Question 14: Forum Autonomy, Inclusive Events

 
Old Nov 8, 07, 7:30 pm
  #1  
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Question 14: Forum Autonomy, Inclusive Events

This question was submitted by member FlyBalletGuy:
One recurring issue on FlyerTalk has been about how much autonomy the forums can and should have. An example is when forum plans a get-together. It's been a subject of some discussion at the GLBT forum - no one disagrees with the idea that any FlyerTalk event should be completely open, but there are people who further object to discussion happening in the GLBT forum rather than Community Buzz. On the TalkBoard a recurring objection to new forums is that they splinter off the discussion and the community.

To the candidates: What's your position on this? Do you see the forums as having independent subcultures that can be fostered or do you see FlyerTalk as one group?
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Old Nov 8, 07, 7:38 pm
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I think forums are designed to be independent subcultures by their very nature. I don't see an issue with fostering forum independence.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by flyertalk View Post
This question was submitted by member FlyBalletGuy:


To the candidates: What's your position on this? Do you see the forums as having independent subcultures that can be fostered or do you see FlyerTalk as one group?
Hi,
Well I dont see what the issue is with it at all. If your having a group meeting and you share a common interest like IC or BA etc then that forum is where the meeting can be discussed.

It an be kept to one thread and if someone does not want to go then they dont have to read that thread, after all it will not hurt anyone.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 8:35 pm
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Its both. I've lived in both Canada and the US, and there's a marked difference between the approach these two great countries have taken when it comes to establishing national identities.

Canada has taken the approach that they are a mosaic. Separate and distinct societies form together into a great work of art.

The US on the other hand has taken the approach of the melting pot. societies blend to form a great soup.

Each approach has plusses an minuses.

I see Flyertalk as the best of both approaches. We can be Canadian, American, Dutch, Whatever. We fly different airlines, use different credit cards, have different sexual orientations, travel to different places. We have distinct societies. But in the end, when we get together, we're here for the same reason. The travel, the experiences, and of course the points.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 9:00 pm
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Ultimately FlyerTalk is one big community. We are mostly here with a common interest- a passion for travel and/or aviation.

I remember the first FT'er I met, 1000k00. I was traveling with my dad to Hong Kong to vacation for five days, and we arranged to meet for breakfast at the Peninsula. Being my first meet I was a bit apprehensive in regards to what to expect. These handles were finally becoming faces. The second I met 1000k00 I knew I had found a totally awesome community. We have totally different backgrounds, are totally different ages, yet at the same time shared some connection. I am not sure what exactly it was, maybe a passion for different cultures or travel or what not, but we talked for an hour nonstop. In the meantime our travels have by chance taken us to Bangkok at the same time, too. Usually when you (well, at least I) meet someone for the first time, you are carrying on cliché conversations, but this was simply not the case.

I thought John might have been an exception. Hundreds of FT'ers later I have realized that this is more the norm than it is an exception. Even if I have never met or never talked to an FT'er before, there's usually some immediate bond which triggers conversation and interest when meeting in person.

Now sorry if that was a bit off topic, but that was a fond memory of my time on FlyerTalk and the community aspect it has.

At the same time many FlyerTalkers have different interests. I am for events being posted in specific forums (GLBT events, corporately sponsored events, etc.), but I think it's a good idea to cross-post them to CommunityBuzz so it's inclusive of the whole community. I think general meetings should stay in CommunityBuzz, though, which I think is pretty obvious. If someone wants to just meet UA FT'ers without any UA event going on I don't think it belongs in the UA forum. After all, that's what CommunityBuzz is for.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 5:49 am
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I do think some of the forums have subcultures, and I'm fine with that. Specifically, I think the lounge threads in some fora (such as Delta) are a great way to foster a deeper level of connection for smaller groups of FTers.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 7:08 am
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I rather like Randy's current approach, which is that DOs need to be cross-referenced in community in order to make them as inclusive as possible. I'm personally comfortable with discussion taking place within a given community, but I do think that a gathering planned on Flyertalk needs to be made open to FTers generally. And to do that a notice in community is appropriate.

That said, I recognize that when a travel provider is picking up the tab and hosting, such as the DOs that CO has hosted, and especially when numbers need to be cut off or limited, they may have a strong interest in ensuring that their best customers are given priority. And on the whole I think that's ok. He who pays the bill calls the tune, as it were.

At least that's my take as a starting point, but am open to being persuaded that either piece of the approach is problematic.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 8:17 am
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I tend to favor autonomy within the various forums so that they each develop their individual personalities. That's one of the many things that makes FT interesting IMO. Each airline forum I visit seems to have a slightly different personality and, in some cases (Air Canada comes immediately to mind ), they have substantially different personalities. And I think that's a good think and I applaud and encourage that diversity.

On the subject of Meets and DOs, I think they should be open to anyone who wishes to attend except, as gleff points out, those that are sponsored and paid for by travel providers. And I think the DO should be linked to the CommunityBuzz! Consolidated Do-List Thread so that even if the DO is being discussed in another forum, an interested FT'er can click on the link and be transported immediately to the discussion in progress.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by Cholula View Post
I tend to favor autonomy within the various forums so that they each develop their individual personalities. That's one of the many things that makes FT interesting IMO. Each airline forum I visit seems to have a slightly different personality and, in some cases (Air Canada comes immediately to mind ), they have substantially different personalities. And I think that's a good think and I applaud and encourage that diversity.

On the subject of Meets and DOs, I think they should be open to anyone who wishes to attend except, as gleff points out, those that are sponsored and paid for by travel providers. And I think the DO should be linked to the CommunityBuzz! Consolidated Do-List Thread so that even if the DO is being discussed in another forum, an interested FT'er can click on the link and be transported immediately to the discussion in progress.
In spite of the fear of being labeled a "me too" person, me too.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 9:06 am
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I believe that if individual forums sprout individual gathers that there is no harm, no foul. If Randy requires they be cross-posted to CommunityBuzz in one fashion or another, I'm okay with that (were I in Randy's shoes, I don't know that I'd require it).

The exception to this would be if the discussion of gatherings and DOs and such started to overwhelm or overshadow the original purpose of the forum in question, at which point I believe the discussion should probably move to CommunityBuzz.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 9:30 am
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It's totally cool that forums have developed their own subcultures. And just like in life, birds of a feather flock together. So it's as it should be.

As for the Do's, I agree they should ALL be open to all flyertalkers. INCLUDING the Moderator Do's. If posters want to hang out with moderators and listen to them talk about how to improve moderation they should be welcome to do so.

Certainly as a Talkboard member I would see if I could get invited to the Moderator Do's and if I could not I'd go hang out at the hotel bar where they are meeting in an attempt to get to know the Mods and what they are talking about so I could do my job as a TB member better.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 1:31 pm
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Flyertalk has always been different things to different people and the various fora reflect this. The UA forum has a very different flavor from the BA forum that's as different from the CX forum to the SQ forum and so on. Omni, of course, is as odd as odd can be which makes it IMO a wonderful place all it's own. I wholeheartedly embrace the current ethos of Flyertalk that treats each forum as it's own 'city' within the community and allows each to have it's own identity. It's part of what makes FT work so well. Much as Dallas 'feels' different than Denver which feels different than Dubai or Delhi, our various fora are more reflective of the users than anywhere else on the net, I think. It's wonderful!

As for 'dos, I think any 'do announced on Flyertalk needs to be open to any FlyerTalker wishing to attend. I understand the limitation on airline/corproate sponsored 'dos but for member-planned 'dos if it's announced here it should be open to all.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 4:01 pm
  #13  
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The coolest thing about DOs is that you meet so many interesting people that you would otherwise never meet.

I think that every event mentioned on FT should be open to all and cross posted to Community. No one should ever feel excluded for any reason. Having said that, I also think it is perfectly fine for smaller groups of folks who met on FlyerTalk to arrange private parties, as long as they don't mention them on FT.

I have had a ball at the FLL DOs which are essentially Delta parties, and met some truly lovely people. I am sure glad they included everyone. Thank you Delta folk.
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Old Nov 9, 07, 9:14 pm
  #14  
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Ideally all DOs would be open, but I can understand that some people would prefer to have their own DO, and I respect that.

So if some DO organizer is targetting a sub-population of FT, I am OK with that.

This is a land of freedoms, and people should be free to have their own DOs if they want to.
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Old Nov 10, 07, 8:42 am
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Inclusive Events

There are exclusive and inclusive events all the times in all communities, online and offline. Usually, these events are hosted for people of similar interests.

If a forum is having an event, its up to the people in that forum to open up attendance to whomever they want. I don't think the TalkBoard should regulate how inclusive/exclusive an event that others plan...nor should they really drive the conversation of who should be included or not or how such a get together should be promoted online.
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