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Close the Information desk forum

Close the Information desk forum

 
Old Dec 1, 14, 5:39 pm
  #1  
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Close the Information desk forum

Forget the Premium deals forum. Info desk has been around for a year now it seems to have worn out its usefulness. Its become a spam trap and a place for those too lazy to even attempt to find the correct forum for their questions. Many of the posters aren't even considered "newbies" anymore and have enough posts in various areas showing they know how to find the correct forum

It seems like a drain on the moderators as well as most of the posts are either locked or relocated to the correct forum. I know we want to welcome our new members but it doesn't seem to serve a real purpose anymore.

I suggest shutting it down or turning it into a place to house cross program wiki's only

Last edited by CDKing; Dec 1, 14 at 5:50 pm
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Old Dec 1, 14, 7:11 pm
  #2  

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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Forget the Premium deals forum. Info desk has been around for a year now it seems to have worn out its usefulness. Its become a spam trap and a place for those too lazy to even attempt to find the correct forum for their questions. Many of the posters aren't even considered "newbies" anymore and have enough posts in various areas showing they know how to find the correct forum

It seems like a drain on the moderators as well as most of the posts are either locked or relocated to the correct forum. I know we want to welcome our new members but it doesn't seem to serve a real purpose anymore.

I suggest shutting it down or turning it into a place to house cross program wiki's only
It would also definitely reduce some of the cross-posting that seems to be more prevalent as well...
I agree that we need to stop the posting of specific questions that belong in other forums, but I feel there should still be a way to help people who are beginning to get into travel and points and what the options can be
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Old Dec 1, 14, 7:26 pm
  #3  
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Don't look at me as I voted no when serving on TalkBoard and I agree with the reasons stated above-and especially threads which (by title reference) should have been posted in the proper airline or hotel forum in the first place [and ask the Information Desk forum moderators is they're sick of me yet for reporting such threads ]
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Old Dec 1, 14, 7:33 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by goalie View Post
Don't look at me as I voted no when serving on TalkBoard and I agree with the reasons stated above-and especially threads which (by title reference) should have been posted in the proper airline or hotel forum in the first place [and ask the Information Desk forum moderators is they're sick of me yet for reporting such threads ]
Not sick of you yet. And if we're not sick of you by now, I don't think we'll ever be. You'll have to work harder to get on our bad side.

Info Desk has a long way to go. I was hopeful that more people would step up to the plate and volunteer to help build resources such as how-to wikis and other things. I don't know if the glacially-slow forward movement on that is because people don't want to volunteer their time, don't know that they can help, don't know how they can help, or simply don't even know the forum exists, but I am eternally optimistic that, over time, it will coalesce into a very deep and helpful resource.

For now, though, I think we do a good job of pointing people in the right direction, at least, on where to get their queries best answered. And that was the intent of the forum in the beginning.

Moderation-wise, the IB folks have told me that some new tools that will GREATLY help with moderation in the forum should be coming online soon.

Also, we still do plan to build out some better "How to use FlyerTalk"-type tools. Canarsie has put together some sample videos on how to use various features of FlyerTalk and maximize your experience with the community and the forum software, and we look forward to working with him and others to roll some things like that out in the future.

If Info Desk is closed, where will resources like that go?
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Old Dec 1, 14, 7:52 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Forget the Premium deals forum. Info desk has been around for a year now it seems to have worn out its usefulness. Its become a spam trap and a place for those too lazy to even attempt to find the correct forum for their questions. Many of the posters aren't even considered "newbies" anymore and have enough posts in various areas showing they know how to find the correct forum

It seems like a drain on the moderators as well as most of the posts are either locked or relocated to the correct forum. I know we want to welcome our new members but it doesn't seem to serve a real purpose anymore.

I suggest shutting it down or turning it into a place to house cross program wiki's only
Part of my concern with creating this forum was that it would serve to divert threads away from their proper forum and that seems to be happening to a certain extent despite all the best efforts. Maybe a review of it's traffic is warranted.
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Old Dec 1, 14, 8:30 pm
  #6  
 
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Information Desk serves no purpose now but to encourage laziness, and to create work for moderators to move threads to their proper homes.
Every "newbie" (a term that should be banned) simply posts any question they have in the information desk.
The term "Information Desk" is a misnomer. EVERY forum is a source of information on Flyertalk.
The posts that are in Information Desk can be categorized as follows:
(1) Requests for finding a cheap fare to XXX
(2) Requests for finding mileage redemptions to XXX
(3) Questions about flying airline ABC
(4) Questions about destination FGH or airport IJK
(5) People posting about their businesses
(6) I am "new" and want to learn how to "travel hack"
(7) What mileage program should I join.
(8) Complaints about airline ABC or website XYZ
(9) Requests for basic information that can be found on Google or are the subject of very detailed threads on Flyertalk

Number 5 is generally prohibited.
Numbers 3, 4, and 8 already have homes on Flyertalk.
Create separate threads/forums for 1,2, 6, and 7. Perhaps an "I am new and have questions about Miles and Points" and a "Help me book a trip".
This will make it clear what does and doesn't belong in Information Desk.

Note, most of the posters for Info Desk post once and never return again.

Create a new welcome message that says to new members:
"HAVE A QUESTION OR COMPLAINT ABOUT FLYING A SPECIFIC AIRLINE? GO TO THAT AIRLINE'S FORUM"
"HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT A DESTINATION, HOTELS THERE, OR ITS AIRPORTS, GO TO THAT DESTINATION'S FORUM"
"BEFORE POSTING A THREAD, USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION TO SEE WHAT FLYERTALKERS HAVE ALREADY SAID"

The moderators cannot keep up with the prohibited/wrong place posts.
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Old Dec 1, 14, 8:32 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post

If Info Desk is closed, where will resources like that go?
I'm not sure what resources you are talking about. Wikis about connecting at Heathrow? They already are elsewhere. Tips on manufactured spending? The same.

If there's a specific resource that's needed, create a forum called "Resources for people brand new to Flyertalk" -- which is about resources and navigating flyertalk, not an "information desk".
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Old Dec 1, 14, 9:30 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
If there's a specific resource that's needed, create a forum called "Resources for people brand new to Flyertalk" -- which is about resources and navigating flyertalk, not an "information desk".
That is precisely one of the key charters of the Information Desk forum: to serve as an information desk for navigating FlyerTalk.

In fact, the very name "Information Desk" was created to conjure up images of the airport information desk you'll often encounter staffed by volunteers--they may not know the answers to all of the questions about checked baggage or TSA policies or local transport or whatever, but they can point you in the direction of the folks you should talk to to get your answer (the airline check-in desk, the baggage services office, the taxi stand manager, etc.).

So you're proposing to scrap the Information Desk and then create an Information Desk. That doesn't make sense...

That said, one thing we need to talk about is the "Cross-Program Discussion" aspect of the Information Desk. Although I have long argued that such discussion has not had a home on FlyerTalk (making it difficult to compare multiple airlines/programs, since you have to choose one airline forum to post the question in, which of course leads to, at best, uninformed or biased responses) and so I wouldn't necessarily want to see that go away, that part of the Information Desk seems to be the cause of some of the "noise" therein. In any case, we need to have a dialogue about that kind of subject matter on FlyerTalk (and no, it does not belong in the "TravelBuzz" or "MilesBuzz" forums). We've tried to create a space to host this kind of dialogue in the meta-Info-Desk thread in the Info Desk forum, but no one seems to want to engage in a dialogue there.,,

Last edited by jackal; Dec 1, 14 at 9:35 pm
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Old Dec 2, 14, 5:45 am
  #9  
 
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Close the Information desk forum

If the Information desk as existing isnt working, then it does make complete sense to scrap it and start a new one with a better name.

The fact you had a good reason for picking the name in the first place isn't a reason to stick with it for eternity when it is proving to be a mess.

That's great if you want to have a forum for helping people navigate Flyertalk. That's not what Information Desk has become.

As for the meta-info desk thread, the majority of Info Desk posters post one question that belongs elsewhere or on google, and never return, so of course there's no dialogue. Add in the fact that concrete suggestions like adding a sticky that explains what does and does not belong there have been ignored for months, and you're surprised there's no dialogue?
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Old Dec 2, 14, 6:45 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by steveman518 View Post
I agree that we need to stop the posting of specific questions that belong in other forums, but I feel there should still be a way to help people who are beginning to get into travel and points and what the options can be
Agree.

Originally Posted by jackal View Post

Info Desk has a long way to go. I was hopeful that more people would step up to the plate and volunteer to help build resources such as how-to wikis and other things. I don't know if the glacially-slow forward movement on that is because people don't want to volunteer their time, don't know that they can help, don't know how they can help, or simply don't even know the forum exists, but I am eternally optimistic that, over time, it will coalesce into a very deep and helpful resource.

For now, though, I think we do a good job of pointing people in the right direction, at least, on where to get their queries best answered. And that was the intent of the forum in the beginning.

Moderation-wise, the IB folks have told me that some new tools that will GREATLY help with moderation in the forum should be coming online soon.

Also, we still do plan to build out some better "How to use FlyerTalk"-type tools. Canarsie has put together some sample videos on how to use various features of FlyerTalk and maximize your experience with the community and the forum software, and we look forward to working with him and others to roll some things like that out in the future.

If Info Desk is closed, where will resources like that go?
Agree with the above, which is why I think ID should stay open.

Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
The moderators cannot keep up with the prohibited/wrong place posts.
Are the moderators themselves actively complaining about this? Given your interest in the forum, have you considered applying to be a mod?

Originally Posted by jackal View Post
That is precisely one of the key charters of the Information Desk forum: to serve as an information desk for navigating FlyerTalk.

In fact, the very name "Information Desk" was created to conjure up images of the airport information desk you'll often encounter staffed by volunteers--they may not know the answers to all of the questions about checked baggage or TSA policies or local transport or whatever, but they can point you in the direction of the folks you should talk to to get your answer (the airline check-in desk, the baggage services office, the taxi stand manager, etc.).

So you're proposing to scrap the Information Desk and then create an Information Desk. That doesn't make sense...

That said, one thing we need to talk about is the "Cross-Program Discussion" aspect of the Information Desk. Although I have long argued that such discussion has not had a home on FlyerTalk (making it difficult to compare multiple airlines/programs, since you have to choose one airline forum to post the question in, which of course leads to, at best, uninformed or biased responses) and so I wouldn't necessarily want to see that go away, that part of the Information Desk seems to be the cause of some of the "noise" therein. In any case, we need to have a dialogue about that kind of subject matter on FlyerTalk (and no, it does not belong in the "TravelBuzz" or "MilesBuzz" forums). We've tried to create a space to host this kind of dialogue in the meta-Info-Desk thread in the Info Desk forum, but no one seems to want to engage in a dialogue there.,,
Agree.

Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
If the Information desk as existing isnt working, then it does make complete sense to scrap it and start a new one with a better name.
I'm a bit perplexed. It sounds like there might need to be some tweaking, but I'm not seeing a need for closing it. Others seem to feel that it has value.

Since you are concerned about ID, what did the mods say when you first contacted them with your concerns & suggestions on how to improve the forum?

Cheers.
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Old Dec 2, 14, 7:55 am
  #11  
 
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Crunch time for some new TBers?

Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
...what did the mods say when you first contacted them with your concerns & suggestions on how to improve the forum?
There is an existing discussion thread over ID Forum. For those TBers who want to catch up, you may want to give it a read and see what had been touched on in the last 12 months ever since ID Forum was up and running:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...ove-forum.html

For those who are not familiar with how we landed on an ID Forum, these two historical threads may be some good read:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/talkb...e-q-forum.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/talkb...esk-forum.html
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Old Dec 2, 14, 8:43 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by lin821 View Post
There is an existing discussion thread over ID Forum. For those TBers who want to catch up, you may want to give it a read and see what had been touched on in the last 12 months ever since ID Forum was up and running:
I agree with your paragraph 3 in this post (ie, the paragraph after the link you provide), and not necessarily adverse to what you mention in the para before the link (but as you note, would be good to have mod input as well).

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/23906904-post46.html

Cheers.
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Old Dec 2, 14, 10:02 am
  #13  
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I like the Info Desk forum, I agree it's still not perfect, but it's at least become a clearing house for the threads that used to clutter up Miles Buzz! and made that forum easier to navigate. It's also a good way for new members to get their feet wet in Flyertalk. I think the Mods are doing a great job transferring threads and pointing people in the right direction as need be.
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Old Dec 2, 14, 12:02 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
I like the Info Desk forum, I agree it's still not perfect, but it's at least become a clearing house for the threads that used to clutter up Miles Buzz! and made that forum easier to navigate. It's also a good way for new members to get their feet wet in Flyertalk. I think the Mods are doing a great job transferring threads and pointing people in the right direction as need be.
Like a dumping ground, declutter one forum by cluttering another. Things also get move there that should have been locked in the first place in their initial forums. I'm not saying the mods are doing bad job, I just think they are too busy with life and the other forums they work to put a lot of time and effort to keep it clean.
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Old Dec 2, 14, 12:46 pm
  #15  
 
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Close the Information desk forum

My previous comments in the Info Desk forum have gone unanswered or responded with the similar approach taken here: but we need somewhere for new people to post questions therefore we cannot change the system we have now.

That is a non sequitur.

I have proposed several specific changes.

1) The title "Information Desk" is a huge huge problem. it suggests "this is the place to come for information," not "this is the place to come for information about how to use Flyertalk. "
Be explicit in titling the forum as to what its for. "Questions About Using Flyertalk" There are two completely different purposes of the forum it seems: (1) "helping" new people and (2) crossprogram discussion. They should be in separate, appropriately titled fora.
2) add some bold lettered stickies. How about one titled "Where do I post my question about....?" and explain that there are airline and destination forums.
3) Create a separate forum or subforum for cheap fare requests or "help me use miles to get to X"


The mods may not be complaining about the volume, but improper threads sit for days.
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