the original question. I seek input in a variety of ways. I'm active in FT community events, and I participate in chat. By simply participating in the community, one picks up things/feelings/attitudes from those around you, and as a Talkboard Member, people will seek you out with questions and opinions. For me, the key is to be approachable, available, and to have a willing ear.
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Old Oct 10, 05, 2:02 am
  #14  
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Old Oct 10, 05, 8:50 am
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Any way possible. PM, E-mail and threads in the TB Feedback forum.

I pledge to start a new thread in the TB Feedback forum each and every time a thread is closed before a vote on that issue has taken place. I will not allow any discussion to be stifled by members derailing threads.
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