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Motion Passed: Create Frequent Travel Tools & Services Forum

Motion Passed: Create Frequent Travel Tools & Services Forum

 
Old Mar 5, 12, 8:20 am
  #1  
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Motion Passed: Create Frequent Travel Tools & Services Forum

Moved by kokonutz and seconded by RichMSN:

"The TalkBoard recommends that a Frequent Travel Tools & Services forum be created that:

• allows the centralized discussion of any tool, service or software that is frequent travel related,
• allows links to that tool, service or software's web site by any FlyerTalker,
• prohibits direct sales on FT for frequent travel related tools and services as spam
• lets the members decide what they want to talk about in terms of those tools without undue influence by the tool and service providers nor artificial limits imposed by FlyerTalk
• allows but does not require participation by the owner/provider of the tools and services, including a ‘master thread’ regarding a provider’s tool or service started by the provider
• allows online booking/bidding threads to be moved to the FT online booking/bidding forum and hardware and more general software technology not directly related to frequent travel tools and services threads to be moved to the FT Travel Tech forum.

The vision of the TalkBoard is that this forum exist for discussion of the frequent travel tools and services that Flyertalkers want to talk about and use."

This vote will close on March 19, 2012, at 10:48 am or after all TalkBoard members have registered their vote, whichever comes first.

Per the TalkBoard Guidelines:

A motion shall pass if at least two-thirds of the yes or no votes cast by TalkBoard members are ‘yes’ and a majority of the total TalkBoard membership votes 'yes.'

The purpose of posting voting topics in the public TalkBoard Topics forum is to solicit member feedback on any motions that are up for a vote and to allow for comments after a vote is made. It is at the sole discretion of the individual TalkBoard members whether they choose to post in the public discussion thread, there being no requirement to do so.

So while there is already a thread and discussion on this general topic and it is safe to assume that TalkBoard members have reviewed that thread, this thread is about this specific motion.

Please feel free to post questions, comments or any other sort of feedback in this thread, or in the other discussion thread(s).
SkiAdcock is offline  
Old Mar 5, 12, 8:59 am
  #2  
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I'll repeat what I said in the earlier discussion - to which there was no answer:

Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
In general, I like, but why not let those providers openly sell their wares? No ax, just curious.

And what did you mean by this:
nor artificial limits imposed by FlyerTalk
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Old Mar 5, 12, 9:24 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
I'll repeat what I said in the earlier discussion - to which there was no answer:
In general, I like, but why not let those providers openly sell their wares? No ax, just curious.
And what did you mean by this:
Quote:
nor artificial limits imposed by FlyerTalk
I attempted to address those questions in the post immediately after your post in that thread.

prohibits direct sales on FT for frequent travel related tools and services as spam

The notion here is that this forum be used to discuss the tools and services, not be used to sell subscriptions. So a provider could say 'come check out my tool and see if you like it' she could not say 'buy my tool, it's freaking awesome.' As I say in the post above, it's meant to be a trade show where we can talk about the products sometimes in the presence of the provider, sometimes not. It is NOT meant to be a showroom floor. It may be necessary to reflect on this point, though. For example, discussions of pricing may naturally evolve. Having the provider participate in that conversation might skirt this line. Overall, the idea is to avoid hard-selling and/or straight up spamming.

lets the members decide what they want to talk about in terms of those tools without undue influence by the tool and service providers nor artificial limits imposed by FlyerTalk

The idea here is that FlyerTalk not impose a structure on the forum by creating subforums for individual products, or require that all discussion necessarily take place in a single or master thread about a product. And that FT not limit what products are ok to talk about and which are not. And that service providers not be allowed to arbitrarily restrict comments or discussion one way or another. If you think it is meant to mean that no moderation takes place in the proposed forum, you are absolutely mistaken, as the last point ought to make clear (as though it would need to be made clear....), and especially spam bots, which might be somehow construed to be allowed in this forum, need to be squashed.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:21 am
  #4  
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I am not sure how the line will get drawn... I consider priceline.com, hotwire.com, betterbidding.com and other websites to be "Travel Tools" but think they are more appropriate for the online travel forum.

Since most travel tools and services are online, why not just expand the definition of the Online Travel forum to include these areas?

Also, what is "undue influence" and "artifical limits" in terms of the motion?
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:43 am
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Would this be a stand alone forum or a sub forum of another and wondering who would moderate it as I'd be very interested in hearing what plusses and minuses said moderator can/could foresee.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 10:54 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by wharvey View Post
Also, what is "undue influence" and "artifical limits" in terms of the motion?
Yes, I still don't understand what is being implied there. But clearly there's something.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 12:44 pm
  #7  
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I like the idea

despite the splitting hairs some members want to go through.

I know it's fuzzy, and kinda like one definition of porn "I'll know it when I see it" - but I trust TB to delineate the service providers that belong in this new proposed forum.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 1:06 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Yes, I still don't understand what is being implied there. But clearly there's something.
Well, for example, the way Concourse Z is structured on MP, the concourse is a main 'forum' and each product gets a 'sub-forum.' That makes it the 'longest' forum on MP's main forum page.

I always thought that looked kind of gaudy.

So that point goes to things like the structure.

And beyond that sort of formal structure, I think it makes the most sense at the outset to just create the forum and then allow the forum to evolve naturally. Don't set up 'master threads' for existing or known tools. Don't set up 'store fronts.' Don't limit what can be talked about if it is a tool or service and related to travel. Keep the rules as loose as reasonable: just allow any tool or service that is travel related to be talked about, and linked to by any flyertalker. Let the posters decide what they want to talk about and see what evolves. If the owners of the products and services want to participate in the discussions, great. If not, let the posters talk about their product in their absence.

And while booking and bidding engines are clearly travel tools, they already have a forum: Online Travel Booking and Bidding Agencies.

So obviously online booking/bidding threads would be moved to online booking/bidding. Hardware and non-tool technology would be move to Travel Tech, etc. What will be left will be the travel tools and services that Flyertalkers want to talk about and use all in one central location.

Should all be pretty obvious when push comes to shove.

The ONLY issue that I personally think is grey here are hybrid commercial/Dos like the mega seminars and the megados and the award things. To me those are tools or products and belong in a travel tool/service forum. The ROI is in knowledge or comped statuses with community as a side benefit rather than the core reason for attending. But that's ultimately going to be a call for the moderators in places like Cbuzz where the posts live now and/or the mods of the new forum, should it come to pass.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 2:35 pm
  #9  
 
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Us neophytes could use it

I've got almost 2M miles that I can't optimize. Upgrades are, well, byzantine since the UA-CO merger. Booking engines are notoriously inferior to checking segments on one's own. And, I don't comprehend SABRE and fare-code-peak. Any tools that I could use would be greatly appreciated. Let vendors submit. Users can decide whether to ignore or use. At least we'd know where to look for them. More speech is better than less.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 7:45 pm
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How would this thread work vis a vis Travel Technology?

I vote no. Seems too wide open to me.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 11:21 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by squeakr View Post
I know it's fuzzy, and kinda like one definition of porn "I'll know it when I see it" - but I trust TB to delineate the service providers that belong in this new proposed forum.
Perhaps they can provide a list of the service providers/items that they already know would/would not appear in this new forum? Then we're not discussing theoreticals.


My initial thought is related to the "splitting hairs" comment earlier. Seems like it might make it harder for people to know what to post where.

Would vendors be allowed to offer free trials of their products/services to FT members? Depending on how this is executed, this could also appear to be spam. I think it benefits FT if they offer these trials though. And on a related note, are they allowed to share coupon codes? I'd prefer to see them either have a locked post where they have the current offers, or have a standing request that people can PM the contact to get it. We don't want to see an endless supply of posts begging for a trial/coupon. Or perhaps these posts can all be in coupon connection?

I'd also like to see an end to the posts in the awardwallet thread where people are sharing affiliate links to give people free trials. That really clutters up discussion of the service itself.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 9:00 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by OverThereTooMuch View Post
Perhaps they can provide a list of the service providers/items that they already know would/would not appear in this new forum? Then we're not discussing theoreticals.
I don't want to create any artificial expectations or limits, but I can see FTers wanting to talk about, for example:

KVS
ExpertFlyer
SeatGuru
SeatExpert
MileBlaster
UsingMiles
TripIt
TaxiMagic

I know gleff owns one of many concierge award booking services.

Bloggers, to me, seem like a service to which posters might choose to subscribe.

Travel insurance?

Travel guides?

That's just off the top of my head. I don't know about the tools and services that I don't know about.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 10:53 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
And beyond that sort of formal structure, I think it makes the most sense at the outset to just create the forum and then allow the forum to evolve naturally. Don't set up 'master threads' for existing or known tools. Don't set up 'store fronts.' Don't limit what can be talked about if it is a tool or service and related to travel. Keep the rules as loose as reasonable: just allow any tool or service that is travel related to be talked about, and linked to by any flyertalker. Let the posters decide what they want to talk about and see what evolves. If the owners of the products and services want to participate in the discussions, great. If not, let the posters talk about their product in their absence.
So I take it that "nor artificial limits imposed by FlyerTalk" is a mandate on the Community Director and the Moderators of the new forum as to how they should moderate.
Is that correct?

Also do you propose that Makers of tools covered by this forum would not be allowed to post about their products anywhere else in FT, for example in the middle of another thread where they might reference their tool/service/product?

Last edited by Markie; Mar 6, 12 at 10:58 pm
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Old Mar 7, 12, 6:17 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Markie View Post
So I take it that "nor artificial limits imposed by FlyerTalk" is a mandate on the Community Director and the Moderators of the new forum as to how they should moderate.
Is that correct?

Also do you propose that Makers of tools covered by this forum would not be allowed to post about their products anywhere else in FT, for example in the middle of another thread where they might reference their tool/service/product?
I'd prefer not to see FT members promoting their own tool/service/product in other threads. To me, the, "Why, you should've used XYZ product, which I own, instead of this," is rather annoying.
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Old Mar 7, 12, 8:19 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Markie View Post
So I take it that "nor artificial limits imposed by FlyerTalk" is a mandate on the Community Director and the Moderators of the new forum as to how they should moderate.
Is that correct?
It's direction regarding the structure and purpose of the proposed forum. Just like if a 'Airlines of Russia' forum was created but was also meant to include CIS airlines, but not Baltic airlines, and making it clear that it's for discussion of the airlines in general, not a subforum or master thread for S7, Aeroflot, etc.

There are NO anti-moderator conspiracies at play here. Just trying to be as clear as possible about structure and purpose.

Also do you propose that Makers of tools covered by this forum would not be allowed to post about their products anywhere else in FT, for example in the middle of another thread where they might reference their tool/service/product?
Well, I, for one, might post in mileage run that I found something and mention that I found it on KVS. Or on COdbaUA about finding a distinct lack of R availability on SeatExpert.

But if I wanted to talk about HOW I found those things on those tools, I ought to do it in the proposed forum.
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