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Should FlyerTalk move from an elected advisory board to an appointed advisory board?

Should FlyerTalk move from an elected advisory board to an appointed advisory board?

 
Old Jun 13, 16, 2:01 pm
  #1  
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Should FlyerTalk move from an elected advisory board to an appointed advisory board?

When FlyerTalk was created every decision about it was taken by Randy Petersen and Randy alone. Then around the turn of the century he appointed a few folks to an advisory board; the first TalkBoard.

Then for a while it was a hybrid of elected and appointed members.

Eventually it evolved to be all elected members. And so it is today.

But I'm wondering if that's still best practice for what FlyerTalk has grown into.

When I started on FlyerTalk in 1998, I knew every single member. That was still sort of the case when TalkBoard was created. So when I voted for a TB member I knew WHO I was voting for.

But today FlyerTalk is more akin to TripAdvisor. There are thousands of very active posters, and hundreds of thousands more users.

And yet at the same time voter turnout for TB elections is in steep decline.

I think part of that is that FlyerTalk is what it is going to be. Bits get added and (VERY rarely) removed, but for the most part it is what it is. The big decisions have all been made.

So now we expend a lot of time and energy on the election of TB members and they bicker about minutia. To be fair, the TB has always bickered, and often about minutia (and I may have been the king of it myself!), but for its first 10 or so years of existence the TB was also pretty busy. But to me it appears that we have gotten to the point where ALL the TB does is bicker about minutia.

In both the corporate and nonprofit world, best practice is to have boards or advisory groups that are populated with individuals with the various skill sets that meet the organization's situation and needs, not populated with self-selected individuals. Whether by means of a nominating committee or direct appointment, organizations benefit from having management advice coming from an intentionally selected group of people that represent various constituencies and bring different specifically desired skill sets to the group.

Thinking back on my terms on the TB, I realize that it's far too easy to get caught up in the 'politics' instead of focusing on what's best for FlyerTalk and its posters. And at this point in its evolution, FlyerTalk deserves a professional approach to management, rather than a popularity contest (in which few users even bother to vote).

I think it's time for FlyerTalk to examine this question. Create a nominating process. Or let Carol appoint an advisory group based on her needs and the skill sets she'd like to see brought to an advisory group. Or some hybrid. I've spoken with a few TB alum, and many agree.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
I think it's time for FlyerTalk to examine this question.
I don't. It's the Community Director's decision what to do with this forum, or with divisive Talk Board members, not the members of FlyerTalk. She surely could not have missed the attacks on one Talk Board member during the last election cycle (I pretty much stopped posting here after that episode), and I'm sure she's following what's currently going on among Talk Board members in the public forum (let alone what may be happening on the private Talk Board forum). It's her call. If she needs feedback from members, I'm sure she'll ask for it, or members will offer it to her via PM. I don't see the need to debate what she should do in public.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 6:29 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
I don't. It's the Community Director's decision what to do with this forum, or with divisive Talk Board members, not the members of FlyerTalk. She surely could not have missed the attacks on one Talk Board member during the last election cycle (I pretty much stopped posting here after that episode), and I'm sure she's following what's currently going on among Talk Board members in the public forum (let alone what may be happening on the private Talk Board forum). It's her call. If she needs feedback from members, I'm sure she'll ask for it, or members will offer it to her via PM. I don't see the need to debate what she should do in public.
Yes & no. While it's ultimately the CD's decision she always is looking for input from FTers & reads both public & private TB forums, in addition to being open to receiving input via PM. Being the CD she can choose to keep TB in its current format w/ elections or switch to an appointed advisory board.

I'm starting to lean more towards the CommunityDirector should choose an advisory board, based on FT's needs & skill sets she'd like to see brought to an advisory board group (whether called TB or something else).

Partly because as FT continues to mature, there are less things to sort through in terms of forums, etc, but an advisory board/TB still is helpful to her in synthesizing suggestions, pros/cons. However, is it worth all the hoops she jumps through to promote TB elections when voting has diminished (given most major issues have been sorted, diminished voting isn't totally unexpected). Partly because she'd presumably pick a group that could bring different viewpoints, perhaps disagree, but still do it in a civil manner vs. bickering.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
I don't. It's the Community Director's decision what to do with this forum, or with divisive Talk Board members, not the members of FlyerTalk. She surely could not have missed the attacks on one Talk Board member during the last election cycle (I pretty much stopped posting here after that episode), and I'm sure she's following what's currently going on among Talk Board members in the public forum (let alone what may be happening on the private Talk Board forum). It's her call. If she needs feedback from members, I'm sure she'll ask for it, or members will offer it to her via PM. I don't see the need to debate what she should do in public.
Another possibility is to add a few seats (2 maybe) and make those appointed positions.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Non-NonRev View Post
Another possibility is to add a few seats (2 maybe) and make those appointed positions.
That's what I mean by a hybrid system. Another hybrid option would be to keep the TB at 9 but reduce the number of members elected by the number appointed.

Originally Posted by tom911
It's her call. If she needs feedback from members, I'm sure she'll ask for it, or members will offer it to her via PM. I don't see the need to debate what she should do in public.
Of course it's her call.

But this forum exists specifically for the purpose of discussion of issues like this: suggestions and discussion about how FT should be structured. And this seems like a far more constructive topic than the one I linked in the OP where the TB members are arguing about the TB.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 8:46 pm
  #6  
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TalkBoard benefits greatly from annual injection of new blood: New members with new ideas and a lot of energy. Any alternate selection system would need to include annual turnover. I don't have anything against the Community Director selecting members from a list of volunteers. Neither do I have anything against the current system. I do not think that moderators should control the selection in any way.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 11:15 pm
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does this take into account >
- TB has been around a while, theyve added a lot of forums, closed some forums, for example how many more new forums can there be, as time continues to go on ? but does this mean TB should be ended immediately ? (personally, i would say 'why' end it)
- why would CD/IB bother with appointed ? what would be the point ?
- if argument is that appointed will never argue, again what is the point ?

CD tried to raise topics/ideas of things TB might consider looking at
IMHO, that was a good idea, considering 'new' things TB might look at
after CD established what things she was not going to have TB doing
some 'new' areas might be dependent on IB, so could get their input

Last edited by JDiver; Jun 14, 16 at 7:56 am
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Old Jun 14, 16, 6:54 am
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On the surface, this seems like an excellent idea. At the very least, I would go with an appointed board with, perhaps, 2 elected positions. And I believe everything should happen transparently and in real time. Enough with the "private" board.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 8:00 am
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A friendly reminder: The discussion of Moderators, suppositions about their appointments and service, etc. is beyond the purview of this forum and outside the scope of this thread.

Thank you,

/JDiver, Moderator
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:09 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
A friendly reminder: The discussion of Moderators, suppositions about their appointments and service, etc. is beyond the purview of this forum and outside the scope of this thread.

Thank you,

/JDiver, Moderator
If there is discussion about moving all volunteer positions on FlyerTalk to appointments, I think reminding people that moderators are appointed falls in the scope of this thread.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:15 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
If there is discussion about moving all volunteer positions on FlyerTalk to appointments, I think reminding people that moderators are appointed falls in the scope of this thread.
The discussion in this thread is about whether TB members should be a) appointed by the CD or b) elected by FTers or c) a hybrid system, & has nothing to do w/ moderators.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
The discussion in this thread is about whether TB members should be a) appointed by the CD or b) elected by FTers or c) a hybrid system, & has nothing to do w/ moderators.

Cheers.
However, if TalkBoard members are appointed by the CD, it does mean all volunteer positions on FT are appointed. As I said in my post that was deleted, at least with TalkBoard being elected, it allows those who want to help FT to at least run for election as a way to help FT.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:24 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
at least with TalkBoard being elected, it allows those who want to help FT to at least run for election as a way to help FT.
Originally Posted by nsx View Post
I don't have anything against the Community Director selecting members from a list of volunteers. Neither do I have anything against the current system. I do not think that moderators should control the selection in any way.
The reason I said that is that the CD already gets plenty of input from moderators. There is, as far as I know, no call for volunteers to be moderators. IMHO there should be a call for volunteers for TalkBoard regardless of whether the next step is selection or election. I believe that answers your concern.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
The reason I said that is that the CD already gets plenty of input from moderators. There is, as far as I know, no call for volunteers to be moderators. IMHO there should be a call for volunteers for TalkBoard regardless of whether the next step is selection or election. I believe that answers your concern.
Not really, it doesn't, unless there is a set policy for rotating off of TalkBoard, not being a moderator and being on TalkBoard at the same time, etc.
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Old Jun 14, 16, 9:53 am
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Whether elected, appointed or a hybrid I have total faith in the CommunityDirector that she'll choose a course of action that she believes will best benefit FT as a whole. Ultimately it is her decision, whether it be elections, appointed, hybrid, terms of serving, how they're chosen, make up of TB, whether it be non-mods, mods, domestic, int'l, etc. She's done an excellent job as CD to date; I don't expect that to change.

Cheers.
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