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Travel News Forum: close, re-purpose or merge with TravelBuzz?

Travel News Forum: close, re-purpose or merge with TravelBuzz?

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Old Feb 15, 16, 2:33 am   -   Wikipost
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Should the Travel News forum remain open as its own standalone forum?

Here is the Travel News forum. Should it remain open; or should it be closed? Please post objective reasons for either position below.

Keep the Travel News Forum Open

It provides a place where only news linked to other sources can be posted.

Travel News serves a different function than other forums. It is for news articles that can be quickly perused & not buried in other forums. TravelBuzz, for example, has topics such as 'should the spouse get the upgrade' & discussions re: that. Travel News has links to articles of interest that may or may not get commentary, but does get a lot of views so obviously of interest to FTers. Just as some will read articles in the NYTimes, Wall Street Journal, USAToday because the articles are of interest but not comment. That doesn't mean the articles have no value. They're easier to find in Travel News.

Close/Merge the Travel News Forum

It is redundant; and discussions posted in it are best served when residing in other forums on FlyerTalk — such as TravelBuzz, for example.

It is obsolete due to improved technology which has emerged over the years, allowing news pertaining to travel to be easily obtained elsewhere.

It is not at all clear what types of posts belong in it.

Travel News made a lot more sense before FT had a forum for any and every thing travel related. But now FT does and Travel News is out of step with how FlyerTalk is currently organized.
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Old May 12, 15, 5:38 pm
  #1  
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Travel News Forum: close, re-purpose or merge with TravelBuzz?

Back by unpopular demand: a fresh proposal to close the Travel News forum.

It serves no purpose, all of the threads either get moved elsewhere more appropriate or should be. All of this has been true for a very long time.

Last time I tried to close this forum it was spared to 'see if things have changed.'

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/talkb...l#post21461973

They have not: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-news-178/


It's a no-brainer. If TB can't close this forum we can't close any.

Last edited by kokonutz; May 26, 15 at 2:34 pm
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Old May 12, 15, 5:53 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
...all of the threads either get moved elsewhere more appropriate or should be
A little hyperbole, no?

About half of the threads are open because they indeed fit the criteria of a "published general travel news story."

The others get moved to the appropriate destination or airline forums, or closed because the subject is already being discussed in those forums.

Travel News is very precisely defined and is a niche for those stories of interest that don't fit anywhere else.

Not sure closing a very active forum where half of the threads are open is justified.

But, as always, there is more to this proposal than it appears.

If the CD wants to concur with a TB recommendation to close, that's fine by me. Some other forums might want to be ready for a deluge and those forum moderators will also find they are closing threads that are already being discussed elsewhere or moving to appropriate forums. Which is what happens rather often in the extremely-well moderated Travel Buzz forum. Would you wish to close that too?

Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Last time I tried to close this forum it was spared to 'see if things have changed.
The last time the discussion helpfully led to changes in the structure of Travel News that you and others were demanding. That's the sort of help that is appreciated indeed.
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Old May 12, 15, 6:10 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
It's a no-brainer. If TB can't close this forum we can't close any.
If it was such a no-brainer why wasn't it identified in the annual forum traffic review that was supposedly done? Isn't that be the better vehicle to identify under performing forums rather than making suggestions on an ad-hoc basis?
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Old May 12, 15, 6:10 pm
  #4  
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Half have been moved. The other half should be. Everything that was true about TN being redundant to other forums is as true today as it was last time this was proposed.

And the tweaks to moderation policy have not restored TN to its glory days of being a travel story RSS-style consolidator. Mostly because Doc more or less single handedly made that happen and he's not doing that anymore.

I certainly appreciate the massive amount of moderation work you have put into this forum. But that level of moderation proves the point: posters should be posting news articles in the appropriate forum rather than having you do that for them.

And I assure you, there is absolutely no hidden agenda here. I can't even imagine what hidden agenda there could be. So I am curious to know what more than a sincere desire to eliminate redundancy and make the FT experience more efficient for posters and readers you mean when you say 'there is more to this proposal than it appears.'
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Old May 12, 15, 6:14 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
If it was such a no-brainer why wasn't it identified in the annual forum traffic review that was supposedly done? Isn't that be the better vehicle to identify under performing forums rather than making suggestions on an ad-hoc basis?
I can't reveal what other TB members have posted in the private forum, but I can say that I for one have analyzed and talked about problem forums there. And imho this is one of them. Please consider this proposal to be my reaction to the annual review of forums.

Last edited by kokonutz; May 12, 15 at 7:02 pm
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Old May 12, 15, 8:28 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
If it was such a no-brainer why wasn't it identified in the annual forum traffic review that was supposedly done? Isn't that be the better vehicle to identify under performing forums rather than making suggestions on an ad-hoc basis?
That would require that to have actually occurred this year.
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Old May 12, 15, 9:33 pm
  #7  
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For those with a short memory, a marginal scholar and occasional gentleman once brilliantly started a post regarding this.
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Old May 13, 15, 9:31 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
That would require that to have actually occurred this year.
Some useful data might exist:

Originally Posted by nsx View Post
The 2014 forum activity statistics can be found in a Google docs spreadsheet at

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

Please post here if this link does not work. Enjoy!
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Old May 13, 15, 9:44 am
  #9  
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Discussion of this particular forum aside, there are very good reasons not to evaluate the existence/continuance of forums based only on post metrics.

1. FT is primarily a library of information. Any library needs a good cataloguing scheme. Some areas will have few "books" but need to exist nonetheless for the sake of orderliness. (Analogy -- which are always tricky -- suppose a library has few books on, say, the raising of ferrets. It makes no sense to simply say, "Well, our library won't have that category anymore and we'll just put any such books in some random place.") Which leads to #2:

2. If I were a first-timer to FT, having heard that it is a great resource for Travel Information and wanted to look for information about, say, the Atlanta airport, it would never occur to me to look in an airline forum for that information. If FT is going to advertise having four very broad classifications of information, then the information needs to be filed appropriately. This may mean that some forums that are little trafficked are available nonetheles for those who are looking for information or asking questions. (Where would questions about Antarctica go if there weren't a forum for it?)

3. Some forums simply are an asset to FT and a point of pride, whatever their traffic metrics, and FT's making them available is a good thing. Having a respectful, non-misogynistic Women's Travel forum (even if it's post count were to drop significantly) is something FT ought to maintain because it's the right thing to do and adds luster to the brand.

Forum traffic metrics are an index of forum use, but forum use cannot and should not be the only criterion for whether a forum exists.
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Old May 13, 15, 10:18 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Forum traffic metrics are an index of forum use, but forum use cannot and should not be the only criterion for whether a forum exists.
It is curious OP is focusing on this forum rather than others including one that is generating no traffic whatsoever. There are other forums that deserve his and TB's collective attention long before TN.
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Old May 13, 15, 12:52 pm
  #11  
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if the forum is closed, does that mean a bunch of categories of threads will not be permitted?
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Old May 13, 15, 12:57 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
It is curious OP is focusing on this forum rather than others including one that is generating no traffic whatsoever. There are other forums that deserve his and TB's collective attention long before TN.
Allow me to satisfy your curiosity...
Originally Posted by cblaisd
Forum traffic metrics are an index of forum use, but forum use cannot and should not be the only criterion for whether a forum exists.
I agree with cblaisd in that traffic metrics are not the only criterion for whether a forum should exist. In evaluating the forums I personally focused on identifying redundancies rather than traffic.

And this forum is at the top of the redundancy list.
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Old May 13, 15, 1:34 pm
  #13  
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I actually like the Travel News forum, there are some threads that don't fit anywhere else but are news, like this one I posted:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ey-column.html

It's also good for the occasional discussion of military aviation news. Without this forum, these threads will end up somewhere else, probably Travel Buzz!, which is saturated enough as it is. As of now, I am against closing this forum.
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Old May 13, 15, 2:36 pm
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I'd be against closing the forum for the reasons outlined by CMK10 & cblaisd.

Cheers.
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Old May 13, 15, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
I actually like the Travel News forum, there are some threads that don't fit anywhere else but are news....
It's also good for the occasional discussion of military aviation news. Without this forum, these threads will end up somewhere else, probably Travel Buzz!, which is saturated enough as it is. As of now, I am against closing this forum.
Thank you. Well-said.

Along with military aviation, Travel News has turned out to be a good home for stories about specific airframes/aircraft that are not airline-specific in their import.

I just ran some quick numbers:

A little over 40% of of the last 46 threads were either closed because the topic was already being discussed in a more appropriate forum (thus keeping FT from having that ever-so-frustrating phenomenon of the same topic being discussed in multiple places -- very unfriendly to those seeking information) or moved to a more appropriate forum.

Put another way 3/5 of all the threads were on-topic for the forum and would have fit no where else as readily.

As for the putative "redundancy" criterion, if threads with topics already being discussed in the most appropriate forums were in fact left open in Travel News, then you would have actual redundancy.

But keeping a close eye on the forum on most days means that FT'ers won't in fact be subjected to the confusion of redundant open threads on a topic.
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