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What is the Strategic Plan for FlyerTalk? What is the vision? Do we need one?

What is the Strategic Plan for FlyerTalk? What is the vision? Do we need one?

 

Old Jun 26, 15, 6:51 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
im not sure if initially focusing on forum opening/closing procedures would be most effective
That's pretty much all TB has authority over. For better or for worse. But maybe if the TB does this the moderator corps will be inspired.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
However, realistically both "Ensuring that information....." and "Adequate forum activity....." will be on the list. What then? How should TB weight these two objectives when there are tradeoffs?
Whether both of those should be included would make for an interesting conversation. Maybe.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I really don't see a pressing need to revisit forum opening/closing procedures and standards. This was done before my time on TB, but the current statement asking for data seems to have been well thought out and still to be working. Since different people have different views here, it seems normal to have people disagreeing from both ends.
I disagree. The current TB motion recommending a set of issues to address is not worth the bits and bytes it consumes. As tcook052 often points out, what's to stop someone on TB from ignoring it like you ignore the criteria questions?
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Old Jun 28, 15, 6:13 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I really don't see a pressing need to revisit forum opening/closing procedures and standards. This was done before my time on TB, but the current statement asking for data seems to have been well thought out and still to be working.
Is it being used, though? I don't think it is working.

I wish the Talk Board would sort out when the forum questionnaire that was created by a prior Talk Board is appropriate, as it's not clear to me at all now after some recent threads.

When a Talk Board member wanted to close the Travel News forum, it wasn't mentioned until three weeks after the thread was started. If it's important, why didn't a Talk Board member bring it up the first couple days?

When a Talk Board member wants to close Gambling Loyalty, the questionnaire is not even mentioned in the thread.

When a member proposes a Smoking forum, I raised the topic about the forum creation questionnaire and no Talk Board members responded. It is now up for a vote without a questionnaire.

Maybe it's time for the current Talk Board to vote out the questionnaire created by a prior Talk Board if you're not going to regularly use it for proposals to open and close forums.
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Old Jun 28, 15, 6:52 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
That's pretty much all TB has authority
seeing half empty / limitations is the problem IMHO
in other words - what might TB be allowed to do
SanDiego1K specifically raised this in context of TB >

Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
How should we evolve to better fill that need?
How do we remain vibrant in this rapidly changing Internet world?
What new technologies or structures in the board should we be asking Internet Brands to add in order to keep members coming back to us?
How do we turn a newcomer who finds us thru Google search into a contributing member?
Is it important to retain a sense of community?
If so, how do we best do that with such a large community?

Is there anything we can do systemically to help foster that?
Is it important to keep FlyerTalk in the press?
Should TB develop a database of those willing to field press queries and their field of expertise?
What about bloggers?
Should we ask IB to expand their platform to host blogs?
If so, what content is sought?
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Old Jun 29, 15, 1:40 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Canarsie View Post
I would think that Internet Brands would have a positioning statement, mission and vision for FlyerTalk.

That may be a good place to start...
I wondered about that, too. I never thought that it was the purpose of TB to develop a mission statement or "strategic plan". I would think that's for someone who actually owns the business to do. My perspective relates to content, not to the actual business model.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 8:12 am
  #35  
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Has FT membership growth rates slowed down as of some recent periods of time?

We seem to be at around 600,000 members now. I'm just curious what has happened to membership growth rates within the past five years or so.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 8:54 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Has FT membership growth rates slowed down as of some recent periods of time?

We seem to be at around 600,000 members now. I'm just curious what has happened to membership growth rates within the past five years or so.
That might be proprietary information. I've never seen numbers other than the current data on the FT homepage etc., although if someone outside of IB has been recording the numbers, then we could have our answer.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 10:19 am
  #37  
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
Is it being used, though? I don't think it is working.

I wish the Talk Board would sort out when the forum questionnaire that was created by a prior Talk Board is appropriate, as it's not clear to me at all now after some recent threads.

When a Talk Board member wanted to close the Travel News forum, it wasn't mentioned until three weeks after the thread was started. If it's important, why didn't a Talk Board member bring it up the first couple days?

When a Talk Board member wants to close Gambling Loyalty, the questionnaire is not even mentioned in the thread.

When a member proposes a Smoking forum, I raised the topic about the forum creation questionnaire and no Talk Board members responded. It is now up for a vote without a questionnaire.

Maybe it's time for the current Talk Board to vote out the questionnaire created by a prior Talk Board if you're not going to regularly use it for proposals to open and close forums.
Listen to this wise man, above.

When I consider all the tsuris that I encountered when trying to get some momentum on a LAN forum, an airline that was already the dominant airline in South America, and that already had a lot of posts and traction, it was an exercise in futility for ages. The "go prove your point" responses were off-putting. The need for the forum was obvious. The percentage of posts in the Other N/S AM forum was such that many didn't even put LAN in the title, because is was an assumption. But no, it was "go write your dissertation before we'll listen."

Now, here we have a discrete topic that is probably not going to get a lot of traction, but it is specific and not well-handled elsewhere on FT. A couple of weeks of banter, and voila, it is up for consideration. There's nothing wrong with that, but some consistency would be nice. Further, the rationale for keeping some fora is about as convoluted ... Some of the fora are like political cronies that you can never get rid of.

But then, I'm just a silly FT user (since 1999) who has never aspired to the TB or to be a moderator. But I am your customer. Your long-term customer. Listen to your customers.

Last edited by JDiver; Jun 30, 15 at 2:01 pm Reason: Redacted OMNI/PR content; please, not here.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 10:47 am
  #38  
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
Maybe it's time for the current Talk Board to vote out the questionnaire created by a prior Talk Board if you're not going to regularly use it for proposals to open and close forums.
The questionnaire is used selectively or not at all by some TB members because it was intended for members to use in discussing forum creation or closure and isn't mandatory either but rather is useful and encouraged.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 11:35 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
The questionnaire is used selectively or not at all by some TB members because it was intended for members to use in discussing forum creation or closure and isn't mandatory either but rather is useful and encouraged.
Indeed the questionnaire is guidance rather than being in the TB rules. Perhaps that is what TB should be doing, rather than Friendly Amendment procedures?
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Old Jul 1, 15, 10:46 am
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Some of the fora are like political cronies that you can never get rid of.

But then, I'm just a silly FT user (since 1999) who has never aspired to the TB or to be a moderator. But I am your customer. Your long-term customer. Listen to your customers.
I'll be blunt: metrics seem to matter or not in determining the fate of less-used forums depending on whether someone (especially the right someone) happens to like that less-used forum or not. A small but vocal group of 5 or 6 posters can typically keep one open. Fewer if it includes, say, a moderator or TB member.

That's why they are often ignored or downplayed.

What I have suggested is to stop (pretending to) worry about metrics and focus instead on letting achieving a vision of what FT ought to look like guide decisions even if that means accepting that there will be some little-used forums.
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Old Jul 1, 15, 10:50 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
A small but vocal group of 5 or 6 posters can typically keep one open.
Or have one created as happened with EM&PR, for example, so it goes both ways.
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Old Jul 1, 15, 10:57 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
Or have one created as happened with EM&PR, for example, so it goes both ways.
Yes, or have one created. Which is what I am mostly talkin about anyway, since it is virtually impossible to have one closed.
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Old Jul 1, 15, 12:40 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Yes, or have one created. Which is what I am mostly talkin about anyway, since it is virtually impossible to have one closed.
So I've noticed recently. Having a master plan, strategic vision, mission statement or whatever term one prefers to use may not be such a bad idea as it would offer continuity over the long run with changes to TB members as they come and go. It also might help TB step back and take a look at the bigger picture about how many forums there are, how they're organized or disorganized, and how they're created or closed instead of dealing with what's in front of them on an ad hoc basis.

aBroadAbroad, for example, had some good points in this post on more forum alignment. I've also felt like other forums could be moved to better locations such as Luxury Hotels and Hotel Deals going into the Hotels and Loyalty Programs section.

BTW I wouldn't have expected you to want to cede some control to a master plan as it wouldn't allow for flexibility in some cases as no one set of rules will apply to every situation. Would you be okay with not seeing a forum you lobby for be denied because it didn't fit the master plan? Or would you find it too rigid and inflexible? I personally wouldn't mind seeing a longer range outlook taken by TB but getting a consensus on such a plan I wouldn't think possible. Just MHO of course.
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Old Jul 2, 15, 3:54 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
That might be proprietary information. I've never seen numbers other than the current data on the FT homepage etc., although if someone outside of IB has been recording the numbers, then we could have our answer.
archive.org
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Old Jul 7, 15, 11:17 pm
  #45  
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My own take on FT after 12 (!) years is...

--My God, the site looks exactly the same as in 2003. Any other commercial website would be pounded mercilessly for such fossilization, and indeed in our own forums, airline sites are routinely savaged for not keeping up with the features, needs and look-and-feel of 21st century internet sites. But FT? Whenever I bring this up, routinely I hear "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I fear that 10 years from now we'll have the same 600,000 users...with a median age 10 years older.

--I like the concept of a vision/mission/purpose and have been involved in such statements for several big hospitality companies. But FT isn't owned by us; it's owned by Internet Brands. Even if we were to develop a comprehensive statement of purpose, we don't really have enforcement capability.

--The lack of resources, standards and enforcement around "Goldilocks" moderation (not too light, not too heavy, consistent, friendly and service-oriented even when having to edit or delete posts) is a bigger issue for FT, IMO, than the lack of a unified mission/vision/purpose.

--Related to my first point: The lack of advancement in search capability is only going to bog down the useability of our site (essentially, a giant knowledge management database) as we move forward.

Overall technology/backbone, look and feel, moderation. I'd focus on those issues before focusing on a mission/vision/purpose statement.
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