Question 10: Improving TalkBoard Participation

 
Old Nov 6, 07, 11:07 am
  #1  
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Question 10: Improving TalkBoard Participation

This question was submitted from member techgirl:
Several candidates have stated that they are concerned with a lack of participation from the current TalkBoard in various forms (missed votes, nonparticipation, lack of an in-person meeting, etc.).

What are your plans, if elected, for improving participation as you see it? Please outline the specific proposals you would put in place to reassure members that TalkBoard members are serving their electors.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 11:12 am
  #2  
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I have not stated any concern about current TalkBoard members, but barring unforeseen circumstances (like getting run over by a beer truck), I intend to make all votes and actively participate in the Talkboard forum.

As I've outlined in another post, I think that we need to make better use of board features (like announcements) to drive traffic to the Talkboard forum. The TB forum should be the 24x7 townhall for TalkBoard members to receive feedback on ideas/proposals.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 11:21 am
  #3  
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I agree with skofarrell. I would definitely like to see more announcements at the top of the forum regarding what's going on in the TalkBoard forum, as well as more inclusion in TalkMail about what's new. Those are just a couple of things.

I too see no reason I would miss votes, abstain, not participate, etc.

I have to say that the debate/dialogue for the election has been very good this year, IMO, and if elected the first thing I would do is re-read the comments that everyone has put here and put them down on paper, and hopefully put some/most of them into action. I have truly been impressed by some of the ideas!
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Old Nov 6, 07, 11:48 am
  #4  
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I think the TB has been far too reactive rather than proactive in fulfilling its obligations to reach out to the posters who elect it.

As a Talkboard member I'd actively solicit input from various well-populated boards on TB issues of interest to that community.

I know that when I suggested changing the women's traveler forum to a gender-specific travel issue forum someone on the TB posted a thread about it in the women's travel forum and...voila...suddenly interested posters were participating in the TB deliberative process, many of whom previously never even knew the TB EXISTED!!!

It ain't rocket science, folks. Mention it to people who care in a place where they care to look and you'll get the input ye seek. And imho, this is not the job of the HoM or the stickies or the talkmail. This is the job of the TB members, to actively go out and seek input.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 12:15 pm
  #5  
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Perhaps the TalkBoard could change its own rules to require participation or replacement. Replacement could be temporary if a member requests a leave of absence to deal with the demands of real life. Changine the rules would require serious thought and more information than I currently have.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 12:34 pm
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As I have mentioned elsewhere, I intend to seek consensus on and then motion a code-of-conduct for Talkboard. Included in this will be a process to temporarily announce a leave of absence for no longer than perhaps three votes.

After that (or an unannounced absence of three votes), there will be a mandatory vote taken to remove the absent member and elevate the next vote getter. We should not allow situations like the prior few talkboards, who had at least one member who missed a dozen votes without any action from the other members of the Talkboard to remedy the situation. Or, if we choose to take no action, make it mandatory, such that the FT population can see which Talkboard members are voting to shelter the absentee members, and deal with them appropriately in the next election. Since there seems to be the incessant requirement to work moderators into any discussion, it's worth pointing out that moderators are removed for lack of participation. I don't think that Talkboard members should be any different in that regard.

I will also make a motion to require a "signing statement" anytime someone votes "abstain." That way, we won't have another rash of abstaining for apparently political reasons without at least requiring the member to give some modicum of explanation. It's one thing in a conflict of interest situation, it's something else when it's done like it was with the current talkboard. Search "abstain" the the voting results forum and see for yourself.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 12:38 pm
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I'm not a talkboard member but I believe provisions already exist whereby in-absentia members are automatically removed. Still, I would welcome a requirement for more involvement by TalkBoard representatives. With regards to my earlier suggestion to have a link on every FlyerTalk forum page viewed for suggestions I think it should be a requirement that every Talkboard member personally review and respond to a specified number of such suggestions/comments.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 12:43 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted from member techgirl:
Several candidates have stated that they are concerned with a lack of participation from the current TalkBoard in various forms (missed votes, nonparticipation, lack of an in-person meeting, etc.).

What are your plans, if elected, for improving participation as you see it? Please outline the specific proposals you would put in place to reassure members that TalkBoard members are serving their electors.

Unless I'm missing the intent of this question, I don't see how an individual TB member can assure that other TB members are participative, responsive and/or properly serving the FT membership. That behaviour is up to each individual TB member.

But missed votes are a matter of public record so I think the FT membership can choose not to re-elect a member who has missed a number of votes should that member choose to run again.

What's not visible, but would be if our buddy koko gets his way , is which TB members don't participate much or who are ineffective when they do participate. And, as with any group, there are usually some of those.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 1:39 pm
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Except for certain issues that are clearly a conflict of interest, I do not see why I (or any other Talkboard member) would or should abstain or not participate in a vote. I think the only 2 ways to vote are "yes" or "no". After all, you are representing all FT members - not just yourself!

I feel it is up to Talkboard members, themselves, to read the specific forums to get a feel of how those involved feel about the change(s) proposed. It should not be up to HOM or anyone else. They were elected by FT members - so it should be seen how FT members feel about it.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 2:18 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Cholula View Post
What's not visible, but would be if our buddy koko gets his way , is which TB members don't participate much or who are ineffective when they do participate. And, as with any group, there are usually some of those.
Amen, bubba!!!! I'm glad you've seen the sauce!!!!

Posters DESERVE to know which TB members are actually participating in debate and deliberation and which ones are just phoning (or fiber-opting) it in.

If posters aren't going to be able to see this for themselves via a read-only deliberative process, I'll be happy to let all posters know who is not participating in debates in the private TB forum if I am elected!
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Old Nov 6, 07, 5:15 pm
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First the role of TB is to formulate long-tern as well as short-term policies, not to do all the daily managment of the community. Allowing the membership and moderators to do their thing is key.

Each TB member has a responsibility to remain active through their term, take part in the activities of the board, as well as keep in touch with the membership. Those that for whatever reason that can not fulfill such obligations consistantly, may need to be replaced.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 5:38 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted from member techgirl:
Several candidates have stated that they are concerned with a lack of participation from the current TalkBoard in various forms (missed votes, nonparticipation, lack of an in-person meeting, etc.).

What are your plans, if elected, for improving participation as you see it? Please outline the specific proposals you would put in place to reassure members that TalkBoard members are serving their electors.
Hi
Well first of all its a world wide community so I would not expect any in-person meetings to take place at all, I would expect online conferances as this is one of the best ways but, as someone who works for an Oz company but living in the UK and having to community with customers and suppliers worldwide, I know how hard it is to try an arrange things and even answer emails quickly enough.

Not everyone can dedicated 100% of their time to TB, I would not expect this of anyone as we all have lifes outside of FT (I know some folk might find this hard to believe but honest there are other things to do).

As for specific proposals, well thats a lot to ask as I would have to talk with the TB members and see what they have in place just now. Look at it and see if it can be improved on.

regards
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Old Nov 6, 07, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted from member techgirl:
Several candidates have stated that they are concerned with a lack of participation from the current TalkBoard in various forms (missed votes, nonparticipation, lack of an in-person meeting, etc.).

What are your plans, if elected, for improving participation as you see it? Please outline the specific proposals you would put in place to reassure members that TalkBoard members are serving their electors.
I did not run for TalkBoard on a whim. Well, maybe I did.
I take my work seriously. I follow through on commitments I make.

Is there a Terms & Conditions of TalkBoard membership? Are there By-laws? Most organizations have provisions for removing non-functioning and ineffective leaders. If we don't have TalkBoard member removal provisions yet, I will help create them if that is what we want to do on the TalkBoard. If we do already have them, let me know so I can be better informed.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 6:30 pm
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Participation and awareness are the hardest elements in a voluntary community such as FlyerTalk.

I would like to see a section of each TalkMail issue reserved for any motions that have come before the TB since the previous issue.

Additionally, as a moderator, I feel I can bring attention to current TB activities through normal interaction with members, be it through a signature block, or a note included in PMs.

Having experience in voluntary board situations in the past, I know that increasing participation will require daily individual interaction with members.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 7:47 pm
  #15  
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Well none of us, except for Cholula, really have any idea whether or not the current TalkBoard members participate or not, or if they don't, why not. Therefore, we are really not in a position to know whether TalkBoard member participation even needs improvement.

All I can say is that if I am elected, I will be involved and vote on every issue (even travel with pets), and try to keep things interesting enough that every body will want to participate.

Why would someone run if they didn't want to participate?
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