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Proposal/suggestion/question/debate: Should Travel News be eliminated/refocused?

Proposal/suggestion/question/debate: Should Travel News be eliminated/refocused?

 

Old Nov 10, 11, 10:15 pm
  #1  
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Proposal/suggestion/question/debate: Should Travel News be eliminated/refocused?

This is the strangest of forums - and from recent history, it is a complicated forum to use. Of the past 26 topics showing over a two week period, 4 have padlocks and 9 have moved. This is not a commentary on moderation. It is a commentary on the forum's purposefulness, when it has become clear that many posters are clearly confused about what belongs there, what doesn't, what the posting guidelines are, and what happens when the posts aren't in compliance. I have to admit that I'm not 100% sure. Almost any bit of news is either related to an airline, or hotel, or a place, and would have another home. As a current snapshot with 50% of what is showing over the past two weeks either in the wrong place or not belonging at all, I raise this question.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 10:20 pm
  #2  
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There's a Travel News forum?

All kidding aside, I fully agree with your comments and assessment.
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Old Nov 11, 11, 2:41 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
It is a commentary on the forum's purposefulness, when it has become clear that many posters are clearly confused about what belongs there, what doesn't, what the posting guidelines are, and what happens when the posts aren't in compliance.
It does look, to some extent, that the Talk Board policy on where to post is actually being followed, even though the moderators can pretty much do what they want as it relates to news items. Some of our new members, or even new moderators, might want to read over this thread:

News Article Posting Policy

On 23 Aug 2005, the following policy regarding news article posting in the forums was passed by the TalkBoard by a vote of 7-0-2:

1. News articles referencing a specific airline/hotel/car rental/location/airport belong in the specific forum.

2. General news stories on the travel industry (including Randy Petersen references!) that are not associated with individual programs belong in Newstand, as do major news stories (accidents, bankruptcies, etc.)

3. Where a news article meets the qualifications cited in both paragraphs 1 and 2 it may be cross-posted in Newstand and the specific forum. If moderators see that cross-posted threads are continuing to duplicate each other (as opposed to taking their own paths) they will have the option of merging the threads into the forum they consider most appropriate.

Voting yes: attorney28, Dovster, gleff, ScottC, Spiff, Starwood Lurker, wharvey

Abstaining: missydarlin, kempis
I don't post there any longer because of the policy, which I can't recall Talk Board voting on, that commentary is required if you post an article. I was a regular poster there until the rules changed.

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Old Nov 11, 11, 5:12 am
  #4  
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What stays open/closed, or moved, ultimately is a moderation decision. The TalkBoard does not have supervisorial control of that team.

Last edited by Moderator2; Nov 11, 11 at 10:40 pm
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Old Nov 11, 11, 11:00 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Moderator2 View Post
What stays open/closed, or moved, ultimately is a moderation decision. The TalkBoard does not have supervisorial control of that team.
This has an interesting history, the exact history of which I do not feel free to post.

Randy, for the reasons I can not reveal here, was unhappy with moderation on that forum and asked TalkBoard to come up with a specific rule as to what can and can not be placed in the forum. The result was the policy quoted above.

As Moderator2 correctly points out, TalkBoard does not have supervisory control of moderation, so we are left with the rather absurd situation that:

a. The FT Host wanted TB, not moderators, to decide what can be placed on this forum.

b. TB did exactly that.

c. Because TB does not have supervisory control of moderation, whoever moderates the forum at a particular time (and that has changed over the years) actually decides what is acceptable there and what is not.

That is a perfect example of what I meant in another TB Topics thread when I posted recently that until TB can convince Carol that it should have overall supervisory control of moderation, it will remain a eunuch.
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Old Nov 11, 11, 11:21 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
c. Because TB does not have supervisory control of moderation, whoever moderates the forum at a particular time (and that has changed over the years) actually decides what is acceptable there and what is not.
Regardless of the wording in a policy isn't it always going to be left to someone's discretion about where some topics should go or not go?

But if TB were to be given supervisory control over moderation, which FWIW I don't favor, who would judge the judgement of the Mod. action in question? TB president? And if so wouldn't that be simply replacing one person's discretion for another's? Would we openly debate specific Mod. decisions on this forum? And if so how would that impact volunteer Mod. morale and would fewer step forward to subject themselves to a much greater degree of scrutiny?

Like video replay in sports it can only work when it doesn't interfere with the game itself. That is, of course, merely MHO and YMMV.
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Old Nov 11, 11, 11:39 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
But if TB were to be given supervisory control over moderation, which FWIW I don't favor, who would judge the judgement of the Mod. action in question? TB president? And if so wouldn't that be simply replacing one person's discretion for another's? Would we openly debate specific Mod. decisions on this forum? And if so how would that impact volunteer Mod. morale and would fewer step forward to subject themselves to a much greater degree of scrutiny?
TB, as I would like to see it, would not get involved in a particular decision but rather on a wider basis.

If there were a number of complaints about a particular moderator, TB would review his actions and decide whether or not he should retain his position.

If a moderator were to institute a rule on his forum which TB felt over-reached his authority or violated the TOS, it would be able to veto that rule.

If a moderator refused to enforce a particular segment of the TOS on his forum, TB might give him the choice of enforcing it or being removed.

Quite honestly, the morale of the 70+ moderators is less important to me than the morale of the thousands of general members. These members, of course, have no way to even publicly express their unhappiness with a specific situation if it involves moderation. They do, however, have the ability to vote out a TB member who ignores what they see to be a problem.
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Old Nov 12, 11, 12:19 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
TB, as I would like to see it, would not get involved in a particular decision but rather on a wider basis.

If there were a number of complaints about a particular moderator, TB would review his actions and decide whether or not he should retain his position.

If a moderator were to institute a rule on his forum which TB felt over-reached his authority or violated the TOS, it would be able to veto that rule.

If a moderator refused to enforce a particular segment of the TOS on his forum, TB might give him the choice of enforcing it or being removed.
All this would mean of course an updating of the TB Guildines spelling out when and where TB can or would act and granting it this special veto power, potentially a tall order considering a recent TB couldn't come to an agreement on what an absention meant for a long period of time.

The FT Host would presumably have a total veto that could override a TB action or decision if she felt it wasn't in the best interest of FT.

MHO is that TB involving itself so directly in the daily working of all forums changes it's mandate completely from one of an advisory role to more administrative, a role that would possibly require much more investment of time from members who again are volunteers. I'm okay with the way things are and believe only minor changes need be made rather than wholesale renovations.

Quite honestly, the morale of the 70+ moderators is less important to me than the morale of the thousands of general members. These members, of course, have no way to even publicly express their unhappiness with a specific situation if it involves moderation.
There is a fine line between publicly expressing one's unhappiness with a Mod. decision and axe grinding and again were members to be allowed to bring those concerns here in the open it would ultimately be left to someone and their discretion as to where that line lies and whether a member has crossed it. IMHO Mod.'s should spend time actually moderating rather debating decisions made in their best judgement.
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Old Nov 12, 11, 12:38 am
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Firstly, regardless of TalkBoard's lack of authority to supervise moderators, I'm having trouble understanding how this proposal to close a forum and/or make a rule about what can be posted there is an issue? I'm pretty sure TB has the authority to do both things...

As for TB having authority over moderators, I think I would prefer TB having the responsibility to recommend courses of action to Carol, who can then go and carry out what she thinks is a good idea. This process would presumably be private...
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Old Nov 12, 11, 12:47 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
The FT Host would presumably have a total veto that could override a TB action or decision if she felt it wasn't in the best interest of FT.
Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
As for TB having authority over moderators, I think I would prefer TB having the responsibility to recommend courses of action to Carol, who can then go and carry out what she thinks is a good idea.
In every case -- including the routine establishment of a forum -- TB can only make recommendations to the FT Host. I am not advocating a change in that.

What I am advocating is that TB be allowed to make such recommendations in regards to moderation. Randy would not allow TB to do so but I am hoping that Carol would be open to this.

Obviously, if she felt that a particular TB recommendation was not a good one she would be free to reject it.
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Old Nov 12, 11, 8:51 am
  #11  
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I believe the OP when he said he didn't want this thread to be about moderation (which some have now made it about ), but instead wanted input on the forum itself, what it's supposed to be, relevance, whether it stays open/closed.

Those items are indeed under TB purview, whereas moderation is not.

So if folk would like to discuss moderation, they can contact the Community Director, as has been established even from Randy's time. This thread is not for that.

If they'd like to discuss the topic on hand - ie, the forum, - then this thread is the place to do so.

Speaking for myself, I prefer the thread stay on topic.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 12, 11, 9:33 am
  #12  
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Sharon, my posts have not been about moderation. You will find nothing in them which said that the moderation on this issue has been either good or bad.

My posts have been about TalkBoard's purview -- and whether it should, or should not, include moderation.

Do you feel that FlyerTalk would be harmed if Carol were to receive recommendations from TalkBoard on moderation (keeping in mind that TalkBoard is the only body which is chosen by the membership)?
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Old Nov 12, 11, 9:33 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I believe the OP when he said he didn't want this thread to be about moderation (which some have now made it about ), but instead wanted input on the forum itself, what it's supposed to be, relevance, whether it stays open/closed.

Those items are indeed under TB purview, whereas moderation is not.

So if folk would like to discuss moderation, they can contact the Community Director, as has been established even from Randy's time. This thread is not for that.

If they'd like to discuss the topic on hand - ie, the forum, - then this thread is the place to do so.

Speaking for myself, I prefer the thread stay on topic.

Cheers.
Thanks for the focus. The backstory (which I was not aware of) has been helpful, however. (As active as I've been on FT for the past 12 years, I've mostly stayed out of the political and organizational side.)

Clearly, the forum's current state of affairs is misunderstood and misused (unintentionally) by a fair percentage of posters, no matter how the current state of affairs came to be.
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Old Nov 12, 11, 10:07 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Thanks for the focus. The backstory (which I was not aware of) has been helpful, however. (As active as I've been on FT for the past 12 years, I've mostly stayed out of the political and organizational side.)

Clearly, the forum's current state of affairs is misunderstood and misused (unintentionally) by a fair percentage of posters, no matter how the current state of affairs came to be.
Pretty much it in a nutshell however I do think that there is a need for a Travel News forum as there are travel related news items which are not "forum" specific. Yes, there are those which are forum specific which imho, posters place in Travel News because they are not active/subscribed to/a member of the forum/program where the post should go (and is probably already under discussion in that forum) but there still should be a Travel News forum tho folks do need to be "reminded" as to how to post a news article.
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Old Nov 12, 11, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I believe the OP when he said he didn't want this thread to be about moderation (which some have now made it about ), but instead wanted input on the forum itself, what it's supposed to be, relevance, whether it stays open/closed.
Why the rolleyes?

The OP said he didn't want this thread to be about moderation, but it's impossible to separate from the issue that's been brought up. Let's include it in the discussion.
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