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MOTION PASSED: Create a 'Points & Miles Blogs' Forum

MOTION PASSED: Create a 'Points & Miles Blogs' Forum

 

Old Mar 29, 13, 7:43 am
  #1  
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MOTION PASSED: Create a 'Points & Miles Blogs' Forum

Moved by kokonutz and seconded by RichMSN:

The TalkBoard recommends to the Community Director the creation of a 'Points & Miles Blogs' forum as a member of the 'Sub-Forums : Miles&Points' family category.

The 'Points & Miles Blogs' forum will be for the general discussion of the various commercial points and miles service providers collectively known as 'points and miles blogs' as well as the content provided by these commercial service providers.

This poll will close on April 11, 2013 at 6:16 pm 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 http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/talkb...-bloggers.html
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Old Mar 29, 13, 8:49 am
  #2  
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As the maker of this motion, allow me an opening statement:

Travel, points and miles blogs are here to stay and with current credit card affiliate payouts they are multiplying like bunnies (speaking of bunnies, I still don't understand how the Easter Bunny lays eggs...but I suppose that's a question for OMNI...).

These blogs are commercial points and miles service providers every bit as much as Mileage Plus, Starwood Preferred Guest, Inside Flyer Magazine or KVS or ExpertFlyer.

FlyerTalkers need and deserve a place to discuss them, dissect them and separate the wheat from the chaff every bit as much as we need and deserve a place to discuss, dissect and judge the mileage programs themselves and the other commercial ventures that support our points and miles addictions.

As for the oft-stated concern that this forum will spawn threads that only bash the blogs, I can only say that the blogs, like the points programs themselves and the other commercial points and miles service providers, they will be talked about on their relative merits. When Mileage Plus blows up the Million Miler program, it gets pilloried here on FlyerTalk. When KVS is missing an airline's information, folks go nutz here on FlyerTalk. Being in business means taking the compliments when you do well but also criticism when your business fails to meet your customers' expectations.

Some say, hey, this is different we KNOW these people who run blog sites. It's not like saying 'Smisek is a an acillary revenue whore who has ruined MileagePlus' because we have never actually met or had a beer with Jeff Smisek. But I submit that it is the exact same. First, many here actually HAVE met Smisek. Second, they are all heads of a commercial points and miles venture. As such, they should be treated the same.

More to the point, all of the same concerns were expressed about creating a forum for travel tools, some of which were created by FlyerTalkers: Oh, it will turn into a bash-fest against people we know and who post here!

Well, after years of debate the TalkBoard finally did create a forum for such commercial ventures: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-tools-701/ Tellingly, it has flourished and none of the potential-terribles that were used as excuses to not create it for years ever emerged.

Bottom line: these blogs exist to make money. Sure, some were started as a hobby or a journal. But this is not 2003. This is 2013. Today they are commercial ventures every bit as much as the points and miles programs themselves and the other commercial travel tools providers. WE, the points and miles addicts collectively known as FlyerTalk, are their customers.

We deserve a place to analyze, dissect and discuss these points and miles commercial service providers.
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Old Mar 29, 13, 9:10 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post

We deserve a place to analyze, dissect and discuss these points and miles commercial service providers.
Good points (without quoting all of them )

What is important to discuss, at the outset, is although many of us know these service providers, they must be subject to the same standards as any other service provider when it comes to the TOS, when discussing their respective services, i.e., a bash of Blog-o-Rama is not treated any differently than a bash of United.
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Old Mar 29, 13, 9:12 am
  #4  
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My concerns:
  • Threads will turn into blogger bashing.
  • Bloggers will be self-promoting their blogs, turning it into a commercial forum. I can see anything from, "See my blog for details on..." to, "Please visit my blog," etc. There's enough of the blogger self-promotion in signatures and such.
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Old Mar 29, 13, 9:17 am
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There's about 8-10 haters posting regularly in MilesBuzz on this topic. The topic is certainly well covered already for those that are interested.

Build it as a forum and it'll either

(a) lead to even greater nastiness, something Flyertalk does not need and has been taking great efforts to reduce, or

(b) simply be moribond as the activity will approximate what's now a single forum [and historically has been jsut a handful of threads... because each eventually gets shut down and restarted].

It's a pet issue for some, but don't create a forum on that basis or for simple 'consistency'. It's just not good for the culture of this community.
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Old Mar 29, 13, 9:34 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Good points (without quoting all of them )

What is important to discuss, at the outset, is although many of us know these service providers, they must be subject to the same standards as any other service provider when it comes to the TOS, when discussing their respective services, i.e., a bash of Blog-o-Rama is not treated any differently than a bash of United.
My question (and also for my education): If a blogger (call them BLOGGER-X) also uses BLOGGER-X as their F/t handle, then they should be afforded all "the protections" under Ft ToS but if BLOGGER-X posts on F/t as MEMBER-Y then I say the BLOGGER-X is fair game "to bash" as they are not posting under their f/t handle. They may be one in the same person but not in my eyes on F/t.

Now with that, you can see that there is a loophole as if BLOGGER-X knows what they are doing , they use both BLOGGER-X as their blogger name and their F/t handle and thus only their blog & blog post can be commented upon/criticized but not them as a member of F/t.

Originally Posted by kipper View Post
My concerns:
  • Threads will turn into blogger bashing.
  • Bloggers will be self-promoting their blogs, turning it into a commercial forum. I can see anything from, "See my blog for details on..." to, "Please visit my blog," etc. There's enough of the blogger self-promotion in signatures and such.
These are my concerns as well and as of now, I am leaning no on this.
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Old Mar 29, 13, 10:17 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
My concerns:
  • Threads will turn into blogger bashing.
  • Bloggers will be self-promoting their blogs, turning it into a commercial forum. I can see anything from, "See my blog for details on..." to, "Please visit my blog," etc. There's enough of the blogger self-promotion in signatures and such.
These are the precisely the same arguments used against creating a Travel Tools forum: the threads would turn into gripe-fests against the tool-makers and/or the forum would be nothing but tool-pimping.

I invite you visit the Travel Tools forum to see whether either of those possible-terribles have occurred.

Might blogs be different? Sure. The barrier to entry to the blog business is far lower than the software tool business. But that's all the more reason we need a forum to separate the wheat from the chaff!

Originally Posted by goalie
My question (and also for my education): If a blogger (call them BLOGGER-X) also uses BLOGGER-X as their F/t handle, then they should be afforded all "the protections" under Ft ToS but if BLOGGER-X posts on F/t as MEMBER-Y then I say the BLOGGER-X is fair game "to bash" as they are not posting under their f/t handle. They may be one in the same person but not in my eyes on F/t.

Now with that, you can see that there is a loophole as if BLOGGER-X knows what they are doing , they use both BLOGGER-X as their blogger name and their F/t handle and thus only their blog & blog post can be commented upon/criticized but not them as a member of F/t.
Folks heap criticism on UA while UA Insider watches on. Hell, I *wish* Smisek were a member of FlyerTalk so I could tell him to his 'face' what I think of his decisions with regard to the business he runs.

Once a FlyerTalker enters the world of points and miles commerce, they open their business and business decisions up to full and open discussion about the business they run. So should we be talking about a blogger's 'day job?' No, of course not, unless the blog talks about it. But should we be talking about a blog's tendencies to value revenue over useful information in a pattern that may reveal avarice? Of course we should talk about that, just like we talk about how Smisek puts ancillary revenue over loyalty.

It's not personal, it's business. And we didn't make it that way, the entrepreneur chose to create a business catering to us. All we are doing is talking about that business.
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Old Mar 29, 13, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by goalie View Post
My question (and also for my education): If a blogger (call them BLOGGER-X) also uses BLOGGER-X as their F/t handle, then they should be afforded all "the protections" under Ft ToS but if BLOGGER-X posts on F/t as MEMBER-Y then I say the BLOGGER-X is fair game "to bash" as they are not posting under their f/t handle. They may be one in the same person but not in my eyes on F/t.
If a blogger is speaking about his blog ex-or-implicitly (under whatever handle), then the commercial standard should apply. If the blogger is talking about, i.e., Starwood Preferred Guest on a subject wholly unrelated to his blog (i.e., The Four Points Yenimsville didn't give me my late checkout) is a different story.
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Old Mar 29, 13, 4:46 pm
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I gotta say that I mainly seconded the motion because I believe all motions deserve the light of day.

Upon further reflection, I am leaning for such a forum. Anyone who decides to create a commercial venture around travel should be fair game for discussion and possible criticism here. Hiding behind a TOS should not be an option once those people decide they're going to take their hobby (probably fueled by FT) and turn it into a way to make money.

I'm not saying we want people to be nasty to others, but I've seen blogs (which may or may not be written by FTers) where the advice seems to be pointed towards what makes the blogger the best referral kickbacks. We should have free reign to discuss these things and it makes perfect sense to have this kind of discussion grouped into one place that people can visit or avoid depending on how they feel. Discussion of a BUSINESS is OK as far as I'm concerned, and it shouldn't matter who runs the business.

I'll follow along this discussion and won't vote for a while, but I'm leaning yes, obviously.
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Old Mar 29, 13, 10:26 pm
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so basically this new forum will be like a YELP, but for rating a blogger's commercial venture...
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Old Mar 29, 13, 11:01 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by jammanxc View Post
so basically this new forum will be like a YELP, but for rating a blogger's commercial venture...
To the extent that FlyerTalk is like a YELP, but for rating an airline or hotel or other points and miles service provider's commercial venture...yes. Exactly!
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Old Mar 30, 13, 7:46 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Well, after years of debate the TalkBoard finally did create a forum for such commercial ventures: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-tools-701/ Tellingly, it has flourished and none of the potential-terribles that were used as excuses to not create it for years ever emerged.

Bottom line: these blogs exist to make money. Sure, some were started as a hobby or a journal. But this is not 2003. This is 2013. Today they are commercial ventures every bit as much as the points and miles programs themselves and the other commercial travel tools providers. WE, the points and miles addicts collectively known as FlyerTalk, are their customers.
Then in that case why is a new forum needed at all? If you consider them commercial ventures such as the commercial travel tools providers, then the the discussions should go in the Travel Tools forum; no need for a new forum.

Most bloggers talk about credit card churn (Milesbuzz) or individual programs (car, hotel, air, credit card forums), & generic travel discussion by them would go in Travelbuzz, so I am still not convinced there is enough of a need to create a separate forum for them.

I also have legitimate concerns about the blogger bashing & nastiness that's been experienced in Milesbuzz being given a new venue.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...light=bloggers
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...light=bloggers
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...light=bloggers

A # of blogs are still hobbies for people, but my guess is your intent is to focus on the 3-6 that are more of a commercial nature. Is that enough to justify a new forum? Right now, given that there are current forums available such as Travel Tools, Milesbuzz, Travelbuzz & car, hotel, air, credit card forums, I would say no.

I'm leaning against this.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 30, 13, 8:10 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I also have legitimate concerns about the blogger bashing & nastiness that's been experienced in Milesbuzz being given a new venue.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...light=bloggers
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...light=bloggers
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...light=bloggers
See, I think the OP and the posts that are left are legitimate commentary on blogs and the content of those blogs. Bad apples should be dealt with -- you're saying it's OK to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Just cause we like some of the people who write the blogs doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about them.

If this doesn't pass, I think it's time to put forward a motion segregating out all commercial content into it's own forum. Then those who don't want to read such stuff don't have to see any of it. Those that do have a place to go that only has that as its remit.
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Old Mar 30, 13, 8:21 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by RichMSN View Post

If this doesn't pass, I think it's time to put forward a motion segregating out all commercial content into it's own forum. Then those who don't want to read such stuff don't have to see any of it. Those that do have a place to go that only has that as its remit.
We already have such a forum. It's called Travel Tools. If the bloggers are commercial service providers, then discussions can occur there & the mods can move any threads re: them there. I'm not convinced a new forum is necessary.

BTW - looking at Milesbuzz, I'm a bit perplexed on why some seem to think blog posts are overrunning the forum. In going back several pages, there are very few threads regarding bloggers. So another question is (since we apply it to other forum requests) - is there enough of a need/will there be enough traffic to justify a whole new forum? I'm thinking no.

Cheers.

Last edited by SkiAdcock; Mar 30, 13 at 8:28 am
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Old Mar 30, 13, 8:36 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
We already have such a forum. It's called Travel Tools. If the bloggers are commercial service providers, then discussions can occur there & the mods can move any threads re: them there. I'm not convinced a new forum is necessary.
I would never see Travel Tools in a forum list and think that discussion on blogs would be in that particular place.

To me, in a perfect world, a Travel Tools subforum would cover tools like EF and KVS and there's be another subforum that would cover blogs.

Both of these subforums would be under a Commercial Posts forum/banner and that's where all the members trying to sell something would be expected to do so. And yes, that should include signatures with referral links.

If you can't tell, I'm leaning yes although I'm not sure the motion goes far enough.
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