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Suggestion: Implement Entry Requirement for Manufactured Spending Forum

Suggestion: Implement Entry Requirement for Manufactured Spending Forum

 
Old Jul 5, 14, 10:37 am
  #1  
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Suggestion: Implement Entry Requirement for Manufactured Spending Forum

Dear Talkboard,

Over the last several months, I have noticed that the Manufacturing Spending Forum has quickly degenerated into "snark-like" behaviors among many members who only participate in that forum for the most part. Many are newer members who appear to have no desire to contribute to FT other than MS.

It has gotten so bad, that I have deleted my subscription to the Forum and rarely go into it now. It has gotten worse than the "Trick Me" thread in Mileage Runs.

Question: Should we implement entry requirements such as we have for Coupon Connection and the OMNIs? Have new members understand, participate and contribute to Flyertalk more broadly before they get the "gift" of the Manufacturing Spending forum.

I know many will say that snarkiness can happen anywhere on FT, and it is true. But it is particularly prominent in Manufacturing Spending.

I would like to suggest that Manufacturing Spending forum have the same entry requirements as Coupon Connection.

I think it could be a major step forward for the community.

I appreciate your thoughts and consideration.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 1:30 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by wharvey View Post
Question: Should we implement entry requirements such as we have for Coupon Connection and the OMNIs? Have new members understand, participate and contribute to Flyertalk more broadly before they get the "gift" of the Manufacturing Spending forum.
You do raise an interesting view point: are some of these members not here for the travel part of FT at all? If we didn't have a MS forum for them, would they even be here?

Let me suggest you look at it from a different direction. I ran across a blog this week that has its own bulletin board on Manufactured Spend. You need to be approved to post there. Will FT risk losing members to these types of competitors if we have an entry cap of 180 days/180 posts before you can access the MS forum?

I really don't have strong views one way or the other. I do occasionally read the manufactured spend forum and notice a level of snark there that we used to have on the AA forum until the moderators decided, jointly, to eradicate it. Maybe that could be an alternate way to address the issues there before imposing entry requirements.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 1:51 pm
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I like this suggestion -- same entry requirement as CC. When can I vote for this motion?
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Old Jul 5, 14, 2:02 pm
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I support this idea
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Old Jul 5, 14, 2:02 pm
  #5  
 
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Could you allow viewing but not posting? I enjoy perusing the topics and learning so much valuable info on FT. At my posting rate I'd be able to read MS in about 180 months.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 2:22 pm
  #6  
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I think the bigger issue is folks having a false sense of paranoia... esp those that erroneously compare any form of MS or churning to a ridiculous notion of the 'tragedy of the commons' ... they view it as a zero sum game, a fixed resource where if someone gets more of the pie, then you automatically get less. so they 'share' less and less while leeching all the same. and if you ask them why they are here and bother to keep up with the forum, they often have no response.

I dont agree with the aforementioned line of thinking at all, because much like the free markets, the overall MS arena is ever expanding and not self-consuming.

anyways, a lot of these false fears is what drives the anti-social behavior in that forum IMHO. and ironically enough the only real and new contributions/data worthy points/discoveries/strategies (even if by mistake, moments of eureka) come mostly from the newer members -- who haven't been poisoned by the kool aid certain (older) members on that sub-forum swill around and subscribe to or atleast preach. that kinda fear-mongering and taunting is rude, unnecessary and quite stupid if I maybe honest.

I believe these miscreants, who are often heavy-hitters themselves, do it on purpose to misguide and drive others away from this "hobby" which they have deemed a domain only fit for themselves... some have reportedly made MS their full-time job and not having worked an actual job for years -- so their motives while horrible, are out there for anyone to easily figure out. and would ofc be quite opposite of the motives of the forum and this board in general -- free and open sharing of good ideas, information etc. without the fear of some older member coming down on you for 'spilling the beans.' I've seen a lotta folks get scared away by these strong arm tactics employed by some of the members here. its gotta be a tough job for the mods and I'm sure they try their best to keep up with it, but often things slip thru.

and so following down this path as proposed by wharvey lets the terrorists win jk... but seriously, going down this route is exactly what they want to happen -- the forum to continue imploding -- which is counter productive to FT and this community stands for. so no further steps should be taken without actually understanding the underlying reasons/motive of whats actually going on in that forum, why its going on and who is truly responsible. if we can attempt to eliminate or atleast neutralize those elements, the MS forum will be a much better place for free flow of information.

as far as making the forum private, I wouldnt be against it. it may block Google from indexing the contents, which honestly just hurts us regular folks as thats the best way to search thru old threads rather than the built in functionality. not to mention it helps brings in new blood and a more diverse crowd that thinks independently. on the other hand, there would be lot fewer leeches/lurkers who may or may not flood the blogs instead of actually registering and maybe contributing.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 3:30 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by allanfan View Post
When can I vote for this motion?
You can't. Only Talk Board members can vote and there's not anything for them to vote on until one of their members puts a motion on the table.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 3:36 pm
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post count doesnt correlate with behavior. if it does, lets see the proof. there are plenty of snarky jerks with high post counts that are actively ruining the MS forum. one of them just posted a couple ahead of me.

i think heavier moderation would cut down on the snark and miscreants posting. obviously misleading, off topic, and personal attack posts are the thread that runs through the MS forum now, and that is only stopped by moderators moderating.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 3:45 pm
  #9  
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I see a lot of extra ads on the MS forums (just above the threads). Would IB want to inhibit this flow of revenue?

Maybe what is needed is a series of "time outs" for the repetitively unpleasant posters.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 3:52 pm
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Maybe they could use more moderators to identify the problem posters. The AA forum has 7 moderators and they got things under control there. MS only has 3 moderators. They have about the same amount of active threads in the last 24 hours.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by caljr View Post
post count doesnt correlate with behavior.
As a heavy reader and long-time lurker, I would be very disappointed if my low post count locked me out of MS or other useful forums.

Rapid deletion of unhelpful threads and posts could be good if there existed sufficient people to perform the moderation.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by FTRox87 View Post

anyways, a lot of these false fears is what drives the anti-social behavior in that forum IMHO. and ironically enough the only real and new contributions/data worthy points/discoveries/strategies (even if by mistake, moments of eureka) come mostly from the newer members -- who haven't been poisoned by the kool aid certain (older) members on that sub-forum swill around and subscribe to or atleast preach. that kinda fear-mongering and taunting is rude, unnecessary and quite stupid if I maybe honest.

I believe these miscreants, who are often heavy-hitters themselves, do it on purpose to misguide and drive others away from this "hobby" which they have deemed a domain only fit for themselves... some have reportedly made MS their full-time job and not having worked an actual job for years -- so their motives while horrible, are out there for anyone to easily figure out. and would ofc be quite opposite of the motives of the forum and this board in general -- free and open sharing of good ideas, information etc. without the fear of some older member coming down on you for 'spilling the beans.' I've seen a lotta folks get scared away by these strong arm tactics employed by some of the members here. its gotta be a tough job for the mods and I'm sure they try their best to keep up with it, but often things slip thru.
I think that unlike the Coupon Connection, the Manufactured Spending forum has a place that should be open to all FlyerTalk members, even those who spend the majority or all of their time on the Manufactured Spending forum. FlyerTalk is a forum for sharing and collaborating information and meeting other people who have a common interest in travel, miles and points, and other related topics. Coupon Connection exists primarily as a marketplace to buy and sell which I don't think is ancillary to FlyerTalk's purpose. In contrast, I think manufactured spending will become an increasingly integral portion of a FlyerTalk member's interest as earning miles and points through flying moves to a revenue based model. Members will continue to look for other avenues to optimize miles and points, and manufactured spending can be a useful tool in this regard.

I agree with the statement that the new posters tend to be the most willing to share information and ideas. In fact, I got a rather curt private message from a longtime lurker asking me to quit posting to one particular thread because I'd help "kill the deal". I think there are two camps of FlyerTalk members when it comes to manufactured spending, mileage run deals, mistake fares, etc. There are in the information sharers and the information hoarders.

The hoarders all believe that we will run up against a tragedy of the commons situation, and publicizing these deals will ensure their demise once a profiteering blogger with credit card affiliate links spoon feeds the masses with step-by-step instructions including pictures with circles and arrows. The information sharers are those who are creating and maintaining the thread wikis, bouncing ideas around with other members, and trying different angles to get the most out of the deal. They even will answer the new member's questions that have been asked and answered vs. having pages after pages of snarky responses and a confused new member not realize he's being trolled.

The threads on the MS forum are in great need of cleanup, but I don't know the best method of going about this. Some deals change over time, so do you archive and lock old threads similar to airline meals, flight cancellations, celebrity sightings, etc. get an annual thread that gets closed each year to new posts? I haven't seen too much moderator action on the Manufactured Spending forum, so perhaps the mods are too overwhelmed. If this is the case perhaps additional moderators would be of some value.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 6:38 pm
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As a participant in many of the forums, I have seen rude behavior in many circumstances. I often wonder why people go out of their way to write something snarky or unpleasant when it would take less effort to write nothing.

I tend to agree with FTRox87 and Majuki that we should not allow a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. There are so many welcoming FTers who patiently answer questions, even those often repeated, that to bow to those that don't uphold the spirit of these forums would be unfortunate.

Other forums are much more civil because the mods deal with snark rapidly and professionally. If this was this case for MS, I believe that it would enhance the FT community.
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Old Jul 5, 14, 7:45 pm
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I agree with the suggestion and would like to add if tenure can also be added as a requirement as well (it will help new users to read the content and understand it before they actually create threads).
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Old Jul 5, 14, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by MasterCharge View Post
I agree with the suggestion and would like to add if tenure can also be added as a requirement as well (it will help new users to read the content and understand it before they actually create threads).
You do realize you won't be able to access this forum if the 180 days/180 posts is implemented? You'll basically be locked out of it.

Can you expand what you mean by tenure as it relates to forum access or ability to post? If it's going to be part of a proposal for the Talk Board to consider it needs to be spelled out.
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