Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > TalkBoard Topics
Reload this Page >

Closing the External Miles and Points Resources Forum

Closing the External Miles and Points Resources Forum

 

Old Aug 17, 16, 7:49 pm
  #91  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,035
Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
The EMPR forum is one of the few places where people who have been in the miles and points "game" for a long time still make up a majority of posters. Other forums are mostly filled with people looking for help these days, rarely offering any. Flyertalk should be a place to discuss the good and bad of all aspects of the miles and points community.
Indeed, the same dozen folks all the time.



Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
For example, Alaska admitted that it changed Emirates redemptions largely because of a blogger. Why on earth would that not merit a discussion -- a critical one -- on Flyertalk.
One of the threads I specifically identified above. I believe it is a valuable discussion and absolutely has a place on FT. In the Alaska Airlines MileagePlan forum.

Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
Don't deprive others of something *they* value.
As I've said all along (about many other topics beyond this one), I believe the question should be about value to the community, not to a handful of members. And, yes, there is a difference.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Aug 17, 16, 8:26 pm
  #92  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: DL SM; IHG PlatAmb; Hilton Dia; Marriott/SPG Plat; Radisson Gold; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 4,259
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Really? You never thought to just consider the "why am I seeing this" link and figure it out yourself?? Nothing really new there, though I suppose that's not necessarily a metric to use.

But that's not really what the discussion there is about. The prior topic was all about how much he pays for FB ads and before that questioning if he pays for trips or not. Putting aside that I simply do not care, I'm trying to figure out why those topics are valuable in the context of this community. How does knowing a site's ad budget affect people here reading the content?
Is your standard that discussion that people could figure out themselves are not valuable? Again, that would rule out Info Desk and half of Flyertalk.

You really just seem to be imposing your value judgment on others. At best, you are suggesting that there is some mythical magic number of members that you think must be engaged in a forum -- Not that the number of posters is equal to the number of people who find a forum valuable. I know there are many threads I read and find valuable and don't comment on, for various reasons.But there are many forums and threads on FT that have a narrow appeal. That doesn't mean it doesn't have value.

Your argument seems to meander between a few points;
(1) Posters are derogatory/personal/mean/slanderous - people here have shown why that's not really true
(2) There tend to be a dozen or so very active posters - that applies to a lot of forums
(3) It isn't of value - Lots of people have made cogent arguments disagreeing. But a forum that leads to Thepointsguy, OMAAT, and VFTW making improvements is valuable to the community, not just the people who post. Certainly more than a thread on what you ate today.

What you haven't responded to is the burden --- shouldn't the burden be on the person who is trying to shut down speech something more than "I don't find it valuable"? I can make an argument why every post you've made in the past 7 days isn't valuable to me, or is duplicative of something else on the internet.
Adam1222 is offline  
Old Aug 17, 16, 9:00 pm
  #93  
nsx
Moderator: Southwest Airlines
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: California
Programs: WN CP & A-list preferred, Interstate BBQ at MEM B17, Hotwire, Priceline, tent
Posts: 19,316
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Of the 385 members who have posted in those threads a full half of the "content" comes from only 14 members (self included). It is just the same people saying the same thing to each other over and over again.
This situation is not limited to EMPR. It is common across FT. The most prolific posters for the most part subtract rather than add value. If forum software could enforce a posting speed limit per member, the quality of discussion would improve.
nsx is offline  
Old Aug 17, 16, 9:12 pm
  #94  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend and Moderator: Air Canada Aeroplan & Manufactured Spending
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: YEG
Posts: 48,143
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I believe the question should be about value to the community, not to a handful of members. And, yes, there is a difference.
Amen! This yardstick can and should be used to measure a number of forums created based on demand from the few and used by the few.
tcook052 is offline  
Old Aug 17, 16, 9:52 pm
  #95  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SAN
Programs: Lots of faux metal
Posts: 5,185
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Really? You never thought to just consider the "why am I seeing this" link and figure it out yourself?? Nothing really new there, though I suppose that's not necessarily a metric to use.

But that's not really what the discussion there is about. The prior topic was all about how much he pays for FB ads and before that questioning if he pays for trips or not. Putting aside that I simply do not care, I'm trying to figure out why those topics are valuable in the context of this community. How does knowing a site's ad budget affect people here reading the content?
TPG claims to have over 1 million likes on Facebook which is orders of magnitude over other popular blogs. You don't think there should be a discussion of how TPG got those likes and why we see TPG ads across Facebook?

As a blogger yourself you seem to have a very hard line in the sand about what can and cannot be discussed on FT. I would love to know what you think is acceptable to discuss here.
skunker is offline  
Old Aug 17, 16, 10:32 pm
  #96  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 16,618
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
eponymous_coward 32
I stopped contributing to that forum once someone decided to accuse me of being a wannabe lover of Lucky, and came to the conclusion that cblaisd did. The forum's a place for whining about bloggers at this point.

I don't find OMNI-PR useful either. Or the comments section of most news websites.
eponymous_coward is offline  
Old Aug 17, 16, 11:01 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: PHX
Programs: US,HH
Posts: 619
Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
Your argument seems to meander between a few points;
(1) Posters are derogatory/personal/mean/slanderous - people here have shown why that's not really true
(2.
I have responded to this and had the comments deleted showing this was not true. I think that says enough about how FT leaders feel about this subject. Quite unfortunate. I'm not sure if it's hate/jealously/or just being a jerk because of Randy selling off FT and some people still have an issue with that or were not invited to buy into his new business, or they really are cool with calling certain bloggers Herr Princess. I'd really like to hear from the Community Director if she thinks that's ok.

Feel free to search on the keywords Princess or Boyfriend. Let me know if you think that is an analytical or constructive conversation. I say it's trying to get even.
kellio33 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 16, 7:06 am
  #98  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,035
Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
At best, you are suggesting that there is some mythical magic number of members that you think must be engaged in a forum -- Not that the number of posters is equal to the number of people who find a forum valuable. I know there are many threads I read and find valuable and don't comment on, for various reasons.But there are many forums and threads on FT that have a narrow appeal. That doesn't mean it doesn't have value.
I believe that the skew of post volume in this forum is greater than in others on FT. I regularly participate in ~10 fora here across the points, destinations and community areas. None are as skewed at the forum level IMO.


Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
(1) Posters are derogatory/personal/mean/slanderous - people here have shown why that's not really true
We'll have to disagree on this one. I believe the people who are behaving that way are doing their best to show that they are not. I remain unconvinced.
Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
(2) There tend to be a dozen or so very active posters - that applies to a lot of forums
Not to the same proportions, and not in the same way. When it is the same few people answering the questions of newbies or otherwise contributing to creating a wider platform of knowledge and information that's a valuable performance by a narrow group. When that same few people just create an echo chamber to amplify their views.

And that's really the difference. Creating an echo chamber that stifles true discussion and only supports one view of any given topic is not valuable. I believe the discussion of the bloggers has, for the most part, gone off the deep end in this case.

The argument that it is repetitive just like the Information Desk is a view I particularly oppose. That is an environment specifically designed to invite new members in and help them learn. It adds value to the community by growing it and helping to shepherd new conversations along, letting people dip a toe in without facing the typically unfriendly and brash "welcome" often aimed at new members by those who have been around for a while. New members into the EM&PR forum receive quite a different welcome; it is not pretty.

Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
(3) It isn't of value - Lots of people have made cogent arguments disagreeing.
I believe that some of the discussions are of value. I also believe that there is no need for a dedicated forum to house them. As mentioned several times the useful discussions are easily placed elsewhere within the structure of FT without requiring this haven for what often comes across as thinly veiled personal attacks carefully constructed to toe the FT T&C line. I've been around these parts for 15+ years now; it is not all that hard to see what's happening on that front IMO.

Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
the person who is trying to shut down speech
Please do not try to make this a "Free Speech" argument. That's not going to end well.


Originally Posted by skunker View Post
TPG claims to have over 1 million likes on Facebook which is orders of magnitude over other popular blogs. You don't think there should be a discussion of how TPG got those likes and why we see TPG ads across Facebook?
Not really. I have no doubt that money was spent to accomplish that. I don't see why it matters.

Originally Posted by skunker View Post
As a blogger yourself you seem to have a very hard line in the sand about what can and cannot be discussed on FT. I would love to know what you think is acceptable to discuss here.
I'll try again and be more explicit this time:

I believe discussion should focus on helping members of this community to better explore, learn, understand and experience the world. That takes the form of
  • learning about cultures and the logistics for the destinations they are planning a visit;
  • understanding the policies and rules (loyalty or otherwise) related to the programs they are using to facilitate those travels;
  • exploring more or further afield, guided by the experiences of locals and other travelers who have gone before them; and,
  • sharing their experiences to help others similarly benefit.
There are occasional flashes of this type of discussion in EM&PR but I believe those discussions are easily accommodated elsewhere and that the larger threads avoid these main pillars, focusing instead on "blogger xyz is bad," and not in a way that helps with the learning or exploration.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 16, 7:35 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: DL SM; IHG PlatAmb; Hilton Dia; Marriott/SPG Plat; Radisson Gold; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 4,259
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I believe that the skew of post volume in this forum is greater than in others on FT. I regularly participate in ~10 fora here across the points, destinations and community areas. None are as skewed at the forum level IMO.


We'll have to disagree on this one. I believe the people who are behaving that way are doing their best to show that they are not. I remain unconvinced.
Not to the same proportions, and not in the same way. When it is the same few people answering the questions of newbies or otherwise contributing to creating a wider platform of knowledge and information that's a valuable performance by a narrow group. When that same few people just create an echo chamber to amplify their views.

And that's really the difference. Creating an echo chamber that stifles true discussion and only supports one view of any given topic is not valuable. I believe the discussion of the bloggers has, for the most part, gone off the deep end in this case.

The argument that it is repetitive just like the Information Desk is a view I particularly oppose. That is an environment specifically designed to invite new members in and help them learn. It adds value to the community by growing it and helping to shepherd new conversations along, letting people dip a toe in without facing the typically unfriendly and brash "welcome" often aimed at new members by those who have been around for a while. New members into the EM&PR forum receive quite a different welcome; it is not pretty.

I believe that some of the discussions are of value. I also believe that there is no need for a dedicated forum to house them. As mentioned several times the useful discussions are easily placed elsewhere within the structure of FT without requiring this haven for what often comes across as thinly veiled personal attacks carefully constructed to toe the FT T&C line. I've been around these parts for 15+ years now; it is not all that hard to see what's happening on that front IMO.


Please do not try to make this a "Free Speech" argument. That's not going to end well.


Not really. I have no doubt that money was spent to accomplish that. I don't see why it matters.


I'll try again and be more explicit this time:

I believe discussion should focus on helping members of this community to better explore, learn, understand and experience the world. That takes the form of
  • learning about cultures and the logistics for the destinations they are planning a visit;
  • understanding the policies and rules (loyalty or otherwise) related to the programs they are using to facilitate those travels;
  • exploring more or further afield, guided by the experiences of locals and other travelers who have gone before them; and,
  • sharing their experiences to help others similarly benefit.
There are occasional flashes of this type of discussion in EM&PR but I believe those discussions are easily accommodated elsewhere and that the larger threads avoid these main pillars, focusing instead on "blogger xyz is bad," and not in a way that helps with the learning or exploration.
I think people posting in the forum with attitudes suggesting that thoughts other people have and want to share are wrong or bad is what leads to any negative atmosphere in the forum. Insinuations that other people are morally flawed or stating that they are not contributing to the community makes them defensive. I.e., you may be the cause of the problem. Criticizing fellow FT members for their posts constantly and the right to have the ideas they have and share them destroys the community more than the ideas in the first place.

I in no way made a free speech argument. (I actually never do, and often remind people free speech doesn't apply to moderated privately owned forums, nor does it ever protect you from criticism of your speech.) I made the argument that you want to stop others from speaking because you don't like what they are saying and imposing your value judgments on others.

And since you've thrown out the term "delusional" before, I'd suggest your view of the Information Desk forum fits that term. Most of the posters there are (a) 1-post wonders who ask for help/complain and never come back, (b) people looking for free award booking services after learning about miles and points from one of the blogs, or (c) people who don't bother to look for the proper forum for their question. The moderators of that forum cant even keep up with transferring posts to the right place. Your argument that there are better forums that can address the valuable stuff works equally (better?) there. (I.e., nearly all the posts belong in Destination fora or individual program fora except the "I want to have 6 business class tickets for travel over Christmas from NY and Hawaii. Tell me how.").
Adam1222 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 16, 7:38 am
  #100  
Moderator: Avianca, Travel Photography, Travel Technology & USA
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Far western edge of the La-La Land City limits
Programs: Former VIP - Fromin's Deli; Encino, CA - 33 years status granted at successor deli - "Uncle Bernies"
Posts: 3,520
Some of the posts on this thread have bordered on being axe grinding over past beefs, and commentary on same sex relationships. This is not needed for the TalkBoard to determine whether this proposal should be put to a vote.

On a personal opinion basis, I am a daily reader of that forum and a number of the blogs that get heavy FT coverage. I find the forum entertaining, probably because it regularly includes TMZ style posts from FT members I respect and write well. Lucky, Gary, Summer, et al are very public people who have decided to give up their privacy in order to make a living. That is fair game.

Moderator2 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 16, 7:44 am
  #101  
Moderator Travel News, West, The Suggestion Box, Smoking Lounge & DiningBuzz
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Honors Diamond
Posts: 33,679
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post

I believe discussion should focus on helping members of this community to better explore, learn, understand and experience the world. That takes the form of
  • learning about cultures and the logistics for the destinations they are planning a visit;
  • understanding the policies and rules (loyalty or otherwise) related to the programs they are using to facilitate those travels;
  • exploring more or further afield, guided by the experiences of locals and other travelers who have gone before them; and,
  • sharing their experiences to help others similarly benefit.
This may be the best description of what FT is, at its best, that I have ever seen.
cblaisd is offline  
Old Aug 18, 16, 7:58 am
  #102  
nsx
Moderator: Southwest Airlines
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: California
Programs: WN CP & A-list preferred, Interstate BBQ at MEM B17, Hotwire, Priceline, tent
Posts: 19,316
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Creating an echo chamber that stifles true discussion and only supports one view of any given topic is not valuable.
Agreed, mostly. Except that venting has its own value. It sometimes makes snese to have a forum dedicated to venting (OMNI PR, TS&S Policy Debate), if for no other reason than keeping that content out of other forums. A venting forum is for writers, not readers. The value is that it's cheaper than psychotherapy.
nsx is offline  
Old Aug 18, 16, 8:05 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: DL SM; IHG PlatAmb; Hilton Dia; Marriott/SPG Plat; Radisson Gold; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 4,259
Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
This may be the best description of what FT is, at its best, that I have ever seen.
What FT "at its best" is not the same as what FT "is".

but I'll take the bait:
- I think the discussion in EMPR *fits* these broad aspirational categories. Heck, I can make the "What's in my beer fridge right now" thread fit into these. Moral high ground not ceded.


learning about cultures and the logistics for the destinations they are planning a visit;
- As noted, we've talked about Maldivian culture and what one can expect traveling there, and whether a blog post accurately reflects it. We've talked
understanding the policies and rules (loyalty or otherwise) related to the programs they are using to facilitate those travels;
- There's discussion of whether the specific experiences shared in widely read media accurately reflect the policies and rules of specific programs.

- exploring more or further afield, guided by the experiences of locals and other travelers who have gone before them;

- That's pretty redundant of the other criteria you've said. So the same retorts apply.
and,
sharing their experiences to help others similarly benefit.
- Many people do not understand the profit motives or how the travel blogging industry operates. Explaining to people how that works better equips them to use these tools, analyzing them with a critical eye and taking them for what they are worth. And yes, explaining to readers why a blogger never flies/discusses United is helpful. Otherwise, one may incorrectly assume it's because of United's products.


You left out a major part of Flyertalk:
- Allowing people with similar interests and hobbies a place to discuss travel-related topics of interest with one another, and be entertained and develop a sense of community in the process.


And if you think this entire idea of shutting the EMPR forum isn't about individual posters "beefs" with discussions in the forum, I think you are naive.
Adam1222 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 16, 8:09 am
  #104  
Hyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Between AMS and BRU
Posts: 8,800
Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
And if you think this entire idea of shutting the EMPR forum isn't about individual posters "beefs" with discussions in the forum, I think you are naive.
I cannot even count the arguments here that all begin with "I feel....". Please stop trying to dictate what others should talk about....
RTW1 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 16, 8:10 am
  #105  
Original Member, Ambassador: External Miles and Points Resources
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Digital Nomad Wandering the Earth
Programs: UA 1K/MM refugee to cheapest business class fare, SPG Lifetime Plat, CBP Global Entry, #datelife
Posts: 47,438
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post

I believe that the skew of post volume in this forum is greater than in others on FT. I regularly participate in ~10 fora here across the points, destinations and community areas. None are as skewed at the forum level IMO.
Just off the top of my head I can think of two that skew to fewer people making more of the percentage of posts: the Travel News forum and the TalkBoard Topics forum.

If that's the metric that concerns you, why not start with those?


I'll try again and be more explicit this time:

I believe discussion should focus on helping members of this community to better explore, learn, understand and experience the world. That takes the form of
  • learning about cultures and the logistics for the destinations they are planning a visit;
  • understanding the policies and rules (loyalty or otherwise) related to the programs they are using to facilitate those travels;
  • exploring more or further afield, guided by the experiences of locals and other travelers who have gone before them; and,
  • sharing their experiences to help others similarly benefit.
That's an awfully narrow scope and would call for the elimination of many forums on FlyerTalk.

But in any case, as has been pointed out several times, the EMPR forum certainly helps this community better learn. It acts as an ombudsman for external points and miles resources. Calling them on incorrect information, encouraging them to do better and explaining to people outside the world of online content monetization what their motivation and tactics are. And yes, many of us do need that curtain pulled back because we are not so intimately involved in the constantly evolving world of sponsored content. It's what helps keep us thought leadery, doncha know?

And here's the proof: EMPR is required reading for those in the external points and miles service provider world. Every major blogger, event and other external points and miles service provider reads and reacts to the forum, yourself included.

I understand that many folks don't appreciate an ombudsman looking over their shoulder, but EMPR actually makes a difference as a result of that.

Last edited by kokonutz; Aug 18, 16 at 8:20 am
kokonutz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread