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Discussion re: resolution asking Internet Brands to implement wiki-posts on FlyerTalk

Discussion re: resolution asking Internet Brands to implement wiki-posts on FlyerTalk

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Old Feb 27, 14, 2:43 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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02/27 BUG FIX TEST

This is the wiki to thank Carol and IB for getting this done!

Signed,

kokonutz
jackal
jatink129
MSPeconomist
goalie
14940674
SkiAdcock
JDiver
HansGolden
<insert your name here>

* removed the pester comment

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Old Feb 7, 12, 7:50 pm
  #1  
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Discussion re: resolution asking Internet Brands to implement wiki-posts on FlyerTalk

The TalkBoard is considering the following resolution.

The functionality described below is not currently part of the core software used by FlyerTalk (vBulletin). There have been some moves within the vBulletin community to add this functionality, but to date, the idea has not received traction with the vBulletin development team.

It is hoped that if this resolution passes, the weight of one of Internet Brands' larger brand portfolios demanding this functionality may spur the vBulletin development team to make this project a higher priority.

An alternative (temporary or permanent) would be for the FlyerTalk technical administration to seek out and implement a vBulletin plug-in that accomplishes a substantially-similar task.

This is not going to be something that will be implemented instantly. It's a call for the administrators to look at an aspect of the long-term direction of the FlyerTalk user interface.

The TalkBoard would appreciate your insights on this issue and comments on the draft of the resolution below:

--

There is a tremendous amount of knowledge stored on FlyerTalk with an incredible amount added every day. Finding, navigating, and comparing that information can sometimes be an arduous task, given the technical challenges of the search function and the propensity of much of the FlyerTalk membership to avoid large, long threads where answers may exist but are buried deep within.

Therefore, the TalkBoard recommends that Internet Brands seek with all expediency to implement the option of creating in-thread wikiposts within in the FlyerTalk forum interface.

The in-thread wikipost function should have, or closely approximate, the following characteristics:

  • Wikiposts should be able to be created within a thread, not requiring a user to jump to an external page to view or edit the information
  • Wikiposts should, if one is created, be shown as the second post in a thread
  • Wikiposts should be able to be created by any FlyerTalk member in good standing who has been a member for at least 90 days and who has contributed at least 90 posts to the community
  • Wikiposts should use the same, or a similar, text editor as regular forum posts in order to promote a consistent, easy-to-use interface

The TalkBoard has observed that many other vBulletin-based forums already implement this functionality with various software plug-ins and impresses upon Internet Brands the urgency and strong desire for this functionality to be implemented as soon as feasible, whichever form that takes.
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Old Feb 7, 12, 7:50 pm
  #2  
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Here's some background on the subject:

I've long desired the ability to add wikiposts to FlyerTalk threads. When I say wikiposts, I mean like the second post in this thread (which is quite possibly the greatest use ever for a wikipost): http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=91323

Some other (perhaps more relevant) examples:
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/711457/
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/775437/
http://archive.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=850301

The FlyerGuide wiki is used extensively by some of the various forums on FT but just isn't well-integrated enough into FT to make it a globally usable option. And we don't want to drive people off-site to find their content, which is what linking to FlyerGuide does. (It also doesn't really give the same result as a true in-thread wiki post.)

Here's a perfect example for when a wikipost would be very helpful: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...l#post17729582 (post #1106 on the last page of that thread if that link doesn't take you to the right place--I have my page settings to view 40 posts per page).

Other TalkBoard members have posted their own observations of threads around FlyerTalk that would benefit from this application (generally, the long, so-called "mega-threads" tend to be ones that would benefit), but as they were discussed in the private TalkBoard forum, I'll have to let them bring up any observations they had.
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Old Feb 7, 12, 8:03 pm
  #3  
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This is an excerpt of my post in the private TB forum from a little while back when Jackal first brought this to the TB's attention:

I like the idea of a "wiki-thread" - but not sure if every thread should have the wiki-post concept. That's one of the things I don't like as much about FW...is the layout of the threads there.

Also, FT is more of a discussion forum than FW is (with the exception fo maybe FW Finance).

I think this concept would be best suited for car rental and hotel forums (and I can only think of the "discount code threads" - or a master index thread of hotel reviews, which some moderators already do a great job of handling).
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Old Feb 7, 12, 8:07 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by bhatnasx View Post
This is an excerpt of my post in the private TB forum from a little while back when Jackal first brought this to the TB's attention:

I like the idea of a "wiki-thread" - but not sure if every thread should have the wiki-post concept. That's one of the things I don't like as much about FW...is the layout of the threads there.

Also, FT is more of a discussion forum than FW is (with the exception fo maybe FW Finance).

I think this concept would be best suited for car rental and hotel forums (and I can only think of the "discount code threads" - or a master index thread of hotel reviews, which some moderators already do a great job of handling).
To me, wikiposts as shown in the links above complement the discussion rather than supplanting it. I don't think they're at odds with each other.

And there are plenty of long mega-threads in the airline forums as well as unofficial, not-really-maintained FAQs that could benefit from this.

That's one of the goals of this proposal: to find a way to resolve the mega-thread issue by allowing members to distill and index the discussion in the mega-thread and post it in an easy-to-digest format.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 3:54 am
  #5  
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I think this is an awesome idea, and one that is long overdue!

And I think the 90/90 requirement is reasonable.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 6:14 am
  #6  
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I commend jackal for an excellent first draft, and for his championing this cause!!!

I agree with the 90/90 threshold, assuming the wiki is a free-for-all Wikipedia-style approach (which I believe it should be).

I'm not a huge fan of the top-down way wikis have been implemented on MP, for example. To me, the second post in a thread approach recommended here makes far more sense. Wikis could and should exist about any number of minutia (ie, in any thread), not just as general program guides and/or overviews.

I truly believe that if we get this right and (this is an issue for down-the-line, once we get IB to implement the software) get some common formats implement for wiki posts (especially in the hotel and airline forums) it truly could make FlyerTalk the premier internet source of knowledge for not just very frequent travelers, but for any and all travelers.

The beauty of wiki-posts is that ultimately they can be anything we make them. Anything from links-to-posts to a summary of the information contained in the thread.

So, for example, in the disjointed, hard to read all the way through thread United Global Services Status (Qualification, Benefits, etc.) [Merged], the members could keep the wiki post as a summary of posters experiences in terms of what it takes to achieve UGS status and what their benefits are, even as posters continue to post and talk about individual experiences on page 54 of that thread, with links, if desired, to specific posts/data points backing up or expanding on that summary.

And more, eventually, say, in a Priority Club thread about a specific property the wiki thread could contain information in a specific format that is used for all properties in that forum that covers things like amenities at the hotel as well as upgrade/club/lounge access experiences for Plats, Ambassadors, etc. and mini-bar experiences for us Royal Ambassadors.

The format could be similar in Starwood, but tweaked to reflect the specific benefits of that program at various hotels. Etc.

This sort of information contained in a wiki would make FT far, far superior to even Trip Adviser in terms of be the go-to place for hotel analysis by those of us with status, would keep the community feel intact on page 54 of the thread, and would engage posters to feel 'ownership' of the forum by participating in the wiki process.

It also addresses the most pernicious issue facing FT right now: mega-threads. By allowing posters to collectively summarize an issue in the second post of a thread, we save readers from having to try to read randomly thrown-together data-points, points and counter-points and instead take a look at the second post of a thread and get the gist of the point of the thread and all of the collective wisdom contained therein.

This is one of the best ideas ever. I'm a fan of pushing for the wiki-post. ASAP.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 6:33 am
  #7  
 
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Four years later, FT still can't have it....

This is the 4-year-old thread over Suggestions Forum for this long-overdue feature:

Wiki posts in threads

Back in 2008 when the idea was first thrown out on FT, wikiposts had been implemented on both Slickdeals and Fatwallet with great success for months, if not years. We are not talking about a beta product here. When both Slickdeals and Fatwallet are using vBulletin that IB owns, I didn't, and still don't, get why FT can't make it happen as of today when others have been sailing so smoothly with wikiposts for at least 4 years.

I am not a IT person so I have no idea if wikiposts being a plugin vs. integrated feature plays any factor in IB Development Team decision to resist FT's improvement. I only know as an end user, wikiposts are of tremendous help when utilizing a website with rich info and tips. I would think FT is one of such websites. If (not investing) money talks louder than improving users' experience for IB, I really don't know what else to say.

As a user, I am familiar with how wikiposts work on Slickdeals. On top of my head, there are two things I like about Slickdeals wikiposts:

1. Sandbox Capacity:
Every user can edit and update wikiposts before they are comfortable and/or confident enough to "publish" it. They don't have to worry about "ruining" the wikiposts since they can always reverse it back to the previously existing posts when making mistakes.

Let's be honest, not every FTer is as tech-savvy. Some don't even know how to edit their own plain text posts, let alone wikiposts that may contain some "advanced" syntax such as bolding, color, font size, (embedded) hyperlinks...etc.

2. Disabling "activated" wikiposts:
Even wikiposts are a board-wide feature on Slickdeals, not every thread has an "empty" 2nd post as wikiposts. Meaning wikiposts are only created when users "activate" such feature in threads. Not every thread needs a wikipost.

OTOH, everyone can edit wikiposts. Occasionally, some users become naughty and/or personal that turn wikiposts sidetrack or deemed unuseful. When that does happen, the admin or mod can disable wikiposts in say threads. So the discussion can stay on-topic and uninterrupted.

When FT finally has the wikiposts, I think we should have the above two capacity as well. I'll chime in again when I have something to add.

Last edited by lin821; Feb 8, 12 at 9:44 am Reason: typo
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Old Feb 8, 12, 7:24 am
  #8  
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I would really like IB's vBulletin team to describe their preferences for ease of implementation. I doubt they will be able to do so very quickly. Given that, we might as well simply describe our ideal version of this capability.

For me, that ideal is a carbon copy of the slickdeals or fatwallet functionality. Let anyone start a second post wiki and let anyone edit it. No post count or longevity restrictions unless that's really simple to implement, which I suspect it's not.

I prefer that we not specify, other than by example, uses for the wiki post. It will be used in various ways according to the wishes and needs of FT members.

I believe that FT is the largest board using vBulletin, and we share the same owner. That should give us some clout to press for new functionality. I applaud jackal for taking this initiative.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 7:41 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
For me, that ideal is a carbon copy of the slickdeals or fatwallet functionality. Let anyone start a second post wiki and let anyone edit it. No post count or longevity restrictions unless that's really simple to implement, which I suspect it's not.
Would it be possible to at least restrict it to "registered" FT members? I wonder if that might add at least a ground level of "responsibility" with editing.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 7:49 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by hhoope01 View Post
Would it be possible to at least restrict it to "registered" FT members? I wonder if that might add at least a ground level of "responsibility" with editing.
Well since once has to be registered to post, one would be required to register to post to a wiki.

The 'down'/'scary' side to wikis is the opportunity they present for bad actors and/or asshats to abuse them by deleting relevant information and/or posting false information.

Typically this is addressed by punishing the 'last edited by' person who engages in this sort of destructive behavior. Including additional requirements such as 90 or 180 days/posts is simply an attempt to ensure that someone with malevolent intent cannot register a handle and corrupt wikis hit-and-run fashion before they are stopped.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 8:04 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Well since once has to be registered to post, one would be required to register to post to a wiki.
Fair enough. I wasn't sure if "editing" a Wiki was the same thing as "posting" to it.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 4:11 pm
  #12  
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I think this would be useful for FT, especially some of the larger forums. However, I'd rather see IB fix recurring problems with FT, and then add the wikis.
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Old Feb 10, 12, 9:50 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by bhatnasx View Post
I think this concept would be best suited for car rental and hotel forums (and I can only think of the "discount code threads" - or a master index thread of hotel reviews, which some moderators already do a great job of handling).
It's less a matter of befitting particular forums as it is befitting particular threads. Not every thread will need the wiki feature activated but for threads that would benefit I say let the spontaneous order prevail.

Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
The 'down'/'scary' side to wikis is the opportunity they present for bad actors and/or asshats to abuse them by deleting relevant information and/or posting false information.
I understand the worry but let's not overstate the propensity for malicious intent or irreparable harm. On SD and FW, anyway, it's a snap to restore earlier revisions. In a decade of near daily lurking on SD I could count on one finger the number of true hit and runs on wikis (and the mods put a cap in that azzhat post haste!). Unintentional edits happen but anyone can come along a fix it, no fuss no muss.
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Old Feb 10, 12, 9:52 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by essxjay View Post
I understand the worry but let's not overstate the propensity for malicious intent or irreparable harm. On SD and FW, anyway, it's a snap to restore earlier revisions. In a decade of near daily lurking on SD I could count on one finger the number of true hit and runs on wikis (and the mods put a cap in that azzhat post haste!). Unintentional edits happen but anyone can come along a fix it, no fuss no muss.
Power to the posters!
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Old Feb 10, 12, 10:09 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Power to the posters!
Prezactly.
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