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No TB Elections: TalkBoard Disbands 30 Nov 2016

No TB Elections: TalkBoard Disbands 30 Nov 2016

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Old Nov 6, 16, 12:22 am   -   Wikipost
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TalkBoard Will Disband 30 November 2016

"Talkboard will be disbanded at the end of November. Many people have faithfully served as Talkboard members. Many good decisions have come from it, and FlyerTalk has been strengthened as a result. However, FlyerTalk is now a mature board with little activity where Talkboard can engage. It's been increasingly difficult to get members to vote in the Talkboard election. I think that readers are happy to engage in conversations about miles and points but have little interest in the mechanics of the board. I deeply appreciate all that Talkboard has done over the years. We are a better site thanks to their efforts.

Carol
Community Director"
(See post #4)

In our opinion, the members who have so ably served TalkBoard and the Community over the years deserve our thanks for sharing their interest, time, efforts and varied points of view towad building an ever better FlyerTalk.

Please direct your comments, feedback and discussion regarding this new stage in FlyerTalk's growth and direction in a friendly, respectful FlyerTalk manner here.

JDiver and Moderator2, proud to have been your TalkBoard forum Moderator team
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Old Nov 15, 16, 2:48 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
The lack of any replacement mechanism in place shows a lack of commitment to transparency and commitment to authoritarianism.
Sorry, but I vehemently disagree - the lack of any replacement mechanism simply indicates that a replacement mechanism (whatever it is) is not yet ready to be implemented for whatever reason. Nothing more, nothing less. As I stated in a previous post in this thread, if the Talkboard still exists until November 30th, they can still receive ideas and feedback until that date. Why do we need two different idea/feedback mechanisms before November 30th?

If November 30 comes and goes and there is no longer a way to offer any sort of ideas for improving the site, then I might be inclined to agree with you. Until that date, there is a way of providing such ideas and feedback which should be used.

Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
One reason people may have stopped voting is because elections were never well-publicized, and the quality of FT has gone in the toilet as the number of random people come on to post one time asking for help "travel hacking" or seeking travel agent services.
AFAIK, there were sitewide announcements, posts in the TalkMail, and several members that put something about the election in their signature. What else would you suggest they could/should have done about elections? You can't force people to care if they don't.

Regarding the "one and done" posters - I think that is merely a product of Google - if I'm Googling how to maximize AA miles, how to cancel a Priceline reservation, or how to get upgraded at the JW Marriott in Cancun, chances are that Flyertalk is at or near the top of the search results.

When I was looking for instructions on how to fix my snowblower, I Googled it and found a snowblower forum where I could rather quickly register and post my question. Once I got the information I needed and made the fix it needed, I haven't had a need to go back and visit that forum again (until the next time my snowblower breaks).
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Old Nov 15, 16, 2:54 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by lo2e View Post
Sorry, but I vehemently disagree - the lack of any replacement mechanism simply indicates that a replacement mechanism (whatever it is) is not yet ready to be implemented for whatever reason. Nothing more, nothing less. As I stated in a previous post in this thread, if the Talkboard still exists until November 30th, they can still receive ideas and feedback until that date. Why do we need two different idea/feedback mechanisms before November 30th?

If November 30 comes and goes and there is no longer a way to offer any sort of ideas for improving the site, then I might be inclined to agree with you. Until that date, there is a way of providing such ideas and feedback which should be used.



AFAIK, there were sitewide announcements, posts in the TalkMail, and several members that put something about the election in their signature. What else would you suggest they could/should have done about elections? You can't force people to care if they don't.

Regarding the "one and done" posters - I think that is merely a product of Google - if I'm Googling how to maximize AA miles, how to cancel a Priceline reservation, or how to get upgraded at the JW Marriott in Cancun, chances are that Flyertalk is at or near the top of the search results.

When I was looking for instructions on how to fix my snowblower, I Googled it and found a snowblower forum where I could rather quickly register and post my question. Once I got the information I needed and made the fix it needed, I haven't had a need to go back and visit that forum again (until the next time my snowblower breaks).
If you're suggesting Google is to blame for the decline in quality, that's not really a retort. Also, Google has been around since I was in high school nearly 20 years ago. I think the rise of blogs that mislead people to sign up for cards on the promise of free travel is equally to blame.

To the extent anyone can read anything in to decreased participation in voting, I personally have never found the TalkBoard election process clear. And I'm a pretty engaged intelligent person, and an active community member. Perhaps since I largely use the mobile app which doesnt show signatures and TalkMail is way too long and filled with garbage to merit more than a skim.

There is no indication that anyone will announce any new mechanism by November 30, and I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree whether a best practice for signalling openness to input from community members would be to announce the new mechanism at the same time as the closure of the old mechanism. Instead, we got a terse post that didn't even explain how the decision was made, followed up by some standard NO ONE MENTION MODERATORS insanity.
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Old Nov 15, 16, 2:59 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by lo2e View Post
AFAIK, there were sitewide announcements, posts in the TalkMail, and several members that put something about the election in their signature.
My bold as I was one of those members who annually sported a "TB" Vote" signature to try and encourage more members to cast ballots and so well know the lengths to which the CD took to promote the elections.
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Old Nov 15, 16, 3:03 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
My bold as I was one of those members who annually sported a "TB" Vote" signature to try and encourage more members to cast ballots and so well know the lengths to which the CD took to promote the elections.
Which doesnt show up on the mobile site.
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Old Nov 15, 16, 3:45 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
If you're suggesting Google is to blame for the decline in quality, that's not really a retort. Also, Google has been around since I was in high school nearly 20 years ago. I think the rise of blogs that mislead people to sign up for cards on the promise of free travel is equally to blame.

To the extent anyone can read anything in to decreased participation in voting, I personally have never found the TalkBoard election process clear. And I'm a pretty engaged intelligent person, and an active community member. Perhaps since I largely use the mobile app which doesnt show signatures and TalkMail is way too long and filled with garbage to merit more than a skim.

There is no indication that anyone will announce any new mechanism by November 30, and I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree whether a best practice for signalling openness to input from community members would be to announce the new mechanism at the same time as the closure of the old mechanism. Instead, we got a terse post that didn't even explain how the decision was made, followed up by some standard NO ONE MENTION MODERATORS insanity.
The Rule about discussing Moderation has been in existence for a long time. That's nothing new.

18. Discussion Of Moderator Actions (Link)

Moderators value your private views and feedback related to their actions and duties. You may submit appropriate feedback to moderators by private message or e-mail. Do not post comments about moderator decisions or actions, or about the work of moderators, unless a moderator has invited members to post feedback in a particular thread.

Any concerns about the actions of a moderator should be directed exclusively and privately to the Community Director.

That's the standard applied in this forum, as well.
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Old Nov 15, 16, 3:51 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Talkboard will be disbanded at the end of November. Many people have faithfully served as Talkboard members. Many good decisions have come from it, and FlyerTalk has been strengthened as a result. However, FlyerTalk is now a mature board with little activity where Talkboard can engage. It's been increasingly difficult to get members to vote in the Talkboard election. I think that readers are happy to engage in conversations about miles and points but have little interest in the mechanics of the board. I deeply appreciate all that Talkboard has done over the years. We are a better site thanks to their efforts.

Carol
Community Director
On a more serious and business note, for an internet business that needs buzz and clicks for survival to declare itself "mature" seems more like a suicide note than a plan.
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Old Nov 15, 16, 4:02 pm
  #52  
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While I can't speak for the CD I believe she's referring to (or at least I am) that FT is mature in that it's not brand spanking new, trying to figure out forums, TOS, guidelines, posts counting/not counting, etc. A lot of that has been sorted over the last 17 years.

That doesn't mean FT's not evolving & won't address new things (such as the motion right now for a non-hotel lodging forum to include Airbnb, for example) or improve some things, such as work on a better mobile app.

Given the owner of FT also owns about 90+ other BBs & didn't buy FT as a money-losing proposition, I doubt TB disbanding after 15 years is the death knell of FT or a suicide plan by IB.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 15, 16, 4:31 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
However, they realize that TB has been effectively neutered. It has no authority beyond recommending to you that new forums be established. The real authority on FT (besides, of course, yourself) is in the hands of the moderators and, like all other members, TB is not allowed to discuss moderation much less take any action concerning it.

That is why members no longer bother to vote in TB elections and, indeed, very few are interested in serving on TB. This is a pity as you have these three thousand or so members who are very dedicated to FlyerTalk, tend to be more highly educated and professionally successful than posters on other boards, and could have made substantial contributions to how FT operates if only they were allowed to do so.
Agreed 100%....I've always felt, even when I was a moderator & a TB member, that this was a pretty bad policy. I can understand not discussing specific actions, as that's what Randy's view point was - but it's become a taboo to talk about it in general & if members can't express or discuss their community and how it's managed, then it's not really a community...

Maybe we should hold Moderator elections instead...
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Old Nov 15, 16, 10:21 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
The Rule about discussing Moderation has been in existence for a long time. That's nothing new.


That's the standard applied in this forum, as well.

I'm not sure what your point is. My point is that the policy, and it's regurgitation here (not by me) rather than providing information about how community members can have any say moving forward, signals a commitment to authoritarianism and nontransparency.


(I just deleted a sentence that talked in generic terms about moderation, out of fear of crossing the arbitrary line enforced. That is sad.)
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Old Nov 16, 16, 5:15 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
The Rule about discussing Moderation has been in existence for a long time. That's nothing new.
Yes, and no. When I originally joined FT (in 2003) there was no rule about discussing moderation. Then Randy put a ban on criticizing a specific decision made by a moderator on the grounds that it constitutes a personal attack. Later, this morphed into a ban on all discussion of moderation.

If I recall correctly (and I am certain someone will correct me if I am wrong) it was originally TalkBoard -- before I joined FT -- that established the very basic concept of having moderators for the forums. Later, when I was on TB, Randy told TalkBoard that it could not discuss the issue or make any recommendations to him about it.
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Old Nov 16, 16, 6:47 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
Yes, and no. When I originally joined FT (in 2003) there was no rule about discussing moderation. Then Randy put a ban on criticizing a specific decision made by a moderator on the grounds that it constitutes a personal attack. Later, this morphed into a ban on all discussion of moderation.

If I recall correctly (and I am certain someone will correct me if I am wrong) it was originally TalkBoard -- before I joined FT -- that established the very basic concept of having moderators for the forums. Later, when I was on TB, Randy told TalkBoard that it could not discuss the issue or make any recommendations to him about it.
The above first paragraph is true too. The second paragraph's latter sentence is true too. Are you striving to be the FT historian? In which forum on FT is the history of FT management on-topic after TB is dismantled?

Last edited by GUWonder; Nov 16, 16 at 7:03 am
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Old Nov 16, 16, 7:52 am
  #57  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The above first paragraph is true too. The second paragraph's latter sentence is true too. Are you striving to be the FT historian? In which forum on FT is the history of FT management on-topic after TB is dismantled?
Only Randy Petersen?
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Old Nov 16, 16, 8:02 am
  #58  
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Originally Posted by RichMSN View Post
Only Randy Petersen?
I proposed a successor forum to it years ago, and the suggestion discussion got put down very quickly despite no problems coming to my attention in that thread either. That said, if someone isn't into participating in a thread/forum, then what's the point in having a thread/forum for a purpose to get responses from someone not interested in responding publicly? I am sort of glad that that successor forum was never allowed. It's not like FT needs another forum with a bunch more frequently locked down or moved threads. That would be ORP deja vu.

Last edited by GUWonder; Nov 16, 16 at 2:02 pm
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Old Nov 16, 16, 1:31 pm
  #59  
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There has been a light hand on the moderation issue so far in this thread. But the focus of discussion needs to be aimed elsewhere on a prospective basis.

If you want to revisit moderation history or future theoretical, please send a message to the Community Director. Further discussion on the subject in this thread will be subject to redaction. Thanks
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Old Nov 16, 16, 5:13 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
While I can't speak for the CD I believe she's referring to (or at least I am) that FT is mature in that it's not brand spanking new, trying to figure out forums, TOS, guidelines, posts counting/not counting, etc. A lot of that has been sorted over the last 17 years.

That doesn't mean FT's not evolving & won't address new things (such as the motion right now for a non-hotel lodging forum to include Airbnb, for example) or improve some things, such as work on a better mobile app.

Given the owner of FT also owns about 90+ other BBs & didn't buy FT as a money-losing proposition, I doubt TB disbanding after 15 years is the death knell of FT or a suicide plan by IB.

Cheers.
Well-written and spot on.
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