6. Do you think FlyerTalk is unfriendly and/or snarky?

Old Nov 12, 14, 9:05 am
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6. Do you think FlyerTalk is unfriendly and/or snarky?

If so, can Talkboard have any impact? If yes, how?
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Nov 12, 14, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
If so, can Talkboard have any impact? If yes, how?
Snark tends to arise when a forum becomes heavily used and inevitably its readers are heterogeneous. Some readers want to discuss A, other readers want to discuss B and C, and others just want a quick answer to a question.

Developers of forum software and social networking sites have struggled with this problem for many years, since the days of Usenet. There is no magic structural and software solution, because the core problem is human nature.

TalkBoard can discuss and recommend small changes which can make marginal improvements. I believe that a "Thanks" button on posts will help. I used to believe that a member reputation feature would help, but I am now more skeptical of that approach. Any and all ideas should be discussed on TalkBoard Topics. I hope we can get six votes to try something in the coming year.
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Old Nov 12, 14, 10:33 am
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There have been some changes on FT that have improved the experience for many people.

Specifically, some fora have official Ambassadors. One of their roles is to be friendly and help newcomers. This program was started as an experiment and has been expanded, but it is still the case that various fora are not covered for various reasons.

Another positive change is the creation of the Information Desk forum, where newcomers are directed. It seems to help that certain basic questions aren't repeatedly posted in other fora as well as cutting down on the number of misdirected posts when a newcomer simply posts a message in the thread or forum that they are currently reading rather than realizing that FT is organized in a specific way. My impression is that when the Information Desk moderators move threads to other fora for program specific advice, most people do respect the moderator's typical note that the post started in our "flame free' forum.

Some (airline and hotel) fora have initiated their own "flame free" threads for quick answers to basic questions. This device also seems to help, but it works best when the forum has knowledgeable and dedicated Ambassadors or other forum regulars who check these threads and post answers on a regular basis.

My bottom line is that FT can and should continue to attempt to find ways to make FT more welcoming and pleasant for everyone, but to some extent this is also a basic responsibility of all FT members.

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Nov 14, 14 at 8:20 pm Reason: minor edit to shorten the post by a few words
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Old Nov 12, 14, 1:09 pm
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Even when I joined FlyerTalk back in 2002, I initially felt a little inhibited. My goal was to post once and then simply fade away.

Obviously, my experience on FlyerTalk back then did not go as initially intended.

I refuse to say that “FlyerTalk is unfriendly and/or snarky” in general because there is almost always someone in the community who will assist you and respond to you if you have a question; but there are also FlyerTalk members who unfortunately feel the need to be “snarky” or “unfriendly” — and those attitudes virtually never do anyone any good.

That is the main reason why I campaigned to launch The Delta Forum Lounge Thread — Everybody is Welcome! discussion, which was one of the first “lounge-style” discussions launched on FlyerTalk. I purposely wanted Everybody is Welcome! in the title to ensure that fellow FlyerTalk members — especially those who recently joined — do not feel intimidated to post whatever content they want; and that discussion will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year.

To be fair, however, there are also members of FlyerTalk who place a request but refuse to put any effort and research to what they are requesting, which can result in an unfriendly attitude from other FlyerTalk members. This is why I believe that educating members of the community in a variety of ways is a possible solution to experiencing an optimum experience on FlyerTalk for as many of its members as possible.

Friendliness and civility cannot be legislated, in my opinion; which is why I do not believe TalkBoard will be able to have much of an impact.
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Old Nov 13, 14, 5:36 am
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There are some areas which appear more welcoming than others.

In the main, the moderators do a great job in managing the board, TalkBoard provides an opportunity for tempered input into moderator performance to improve the forum experience.
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Old Nov 13, 14, 6:57 am
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It can be "clicky" as most of us know. Moderators tend to stop the rot before it gets going which is positive and keeps the topic on track. People must appreciate that levels of knowledge are at varying degrees and many are here to learn. As they learn they will contribute more so should not be disillusioned.
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Old Nov 13, 14, 3:44 pm
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It can, but no more or less than other internet bulletin boards. I think the moderators are in better position to police the "snarkiness", TB should certainly stay abreast of the situation and step in with revised policies or actions, if necessary.

Frankly, and this is something that I really like about FT, I find that the forums tend to "self-police" themselves.
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