Question 12: Contributions to FlyerTalk

Old Nov 6, 07, 5:59 pm
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Question 12: Contributions to FlyerTalk

This question was submitted by member wharvey:
What would you say has been your personal contributions to FlyerTalk to date?
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Old Nov 6, 07, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted by member wharvey:
What would you say has been your personal contributions to FlyerTalk to date?
Well I have been running the "Master Promo and Codes Thread" for the Intercontinental Forum. The thread is updated on a regular basis and so far this year has registered near enough 150,000 views. It has enabled a lot of FTers to earn a lot of bonus points over the past year.

I try and answer as many questions as possible to help other people out, after all this is what FT is all about, sharing information and helping others.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 6:52 pm
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I am currently moderating 3 forums:

American Express Membership Rewards
Other Credit Card Programs

While I may not have the highest post-count of everyone running, I believe I have made ample contributions to FT.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted by member wharvey:
What would you say has been your personal contributions to FlyerTalk to date?
8000+ posts over 6 years, some drivel, some worthwhile. The more helpful posts have been in United, AC, Travel technology and Las Vegas forums.

I've been a volunteer Moderator in OMNI, American Express, and most recently Air Canada/Aeroplan and Canada forums.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 7:33 pm
Moderator: Southwest Airlines
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Years ago, I was the first or second person to post about getting miles for buying US Savings Bonds. People churned them for hundreds of thousands of miles. What a great time that was.

I didn't originate them, but I posted heavily on the wonderful and miserable Valuemags/Goldpoints bonanza/fiasco, and on the mostly wonderful 1-800 Flowers promotion. All's well that ends well, and recalling these deals brings a warm glow to my cheapskate heart.

I informally moderated the Southwest Airlines forum for several years with no special authority or any official approval. I just used gentle persuasion to calm disagreements by PM and posts. As it happened, this was GREAT training for my future role as official moderator.

I asked to be a moderator early in 2005 mostly so that I could maintain a sticky FAQ that I had written for the Southwest forum. It was the first mega-FAQ on FT, exceeding 50k bytes, and I converted it early this year to Wiki form.

When the unmoderated JetBlue forum became a food fight early this year (after the February storms and all the cancelled and delayed flights you saw on the news), I answered the call for a moderator to step in. I sent dozens of PMs in the first few days. Within two weeks, the forum was relatively calm and I had requested volunteers to take over moderation. Randy selected Seat13c, whom I mentored for another six weeks. By that time Seat13c was already the de facto primary moderator, and a fine one at that. In my opinion, great moderators are born rather than made, in that their personality largely governs their success.

I have participated heavily at Southwest's official blog site, always including a link to FT and my handle "nsx at". This has brought FT quite a few new members, notably the webmaster of blogsouthwest himself and the chief scheduler for the airline. They are great contributors.

Southwest Airlines, unlike some other airlines, has a great relationship with FT. They recognize that FT is an asset to be used as a sounding board, not controlled. I keep the lines of communication open and I enjoy providing them advice on how not to disappoint FTers with program changes. Not that they always take the advice...

Most recently I have been trying to keep an amazingly generous deal from being killed by excessive publicity, but if you've read this far you deserve to be clued in: 50k CO miles can currently be converted circuitously to six free tickets plus a Companion Pass on Southwest. TalkBoard member gleff first posted this on his View from the Wing, and it has been working for about 3 weeks now, with people getting Companion Passes right and left. The deal is explained in more than sufficient detail on the Southwest forum, so please just use the information and don't post there unless you really need to: we don't need extra attention. Sometimes I leave information posted overnight and delete it in the morning before the program staff can read it. PM me if you don't follow the deal after careful reading.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 8:20 pm
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I feel I have given back to FT in several ways but I could never even the score as FT has given me riches too numerous to count.

I've been a volunteer moderator, I've served on TalkBoard and I've been a general member for nearly five years.

I've tried to welcome every new poster I've spotted no matter the forum in which they first post. To this day, I remember the warm welcome I received from obscure2K when I made my first lame-o, newbie post five years ago.

That welcome made a strong impression on me and so I try to return the favor whenever I have the opportunity. It absolutely makes my day when I have the privilege of being the first person to welcome a new member to FlyerTalk.

And that's probably the thing I'm proudest of here.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 8:45 pm
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Personally this is a question I never really like to answer. Don't get me wrong, it's a valid question, but at the same time one I always have a hard time answering. I would like to think it's not because I haven't contributed anything to FlyerTalk, but rather because when I contribute/help someone or the community out, it's not so I can later go back and say "see, here's how I helped someone." Not that anyone else here is doing that, but I would like to be judged based off what people have seen me do over the past few years and not based off of what I say my contributions are in a thread during a campaign. Hope that makes sense.
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Old Nov 6, 07, 9:33 pm
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I owe FT much more than I've given back. Above being an FT member, I've moderated OMNI (when it was moderated, along with TB member ScottC and fellow candidate skofarrel) and I'm currently the US Airways forum (the latter for, oh, probably 5 or 6 years, at least).

I've sprung some decent deals, taken advantage of some others, been to a few Do's, hoisted a few drinks, won (and lost) a few friendly wagers, carted Freddie Jr. about, and a slew of other things.

I'm with Mr. Coins on this: I don't tend to think of these things as currency for a subsequent action, and I'm with Cholula in that FT has given me waaay more than I can ever give back. But I'm trying (ergo sum, among other things, running for Talkboard).
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Old Nov 6, 07, 9:47 pm
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Personal Contribution

Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted by member wharvey:
What would you say has been your personal contributions to FlyerTalk to date?
My most favorite thing to do on FlyerTalk is to throw out intriguing scenarios, complex questions, or novel ideas ...offer my $0.02 on them.... and then stand back as the community comes to life.

As an example, within the Continental Airlines forum, I posted two interesting, engaging threads that saw a lot of activity. One was with regards to in-flight dress code on CO that generated over 4,500 views and roughly 100 smart replies. The other thread was about CO's lack of a lifetime benefit offering for long-term elites; not only did that thread generate about 4,000 views and 100 replies, but the airline itself got involved in the dialog and shortly thereafter disclosed plans to address lifetime perks.

With that being said, I believe my personal contribution has been to stimulate debate and discussion and instigate results with the travel provider we're writing about. I haven't posted the most (only about 2,000 posts in the last few years), but I believe the quality and content of my discussions speak for themselves.
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Old Nov 7, 07, 8:06 am
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While contributions to Flyertalk in miles and points may not be a proxy for effectiveness on TalkBoard, I would humbly offer my learning summaries at 1k, 2k, and 3k posts... the Status Match Master Thread in MilesBuzz along with the Hotel Status Match master thread and the What Credit Card Should I Choose Master Thread... I also uncovered the travelocity ex-PPT currency conversion glitch, that another FTer brought into Mileage Run and allowed many folks to travel in international F to points all over the world for 10% of cost. On a meta level, I've served as a moderator (formerly Delta, still in MilesBuzz) for nearly 5 years. I'm a senior moderator, and one of the original two. I've twice been elected to TalkBoard and twice been elected by the TalkBoard as its President (more like a Chairman than a President). Hopefully these and my high post count make my commitment to the community clear.
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Old Nov 7, 07, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted by member wharvey:
What would you say has been your personal contributions to FlyerTalk to date?
My personal contribution to FlyerTalk has been primarily to provide clarifying information for members when I can. I read FlyerTalk generally a couple of times a day and search for posts where I can provide original input. I looked the other day and saw my average post count is a little less than 1 post every two days over the past 8 years. Now and then I find something original and new to contribute to the community, but it is relatively rare that I am first to find something new to post on FlyerTalk. It is more the case that I learn about something on FlyerTalk and then research it more on my own and contribute new information I find back to the thread.

I have contributed to many mileage run threads. The adrenaline gets flowing when the clock is clicking down the minutes until a great deal is gone. I have probably missed out on a couple of mileage run deals due to taking time to post information for FlyerTalk members while the deal is happening, and then the fare is pulled before I get my own mileage run booked.

I want to help others get the most out of FlyerTalk. Nearly all my posts are travel posts. As I said previously in response to another question, I use FlyerTalk as an information source to improve my travel and I provide information to the community to help others improve their travel. Another mileage run for me at a great price is another bit of luck and some more miles. A mileage run for some other FlyerTalk member lucky enough to be on FT at the right time can mean the vacation of a lifetime.

I provided fine step-by-step details on how to cheaply book the Alaska Airlines 2003 segment mileage run for about $700 and earn enough miles for a First Class ticket to Europe. I explained in detail how to use the 2002 Star Alliance 55,555 bonus to get a huge bonus in multiple frequent flyer programs.

FlyerTalk works for so many members because it is a broad-based community in terms of travel interests. We are wikipedia for travelers. I will continue to try and provide meaningful input to FlyerTalk. I think the TalkBoard is a role that will allow me to improve my contribution to the community.
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Old Nov 7, 07, 8:48 am
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Not nearly enough:
  • On 9/11 I became an impromptu telephone operator... many FTers were having horrible times getting through to friends and loved ones. Thanks to a few unconventional call routing options I was able to get several FTers in touch with family to ensure they were ok/tell family they were ok.

  • For a time, I was the only one in the OneWorld forum with access to a GDS reservations system who could pull up RTW fares and rules at any time. Quite a few times I spent hours cutting and pasting 25 lines at a time for OneWorld explorer and Global Explorer rules and fares. Others did the true heavy lifting of getting the fare data into a spreadsheet and charting differences though!

  • I've been a co-moderator of Travel Tech for over two years now and have enjoyed it greatly.

Certainly, it's not much and I absolutely want to do more. I don't think I could ever give back as much as FlyerTalk has given me. I certainly intend to try though!
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Old Nov 7, 07, 7:51 pm
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Many of my posts have been in the AGR forum. It gives me pleasure to welcome newbies with their first post, usually to the 2007 (or 2006 or 2005) Amtrak Promotions and Discounts thread, as well as other AGR threads, and for other forums. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge about different programs to FT, and FT has also returned the favor, teaching me much I did not know (or realize)!

Many FTers have PM'ed me to ask for my advice or help. I provide this as much as I can.
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Old Nov 7, 07, 10:30 pm
Join Date: May 2004
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So have been posting lots of thoughts, suggestions, and contributing to the FT forums. Mostly, in Northwest, Starwood, Skyteam, Delta, Continental, SPAM and GLBT Travelers.
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Old Nov 7, 07, 11:09 pm
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Joy, independent ideas, laughter, tears, friendship, common sense, humor, objectivity, support, pictures, parties, hope, courage, honesty, ingenuity, originality, and some great tips on hot lingerie and make up.

Last edited by Punki; Nov 8, 07 at 11:04 am Reason: I thought of more cool things.
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