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Does FT "attitude" drive newbies to blogs?

Does FT "attitude" drive newbies to blogs?

 

Old Aug 16, 12, 8:31 pm
  #16  
 
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[QUOTE=Stubtify;19136943]I'm relatively new here (less than 2 years), and I can safely say that I have had no trouble with FT. The issues seem to come from people who want quick and easy solutions, and want to know everything but don't want to put any work in.

I refer friends to FT all the time. They tell me it is intimidating to read. I tell them that it is because they don't have the basic understanding of the game being played. The understanding comes from reading--something they they tell me takes too much time. There is no solution to not wanting to do the work required. Blogs offer an quick and easy fix.

The allure of blogs comes from slick photos, discussion of how a $5,000 FC seat was had for $2.50, and glossing over all of the real work that needs to be done.

The largest misconception I believe blogs perpetuate is that miles can take you anywhere you want to go, anytime, and in first class style. I almost feel sorry for newbies who fall into that, applying for Mariott CC, AA miles, US miles, and Hilton cards and then realizing they can't go where they want to when they want to with any of their miles.

A blog that discusses things as frankly as FT would be boring to these type of readers. There is a learning curve--a somewhat steep one to FF collecting/using. A lot of newbies approach FF miles wanting a step by step guide. There is no such thing. Programs are constantly changing, as are ways to earn and burn miles.[/QUOTE]


I so agree with you. Almost every day there is a new thread of " help the newbie". Yes, we were all newbies, but I spent months lurking, reading, rereading before I started posting. Now, we get, " I want two tickets to Hawaii for my honeymoon in First in 6 months." So few seem to want to do the work - and it is work. Spoon feed me, give me screen shots. And OK, lets say we lay all the work out for people, they so seldom then search for answers that are already out there. In many forums the same questions are asked and answered over and over again. If people would just skim the last pages of a thread they could get their answer. And God forbid that you suggest that they read the previous posts. 100 pages? I don't have time for that! It just gets tiresome.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 8:34 pm
  #17  
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The AA forum has a "newbie" thread for new members to ask their questions without getting slammed. I believe one of the hotel forums was first to test out a newbie thread. It's certainly a concept that could be used across all the busier forums of FT. As it involves moderation, though, not sure it's a topic the Talk Board can really get involved with.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 8:41 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Stubtify View Post
I'm relatively new here (less than 2 years), and I can safely say that I have had no trouble with FT. The issues seem to come from people who want quick and easy solutions, and want to know everything but don't want to put any work in.

I refer friends to FT all the time. They tell me it is intimidating to read. I tell them that it is because they don't have the basic understanding of the game being played. The understanding comes from reading--something they they tell me takes too much time. There is no solution to not wanting to do the work required. Blogs offer an quick and easy fix.
Very well said! I completely agree and see the trend occur on a daily basis.

I think of the quotation "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" applies as I know FTers are a generous lot who are willing to help educate fellow members but are reticent and may react with attitude to those new arrivals who aren't willing to put forth an effort to learn even the basics and simply ask for the shortcuts or answers.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 8:55 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by vintastic16 View Post
As a newbie, I've tried on multiple occasions to get help and try to "fit in" by learning more. More often than not I've been ignored or mocked at.
Originally Posted by CodeAdam10 View Post
OP, I checked your posting history and could not find a single evidence of you being ignored or mocked at. In fact, at least (1) FT'er has answered whatever questions you have posted since April.
I'd argue that in the context of this thread - whether the tone here drives newbies away - it doesn't matter whether vintastic16 was actually completely ignored. What matters is that he felt like he was. Maybe there was a helpful post mixed in among a dozen derisive ones, but if the overall tone is negative, newbies leave.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 9:57 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
Very well said! I completely agree and see the trend occur on a daily basis.

I think of the quotation "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" applies as I know FTers are a generous lot who are willing to help educate fellow members but are reticent and may react with attitude to those new arrivals who aren't willing to put forth an effort to learn even the basics and simply ask for the shortcuts or answers.
Both this and the quoted post are well-put. Long ago I noted that some folks expect FT to function like a concierge and some (most) folks realize that it functions much more appropriately as a library. As with any library, it takes some time to understand the way things are organized and to read what has gone before. I still remember the sheer joy and hours when I should have been sleeping when I first discovered FT and read and read and read.

I believe that the vast majority of FTers are proud of this "community library" that we have, want to show newbies around, and enjoy pointing out how to get the most out of "the stacks." But there is understandably lower appreciation for folks who want FT to be their concierge, who don't do their research first (yes, someone else has probably asked about what to do on a layover at SFO and a search and 15 minutes of reading will make for lots of fun and will enable a poster to then refine his or her particular question with the benefit of all that archived experience).
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Old Aug 17, 12, 4:41 am
  #21  
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I don't do mileage runs & I don't chase credit card offers. I come to FT for information re: my airline & hotel programs. My guess is I might actually be more of the norm than the exception.

I can't address whether snarkiness in the MR forum is driving folk to bloggers, as I'm not usually in that forum. If there is, I'm sorry to hear it.

I can say that there are several hundred thousand people registered on FT, and just like in the world in general you'll get different types of people w/ different communication skills.

A # of people are helpful & welcoming to newbies; some are snarky. Sometimes regulars tell the snarky folk to lighten up on the newbies. After all we were all newbies at one point. Some forums are known for being snarky; others are not. Perhaps it's due to size & # of posts.

FT does have "Ambassadors" in some of the forums, whose purpose is to help newbies & answer questions that might have been asked multiple times before & which can drive the regulars crazy, & provide a welcoming environment. I'd like to see the Ambassadors program expanded to more forums (and it sounds like mileage run might be one of them ).

I think for the most part FTers are helpful and willing to share information, and it's a good community. But friendliness can't be mandated. Short of someone violating TOS, they're allowed to post what they want. I would hope that most would have respect for others & want to help, but like society, that's not always the case.

I also agree that FT can be overwhelming at times just because there is so much information. Some are willing to do the work to get up to speed; others are not. That's also true in the real world. BTW - my personal belief is that for every person scouring MR or looking for the latest credit card deal there is another person who doesn't actually give two patooties, and so it evens out in the end.

I think there is a place for both FT and bloggers. I also think there's space for more than one travel BB, although I happen to believe FT is the best & offers the most content. I say that as a regular FTer, and not just as a TB member. I think people need to utilize whatever resource best meets their travel needs, whether it be FT only, FT & blogs, FT, blogs & other travel BBs.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 7:02 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Mommy Points View Post
We all know the referral debate will just go in circles, but blogs absolutely talk about credit cards. FT absolutely talks about credit cards. They are an easy way to earn miles and points, so of course they get talked about. However, I wouldn't read a blog that didn't explain why a certain card might be good (or bad), or that didn't encourage people to think about their travel goals when choosing cards.
You missed my point. When FTers refer folks to a credit card, it's after encouraging folks to consider the many alternatives. As opposed to say a blogger who automatically responds to a post with "here are three great cards" and provides a link to the blog without asking ANY questions. Are the cards good. Sure....but they may not be the best for the OP. Just the best for the blogger.

And you're right, I certainly wouldn't read a blog that doesn't encourage folks to think about travel goals holistically when chososing cards. That's why my brief foray into the world of blogs has left me back where I started many years ago...FT.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 8:36 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Mile-a-holic View Post
You missed my point. When FTers refer folks to a credit card, it's after encouraging folks to consider the many alternatives. As opposed to say a blogger who automatically responds to a post with "here are three great cards" and provides a link to the blog without asking ANY questions. Are the cards good. Sure....but they may not be the best for the OP. Just the best for the blogger.

And you're right, I certainly wouldn't read a blog that doesn't encourage folks to think about travel goals holistically when chososing cards. That's why my brief foray into the world of blogs has left me back where I started many years ago...FT.
I don't think I am missing your point. I just think we have different opinions on the matter. I have seen a few examples of the behavior you describe on blogs, but I have also seen many more examples where bloggers do try very hard to understand the person's travel goals (or in some cases encourage them to start thinking about their travel goals if they haven't already) before strongly pointing them toward any particular card. I know I have countless emails back and forth with some readers on that very issue. I know other bloggers do the same. Many times the best cards aren't affiliate links at all. For example, I can't count the number of times I have seen bloggers refer folks to the AA two browser trick.

All bloggers aren't the same. All FTers aren't same. Blogs aren't for everyone. FT isn't for everyone. No big deal. The real point of this new thread, I think, was to discuss if negative attitudes on FT drive people to blogs. Maybe. I'm sure it has happened. However, if the folks were scared away to blogs, then maybe they could learn some basics there and come back to FT once they are armed with more info. As I said before, I don't view the two as an either or situation. For many folks, it is best to just pick what they need from all available sources...hopefully without getting made fun of too much for a "silly" question.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 9:27 am
  #24  
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There have been, and always will be, some posters who enjoy attacking newbies.

My very first post on FT, in July 2003, was met by very nice welcomes from a number of posters and, almost inevitably, by one very snarky response.

The snark was immediately jumped on by several other posters, and I had a bit of fun laughing at him in a subsequent post, and he suddenly disappeared. He made his final post on FT 2 days later. He apparently enjoyed snark but only when he was the one posting it.

None of the responses he received (including my own) violated the TOS, hence there was no moderation action taken against him, but when he became the target he was not very happy.

Perhaps that is the best (and only) way to deal with those who love attacking newbies -- give them a taste of their own medicine.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 2:06 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by need2ski View Post
I find the last bit (bolding mine) to be a bit amusing. Of course they are not treated poorly on blogs - they blog owner has a vested interest in providing helpful responses and can eliminate anything they find detrimental to the cause (and you and I both know "cause" = $$). More importantly, blogs are not really an interactive forum. The owner creates a post, viewers read the post, and if so moved, write a comment. On FT, content is only created through dialog by multiple parties. The more people adding content, the greater the likelihood of people holding disparate opinions. The format of blogs is vastly different and severely lessens the opportunity for antagonism.

You can kumbaya all you want, but create an open forum on your blog for viewers to comment without moderation, and I guarantee you will have snarky comments.

<redacted>
Exactly - newbies are customers on blogs, so of course they'll be treated differently. Now, I agree that antagonism toward "How do I get started?" isn't appropriate, and I would hope that everyone would either post a polite reponse or refrain from posting. But, FT is where a newbie will hear the truth, even if it isn't necessarily what they want to hear (it's unrealistic to expect to get four seats together on that route in six months, even if you do have the miles), while certain blogs that I've read glossed over those facts, as well as things like credit scores et al. So, if that drives away the newbies to the blogs - well, then, caveat emptor to those newbies.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 2:46 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
What, exactly, do you want the Talk Board to do here?
I think the assertion that FlyerTalk is so unfriendly to new members that it drives some to other resources is one that would interest TalkBoard, Moderators, the Community Director, Internet Brands, and a great many members. I asked where to place the thread, and SanDiego1k suggested this forum.

Last edited by mia; Aug 17, 12 at 3:54 pm
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Old Aug 17, 12, 2:57 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Mommy Points View Post
I don't think I am missing your point. I just think we have different opinions on the matter. I have seen a few examples of the behavior you describe on blogs, but I have also seen many more examples where bloggers do try very hard to understand the person's travel goals (or in some cases encourage them to start thinking about their travel goals if they haven't already) before strongly pointing them toward any particular card. I know I have countless emails back and forth with some readers on that very issue. I know other bloggers do the same. Many times the best cards aren't affiliate links at all. For example, I can't count the number of times I have seen bloggers refer folks to the AA two browser trick.

All bloggers aren't the same.
Let me be more pointed then. I was referring to your post in "interested but overwhelmed" where you started off by suggesting that the newbie check out blogs (conveniently providing a link in your signature), then mentioned three specific credit cards before providing the throw away comment "However, it really is best to set some travel goals and then apply for the offers that meet those goals." Of course, what is a newbie likely to do except follow the link, and apply for one or two of the cards that you suggested?

The FTers, on the other hand, asked questions and provided specific advice to the OP. Granted, the post degenerated a bit into how much time to devote to FT, but it still helped the OP.

But I will agree with you 100% that all bloggers are NOT the same, and did not mean to imply that, nor that all FTers are the same.

As to the main topic of this thread: if people find value in blogs, that's great and its capitalism at it's best. I just think it's too bad if FT drives away newbies and creates a false market for questionnable bloggers (the latter isn't a topic for this thread).
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Old Aug 17, 12, 4:19 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by balima View Post
I so agree with you. Almost every day there is a new thread of " help the newbie". Yes, we were all newbies, but I spent months lurking, reading, rereading before I started posting. Now, we get, " I want two tickets to Hawaii for my honeymoon in First in 6 months." So few seem to want to do the work - and it is work. Spoon feed me, give me screen shots. And OK, lets say we lay all the work out for people, they so seldom then search for answers that are already out there.
Somehow, and I have a hard time articulating this, there's a difference between a "tell me about..." and "plan my trip for me." I'm happy to tell you my opinions about anything... properties I've been to, classes of services, or anything that doesn't take much work for me.

I'm not happy to plan your trip for you for no compensation. That starts getting into consulting, and requires me to *work* (ok, you hit on that word) with you to figure out something that is feasible and that you will enjoy. And for that, I want to be compensated.

For some reason, if someone says they're HHonors Gold and SPG Gold, and want to know what their best option in BKK is, it's a question I'm willing to answer. If one starts a post that says, "I want a free week in BKK, what do I do?" well, I'm just not that interested in answering that question and will just move on. Why? It's hard to articulate, but it's how I feel.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 4:36 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
I'd argue that in the context of this thread - whether the tone here drives newbies away - it doesn't matter whether vintastic16 was actually completely ignored. What matters is that he felt like he was. Maybe there was a helpful post mixed in among a dozen derisive ones, but if the overall tone is negative, newbies leave.
I'm a newbie here, but I also run my own forum as well, so I have a rather thick skin when it comes to the rudeness I've encountered here. However, if some of the "old timers" on my board treated a newbie the way I was treated when I asked for clarification on a subject here, they'd find themselves in the mod-queue really fast.

Like I said, I do have a thick skin for forums, but I definitely also raise shields when coming to FT.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 5:06 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Mile-a-holic View Post
Let me be more pointed then. I was referring to your post in "interested but overwhelmed" where you started off by suggesting that the newbie check out blogs (conveniently providing a link in your signature), then mentioned three specific credit cards before providing the throw away comment "However, it really is best to set some travel goals and then apply for the offers that meet those goals." Of course, what is a newbie likely to do except follow the link, and apply for one or two of the cards that you suggested?

The FTers, on the other hand, asked questions and provided specific advice to the OP. Granted, the post degenerated a bit into how much time to devote to FT, but it still helped the OP.

But I will agree with you 100% that all bloggers are NOT the same, and did not mean to imply that, nor that all FTers are the same.

As to the main topic of this thread: if people find value in blogs, that's great and its capitalism at it's best. I just think it's too bad if FT drives away newbies and creates a false market for questionnable bloggers (the latter isn't a topic for this thread).
There were a bunch of pieces of basic advice for a newbie my response, and I do not consider the piece of advice about setting your travel goals to be a throw away comment. If it got thrown away, then so be it, but it is a very important part of the message...just as it should be.

I encouraged the OP to look for beginner's guides on many blogs as they are helpful starting places, and I am unaware of a FT equivalant (though maybe I missed it). The OP was also told they were in the right place for good advice on FT. Again, if that is bad or questionable advice then we just have to agree to disagree. There was some good info in that thread from many posters (including you), just like I expected there to be.

There doesn't have to be a financial motivator to be nice and helpful. You either are nice and helpful, or you aren't. I don't think it can be faked with much success for very long. We are all lucky there are so many nice and helpful folks on FT. Hopefully the few that scare away the new folks are (and remain in) the minority.
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