I like it... but what's the difference?

Discussion in 'Beta Feedback [Archive]' started by tjtenor4, Feb 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. tjtenor4
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    tjtenor4 Gold Member

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    Pardon me if I'm introducing a taboo topic, or asking a question I shouldn't, but here goes...

    I certainly didn't have the post count some did on FT, but I like to think that what my posts lacked in quantity, they made up for in quality - and I was pleased to be offered an unexpected invitation to the MP (...oh dear, the acronym is the same as a certain FF program :oops:) beta experience.

    However, having perused the new site for all of 20-30 minutes, I keep coming back to the same question:

    What makes MP different from FT?

    I know Randy has mentioned things like trying to foster more of a community atmosphere, and the system of "liking" posts in order to generate a less artificial metric than post count for determining the extent/value of a member's contribution to the forums. However, I guess I'm still not totally clear on the motivation behind the creation of MP.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to be a part of this new community, and I can't wait for it to get off the ground. But it seems appropriate to me to have a thread that more concretely addresses this new community's raison d'être.

    So, I guess relevant topics that could be addressed in this thread include:
    • what makes MP different from FT;
    • what we each hope to get out of MP;
    • how to keep MP different from FT (if that is a goal);
    • what the different respective roles MP and FT might play in our lives / the lives of FFs everywhere;
    • and anything else anyone might want to address that falls under the purview of this thread.
    As I said, I hope this isn't a taboo topic - it's something about which I'm genuinely curious, and I'd love to hear others' perspectives on it. Thanks!
     
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  2. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Say, among friends and fellow frequent flyers, this is not taboo.

    I'm going to have to think a little on this but my first and likely most important thought is that MilePoint is about MilePoint. FlyerTalk and its members taught me everything i know and what i know is that i was never concerned about the other boards that sprung up over time. They had their following and their strengths. My hope is that we have ours as well and just like in the area of online travel agencies, Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz have their individual strengths and yet there was only one to begin with. I have made a pledge to continue my focus on what's right for the members of MilePoint and really don't consider it necessary to be different. My decision to seek out a far different style of technology in many current travel communities was on purpose. I felt it important that technology never get in the way of a members experience. As for being different than FlyerTalk—I might argue that it be important to be like FlyerTalk in many ways. I owe a debt of gratitude there and there's nothing wrong with being like it in several ways. As for what I hope to get out of MilePoint? Well, the same type of new friendships, experiences and knowledge that I get around any like-minded and truly unique group. Join me as we all fly more!

    I'll try and add more once i've got down from my Mountain Dew-infused all night to get ready for Beta launch moment.
     
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  3. WilCo
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    WilCo Silver Member

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    I, for one, really like the tone that is being set already. As I read through some of the posts, including the one where you describe what the various statuses get you, I enjoy the humor (e.g. there may be unpublished levels...wink). Great job setting the tone on a beta site! Let's hope it continues.

    It's going to be tough to balance that and still keep it somewhere the "elites" want to visit. For example, having to always rehash something that has been covered elsewhere versus telling someone to "search" can easily become hostile. I cringe when I see a newbie post on some forums as I can just count the minutes before the hostile replies come. Hopefully you have a creative way to balance that here.
     
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  4. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    That is why the Newbie forum is the very first forum you see on MilePoint. We will try and engage members at their level of interest and try very hard to make like conversations ... like.

    Thanks for the observations and advice.
     
  5. tjtenor4
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    tjtenor4 Gold Member

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    But will we, like, encourage them to, like, make, like, conversations? [​IMG]
     
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  6. Mikel
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    Mikel Gold Member

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    Thanks for the nice comments.

    As for balancing the needs of different types of members, you make great points. We are definitely trying something new and different here and it's yet to be seen how exactly it will work. The hope is that between a Newbie forum where any question is welcome, no matter how basic, and a Status System that will reward members for helping other members - combined with a beta group that will surely set a stellar example, newbies and elites and everyone in between will find a welcome home here.
     
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  7. mwg25
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    mwg25 Gold Member

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    ...whereas I worry sometimes that my FT content could be described as quite the opposite :-p

    I'd like to add another question - it's kind of a variation of #4 above:

    • If MP attains its outlined goals in terms of user base, size, features, etc - will FT continue to be relevant for frequent flyers/travel enthusiasts? And does that matter?
     
  8. brp
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    brp Silver Member

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    One thing I would suggest is to have a Newbie forum for each of the major forums. A general Newbie forum will be too far flung. In the AA forum on FT (you know, that old place) someone started a Newbie thread (that even says "Flame Free in the title :)). It is working very well in getting people to post.

    If it were a general, forum-wide Newbie area,I don't think it would be as successful.

    Cheers.
     
  9. The Points Guy
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    The Points Guy Silver Member

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    The more I think about it, I like the concept of status for top contributors. I think it has the potential to create more of a meritocracy and shared ownership of the site, something which FT lacks IMO. I also think it would encourages people to contribute positively to the community. On that note, are there plans for a dislike button? That could be...interesting.
     
  10. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    No, while that was a topic that came up, it really doesn't mesh with my goal as a friendly place for frequent flyers. but, it did come up ...
     
  11. Halothane
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    Halothane Silver Member

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    Glad somebody asked this! I was wondering the same myself. It definitely seems like Randy is trying to foster a close community and wants us to have connections to each other vs. this being a huge and impersonal forum.
     
  12. Westsox
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    Westsox Gold Member

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    I like the idea of a Newbie thread for each major forum to cover the basics of how various programs work. When I first started I had difficulty with understanding things such as mileage runs and why they might make sense, the benefits of status and generally how to capitalize on FF Miles and Hotel Points. As a Newbie, I was also hesitant to ask questions for fear of sounding like an idiot or worse, being grilled by more knowledgeable participants. Anything to help Newbies learn on their own without having to ask would be appreciated. Not that we want to minimize questions, but I know that I can ask a more intelligent question and get more applicable information if I first have acquired some basic knowledge.
     
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  13. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    Hi, Randy:

    Is it possible to suggest to new members during the signup process that they check out the Newbies forum if they are new to the topic in general? Possibly to indicate to them that they should search (with a pointer to a primer on how to do that)? Maybe a radio button to check to indicate that they have read this? Some new members on FT are in such a hurry to ask their question that they don't seem to read anything, not even the title of the first thread at the top of the page, but during the signup process they are reading carefully to make sure they get signed up. Thanks.
     
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  14. noel
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    noel Silver Member

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    I totally agree. As a newb, I was intimidated by the amount of knowledge that I apparently lacked. It took a long time and a lot of reading before I was comfortable interacting with others. I think the newbie forum is a great concept, but I agree with @brp. I think that it would be even more beneficial to have some sort of Newbie section for the main portions of the forums. If we can figure out a smart, simple way to implement this, I think it could be a huge advantage.
     
  15. brp
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    brp Silver Member

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    Perhaps even some (short) period of time in which new members can only post (or maybe only start new threads) in the various Newbie forums. Thinking abut it, I'd opt for letting them post anywhere, since they may find the relevant thread, but only start a new thread in Newbie areas. This would avoid a plethora of Newbie posts in the main area, and encourage participation rather than just "join and ask," which is less productive.

    Cheers.
     
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  16. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    In the absence of a "really, really, really like" button, I think this is a great idea and worth trying when the site comes out of Beta. Some kind of a way to earn the right to start a thread via posts, time as a member, and any other appropriate metric.
     
  17. I'm not sure. It encourages garbage postings just to make the 'threshold' of posts required, and can turn off long-time lurkers who may be totally up-to-speed with the expectations for participating in the community. When they finally decide to dip a toe in the water, they shouldn't be forced to clear hurdles.

    There are some other forums that I read which have tons of useful info. I browse and lurk there, and I find lots of the information that I need by searching, which is encouraged by long-time members. But then I find I can't ask a (relevant) question in certain areas because I haven't reached their 50-post minimum threshold. It's not as if I'm a newbie who's going to ask a question in the wrong area. But I'm penalised because I watch more than I speak...

    Likewise, after thousands of posts on Flyertalk, in the past few years I read much more than I post. I haven't seen which way MP will go, but I suspect it might be the same here. I wouldn't want to find myself restricted to a newbie area when (if you consider my 10+ years on FT) I'm far from a newbie...
     
  18. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    As a newbie, one thing that I found confusing on FT was that the forums were set-up completely differently; even among same "segments". Some had very informational stickies, some...not. Some hotel forums offered property reviews, some did not. Geography came into play in some cases, in others, nada. IPerhaps if we were able to offer a more standardized lay-out of "like" forums, it would be easier for people to find their way. Assuming that there will be a "mod" type function here on MP, the more creative ones could take the less structured forums, and the analyticals could handle the others.[​IMG]
     

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