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Your Opinion Requested: Bloggers

Your Opinion Requested: Bloggers

Old Jan 5, 14, 6:36 pm
  #1  
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Your Opinion Requested: Bloggers

Dear Trip Report writers, readers and enthusiasts,

Over the recent months Moomba and I have noticed a significant increase in the number of users on the TR forum that link to their blog rather than posting directly on Flyertalk. In contrast, some of our most prolific and popular report writers post their content directly on Flyertalk.

We recently posted a thread that list out guidelines that we expect authors of blogs posting on this site to adhere to:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...o-content.html

As moderators, we'd like to understand the views of the community on this topic. If you are a blogger, non-blogger or reader we welcome you to express your opinion on the subject in this thread.

Some points to think about:

  • Is the volume of blog posts on this forum an issue for you?
  • Do you believe that the new guidelines have improved the way that blog links are posted on this forum?
  • Do blogs add value to the forum?
  • Are blog authors effectively engaging with forum members?

When responding to this thread please note that we are looking for general opinions here. Do not single out specific users, blogs or blog authors for negative criticism.

Thank you for your feedback.


matthandy and Moomba
Moderators: Trip Reports
matthandy is offline  
Old Jan 5, 14, 7:16 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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I like the topic. I post with links to my blog in my reports. The reason I do it isn't to drive traffic to my blog, as it's not monetized in any way (and I sure as heck don't think 150 viewers/day is impressing anyone).

I typically post the text of my post to FT with a link to the blog where the pictures are posted. It's easier for me to put all my pictures in one location instead of splitting them into multiple posts due to the 10 image limit I've run into before (if that limit has changed, please let me know!).
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Old Jan 5, 14, 8:15 pm
  #3  
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bthotugigem05 thanks for posting. I do understand that it can be difficult to post the same report in multiple formats for different websites. This is something that is cited as the most common reason that people do not post content on Flyertalk. However, as someone who also posts on multiple sites I find that a simple process of putting the report into Word and doing a 'Find/Replace' is usually enough to change to/from the Flyertalk mark up. It takes about 10 minutes to do this.

Posting the stand alone text as you say is quite simple.

The limit for images is 20.
matthandy is offline  
Old Jan 6, 14, 12:16 am
  #4  
 
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I read a lot of TR's. It does not bother me to link to other sites if I'm interested in the subject.
anyludes is offline  
Old Jan 6, 14, 12:45 am
  #5  
 
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As a reader , I have no issues with the TRs on the site - just would prefer to have more of Trip part than the Flight food/lounge reports. As a reader, on this section, I want to know about the place visited than the airport lounges (which I think most readers would not be able to experience due to flying economy class).

With regards to the format, I think the current one is just fine with a half page kind of description and a link to the blogger's post in case some people are interested. A full 3-4 page report would put-off some users according to me. In my case, I read all the reports and click on the blog links in around 20% of the cases (in case I wish to read further)
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Old Jan 6, 14, 5:28 am
  #6  
 
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If it's just a link and a couple of lines of text I don't bother clicking onto the link. However if somebody posts a longer summary, or the first part of the blog entry then i'll click across if i'm sufficiently interested. To me ironmanjt is a model for how bloggers should use the TR forum.

In terms of bloggers using the forum, I think it's a matter of giving vs taking. Those who just post links are taking, those who post a decent amount of content are giving. Bloggers certainly can add value to the forum, and many do.
exilencfc is offline  
Old Jan 6, 14, 11:13 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Interesting question - I'm wondering about it at the moment as I'm writing my first TR (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...im-sa-j-y.html). I always understood this thread to be mostly about the flight (and sometimes hotel) experiences. Perhaps my viewing has been selective.

I would, however like to see more details about trips as well. I'm not sure if a forum is the best place for that though - threads may get very long. You probably want some kind of post + comments format for that?

On the other hand I also use the forums extensively before booking a flight or hotel by searching for the name here. I find myself agreeing with FT evaluations much more often than those on TripAdvisor For that reason I wouldn't mind more hotel and Y reviews. (And outside of this community few people care about the exact type of amenity kits on offer.)

If there is a way to get high quality TRIP reports, it would be fascinating to read what other FTs do at a location - specifically since most are veteran travellers and would have much better insight that the "Top Ten Things to do in" lists online can provide.

For my current thread I was thinking of posting detail on the flight/hotel bits on FT, with a summary of the trip part linking to a page hosted elsewhere. But let's see where this thread goes...
kobuse is offline  
Old Jan 6, 14, 2:15 pm
  #8  
 
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I only come to Flyertalk for the Trip Reports, the format they are presented in don't matter to me really, I have no problem visiting people's blogs, especially as often they are better laid out and contain more photographs.

What bothers me more, is those people who post itineraries or reserve posts for a TR that is coming soon.
Ginesy is offline  
Old Jan 6, 14, 2:27 pm
  #9  
 
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I read a lot of the TR's as well and have absolutely no problem going over to an 'off-site' host to read the review. If I leave a comment it will almost always be on the FT site however.
Given how much work the TR's can be I can appreciate the fact that many people want to do as little as possible to have them available to us here on FT.
yyz_atc_lj is offline  
Old Jan 6, 14, 9:07 pm
  #10  
 
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I am not sure i will post another TR for failure to address this issue in a timely manner. I am not sure what is going to be added to this thread that was not already said...any blog with ads is total garbage and should not be allowed. I get sick of,this. Ironmanjit, he really is the model of the proper balance. Same with williamargus....look to,those for what is proper.
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Old Jan 6, 14, 10:40 pm
  #11  
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Happy for members to plug there blogs here, but realistically I just ignore their reports. Flyertalk has a relatively sparse, consistent page layout and I'd rather read it here than on some cluttered blog.
TravelerMSY is offline  
Old Jan 6, 14, 10:44 pm
  #12  
 
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Blogs

Personally, I don't mind re-directing to a blog if there is no money incentive. That is the spirit of FT. When people use FT to drive traffic to their blog so that they can make an extra buck, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Personally, I need youtube (which I generate zero dollars off of for the very reason I stated above) to post a video; otherwise, I would just stick with FT and flickr for photos.

But when people use FT just to make revenue on their blog site, it is just like the travel agents who use FT to try to make cash by re-directing people to their own travel agency.
SFflyer123 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 14, 10:47 pm
  #13  
 
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Tricky subject, but I don't think a blanket ban on bloggers is appropriate. More than a few of them are active contributors to this site in many ways and, for the most part, their blogs are in no way a primary, or even ancillary, source of income.

I think a decent summary, some pics, and links to each section of a report are the way to both give people an idea of what they're getting into before leaving Flyertalk, as well as giving clear and direct access to the report itself.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 12:29 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by mkjr View Post
I am not sure i will post another TR for failure to address this issue in a timely manner.

.....

...any blog with ads is total garbage and should not be allowed. I get sick of,this.
I'm sorry that you feel that way but you should be aware that your opinion is not the only one out there, hence the thread asking for feedback.

The issue with blogs with ads is that it is only possible to identify this by clicking on the link. Who is going to do that to make that determination? Moomba and I certainly don't have the time to do that.

Originally Posted by SFflyer123 View Post
Personally, I don't mind re-directing to a blog if there is no money incentive. That is the spirit of FT. When people use FT to drive traffic to their blog so that they can make an extra buck, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

....

But when people use FT just to make revenue on their blog site, it is just like the travel agents who use FT to try to make cash by re-directing people to their own travel agency.
This is the crux of it for me. Some people sign up, flog their blog and then are never seen again.

However, what practical method/steps can be employed to identify such posters?
matthandy is offline  
Old Jan 7, 14, 5:38 am
  #15  
 
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Presuming they are one and done posters alter the forum settings so that people with zero posts can't start threads here. Otherwise perhaps encourage people to report commercial blogs which would save you guys looking for them.
exilencfc is offline  

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