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Looking for beta testers participating in the GS promo (UPDATE: Program NOW LIVE)

Looking for beta testers participating in the GS promo (UPDATE: Program NOW LIVE)

Old Oct 16, 11, 12:13 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: A lovely little town filled with cows
Programs: US2, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,283
Looking for beta testers participating in the GS promo (UPDATE: Program NOW LIVE)

Hi GSers - I've put together a website that allows you to manage your GS plan online and need a few FTers to put it through its paces. Would you be interested?

Why a website?
Because I was running into problems managing accounts for myself and my family with a spreadsheet on my office computer, on my laptop, and on my home computer. Often times whatever version I was using wasn't the latest. More than that, the website allows for data sharing amongst all users, so you can quickly see which hits are cheapest, fastest to post, etc.

What features would I find useful?
  • You create one account, but can manage multiple "scorecards" - e.g. one for you, one for your spouse, one for each of your kids/parents, etc.
  • Ability to share links to scorecards - so while you do the data entry, you can have someone else take a look at it (including hit selection, dates, costs, etc.) You could share the link here to ask for critiques, share it with friends, etc. You can change the link on demand or disable sharing at any time.
  • Ability to "tag" hits/partners - "Cheap", "Slow to Credit", "Quick to Complete", etc. A quick way for the community to see what to use and what to avoid.
  • Ability to sort all partners/hits by various criteria, like max hits, average cost, tags (see above), etc.
  • Currency conversion - enter your costs in your preferred currency and view others' costs in your preferred currency.
  • Warnings/Notifications - Maybe you planned for 32 hits but only have 31. Maybe you're late getting into this and have chosen a partner that will post with a "foul ball" activity date. The system also keeps track of how many hits you can have with a particular partner or within a particular category and will warn if you've planned too many.
  • I'm open to adding any other features anyone would find useful.


A couple of disclaimers:
The site is of course free to everyone, and will be open to everyone hopefully by Tuesday (after some quick beta testing is completed).

There is no warranty of any kind nor any guarantee of performance. It's free. It might not work properly. I certainly hope it will and am working to fix any issues, but things rarely work out the way you expect them to...

The site is not intended in any way to detract from FT or this sub-forum - it's only intended to augment/support it. It's supposed to be a dynamic resource that you could go to and quickly see the average/min/max posting times for a partner or the average/min/max costs for a hit. My hope is that it encourages more people to participate (both on FT and in the promo) and to do so more efficiently.

Registration requires you to provide an email address and a password. The password is encrypted, and no personally-identifiable information is recorded (no name, no account numbers, etc.). If the site is hacked, your (encrypted) password could be up for grabs, so pick something that you don't use for anything else (always a good idea).

So would anyone like to give it a go? If so, please PM me and let me know (or post here and I'll PM in the morning when it's ready to test). Have a question? Think this is a dumb idea? Please post here.

Thanks for reading!

Sean
vysean is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 1:03 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: ATL/LAX
Posts: 4,867
I'd be willing to help.

Also, to correct your current situation, save your spreadsheet in your DropBox folder. It will be constantly updated, no matter where you access it from.
amolkold is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 4:30 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Originally Posted by amolkold View Post
Also, to correct your current situation, save your spreadsheet in your DropBox folder. It will be constantly updated, no matter where you access it from.
What is a DropBox folder?
dwcatty is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 5:39 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by dwcatty View Post
What is a DropBox folder?
Whoops, accidentally deleted the blurb where I explained DropBox. It's a free cloud service where you can keep files updated between different PCs, Macs, and smartphones ... whenever I save something to my DropBox folder, it automatically syncs it with the cloud, so when I'm away from my main computer, I can access the latest updated file.

If you're interested, if you sign up through a referral, you get more space for free, so you can PM me for that.
amolkold is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 6:51 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Originally Posted by amolkold View Post
Also, to correct your current situation, save your spreadsheet in your DropBox folder. It will be constantly updated, no matter where you access it from.
+1


I'll be willing to help too.
booyaa is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 10:13 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Athens, WV, USA; a US cockroach long before it was in FFOCUS; now a lowly US5 for only the 2nd time in 20 years.
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Posts: 3,050
Count me in, vysean. I was thinking about a similar thing myself, but haven't had the time to think about doing it.
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Old Oct 16, 11, 1:53 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Canada
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I'd be interested in testing out the web site as well. Thanks!
MtlFire is offline  
Old Oct 17, 11, 1:53 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by amolkold View Post
Also, to correct your current situation, save your spreadsheet in your DropBox folder. It will be constantly updated, no matter where you access it from.
The dropbox idea is a great one, but it isn't as capable of widespread collaboration - one of the things I'm hoping the site does is to quickly allow you to check a given partner, see what the lowest/average/highest report cost was to complete the hit, and then to see what the fastest/average/slowest reported time from activity completion to mileage credit.

I realize I got off to a late start this year with this, but as long as they run the promo next year, hopefully this will make it more convenient for us to see what's up with various partners.
vysean is offline  
Old Oct 17, 11, 3:16 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: SFO
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I too would be willing to help. Sounds like a great idea!
BH777 is offline  
Old Oct 17, 11, 4:24 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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You can save a spreadsheet with Google and access it from anywhere. Basically just save one of the premise spreadsheets for grand slam tracking and problem is solved. No need for a separate website.
stallion114 is offline  
Old Oct 17, 11, 4:47 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by stallion114 View Post
You can save a spreadsheet with Google and access it from anywhere. Basically just save one of the premise spreadsheets for grand slam tracking and problem is solved. No need for a separate website.
I certainly won't argue that a "cloud" spreadsheet is convenient, but it doesn't allow you to quickly compare information or to see trends that can be seen when you have a large(er) amount of data to work with.

For example, what is the average lag time between completing an activity with Audience Rewards and having it post to your account? Or what about Dividend Miles Dining? If you've only got a spreadsheet to work with, you can manually compare the dates, but only after it's already posted (and then what's the point?). You can browse/search posts on FT, but what terms do you use?

Granted, the sample size is small, but as more people use the site, the data becomes increasingly more accurate and representative of what you might expect were you to perform a given activity.

Bottom line - it will take longer to enter information into a website than into a spreadsheet (hopefully not much longer), but the website can do something a spreadsheet can't - compare your information with others and make suggestions for how to avoid foul balls, cheaply/quickly bump to another level, etc.

The answers to the above questions: 4 days and 10 days, respectively (again, small sample size warning).
vysean is offline  
Old Oct 17, 11, 6:31 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Posts: 99
website

I'd be interested in helping out. I worked on the unofficial spreadsheet so I would be curious to see how this is different.

sH
silverhalide is offline  
Old Oct 18, 11, 12:42 am
  #13  
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Okay, after a few hours of coding a brief update is in order:

First, everyone who has requested access should have received a PM from me with the information you'll need - if not, please let me know.

Second, bugfixes and updates:

Reported Bugs Now Fixed:
  • Share Scorecard "Yes"/"No" text formatting improperly.
  • Hit posts to wrong scorecard. Scorecard dropdown doesn't default to selected scorecard.
  • The "New Scorecard" page is outputting SQL code.
  • Calendar on "Add Hit" covers up tooltips.
  • Qty. selector on bulk add hits page is cut off.
  • Calendar selectors are missing the next/previous month arrows.

The following updates have been made/new features added:
  • View Scorecard now has "Share This Scorecard" link which prints the full URL to the public scorecard.
  • Scorecards can now be edited (look for the "Edit Scorecard" link from the View Scorecard page).
  • Hits can now be deleted (click the [x] next to any hit while in the View Scorecard page).
  • Bulk Add Hit page has been significantly updated - new fields include "Miles", "Posted Date", and I've removed "Category" and put in its place "Avg. Cost". More importantly, the bulk add hits page now filters out hits that should not be added to your scorecard - so if you've already hit the max for hotel stays or car rentals, or already performed an activity with any one-off partner, those partner(s) or categories will be hidden from view so you don't accidentally plan too many hits. If for some reason you want to exceed the maximum # of hits for a given partner/category, you can still do so, but you have to click the "Add [Individual] Hit" link instead of the bulk add hit link.

Whew! I still need to add "Delete Scorecard" functionality and I want to spend most of tomorrow improving the Partners content so that you can see a lot more information on a per-partner basis (for example, low/avg/high cost, fastest/avg/slowest posting time, activity date warning, popularity, etc.).

Thanks so much to everyone who has shared feedback - I think we're getting very close. Please continue to post or PM me with any problems or suggestions, and if you're not already a beta tester and would like to be, please post or PM here.

Best Regards,

Sean
vysean is offline  
Old Oct 18, 11, 2:53 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Okinawa
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I'm in.
The_Wrath_of_Khan is offline  
Old Oct 18, 11, 7:06 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I'd like to try it as well. Thanks
Bonesaz is offline  

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