My Personal Review of Milepoint

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Steven Schwartz, Jun 3, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    It’s now been a couple of years since Milepoint went live. After all that time, there are names that I frequently recognize. There are some that I actually consider friends, despite the fact that I’ve never met them! So how does one person evaluate where we are after this time?

    First of all, I remember the first description offered as it went online was that it would be a kinder, gentler place. Obviously, we all knew what they were comparing it to! That said, most of us here since the beginning know just how very much we owed to FlyerTalk. There is simply no way to quantify how the information on FT positively affected the trips I took and the information I learned. But like most, I also knew the sting of intemperate comments, the times I was made to feel like an idiot while either trying to get information or even trying to help someone!

    To that description, I can absolutely say that Milepoint is extremely user-friendly. It's funny but when a conversation rarely gets contentious, the first comment you read is that "this is MP, not FT!" To the extent that one looks to community for like minded friends, it is, to me, clearly more of a community. I know that when I post something, it will be received the way it was intended - and that means a lot and certainly encourages me to participate. I am always blown away when one of the better known participants and even bloggers reaches out to offer help - help that others willingly pay for!

    The biggest downside is the lack of years of history. When I need destination information, I will sometimes return to FT - and at this point, instead of going there multiple times each day (I know, I have no life!), I go maybe once or twice a week. But it is interesting to me that once I get some basic information, I will usually return to Milepoint to ask specific questions. I have faith that someone will pick up on it and treat me like a friend. That’s big. I can only think of one or two times over the last year that I used FT for everything as MP didn’t provide the support I needed.

    But more than that, when I learned about FT, it was truly fully-formed. I was simply one more member and a newbie at that! And I don’t want to make it seem like all of my interactions were tense - far from it. It’s just that I have a sense of being a stakeholder at MP rather than simply a user at FT. I feel a commitment to its success that I never felt and certainly knew was not needed at FT.

    Frustrations? Sure. I sometimes get concerned when I see one or two posts in an entire day. When you go to the first thread and see very little action. To that end, I think we all need to not only think about what questions we have but what knowledge we can share. My strong sense is that we take the knowledge we’ve learned and assume everyone knows it! I think it is far from the truth. A number of threads I’ve started have surprised me with the conversations that have arisen out of sharing my thoughts. I encourage you all to do the same - to make sure that MP continues to be the vibrant and yes, friendly source of wisdom it has been.
     
  2. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    Well put.
     
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  3. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Maybe the destination information is sparse is due to critical minimum for each destination ? Early FT was that way too, was very North American centric ?
     
  4. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I really urge you & others to change this. Consider attending a meetup http://milepoint.com/forums/forums/meetups.148/ I think you'll find, like I have, that meeting fellow MPers in person is even more rewarding.
    The destination information is sparse not due to the time that MP has been up, but the fact that the by far majority of posts on MP are in threads such as this: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/teh-penalty-box.47168/ It would appear that most on MP are not interested in expanding content elsewhere on MP, clearly the megathreads are where MPers wish to spend their time. As a result I find myself going back more & more to Flyertalk to ask questions & read specific threads that interest me & where I wish to find out more info, especially with destination specific threads.
     
  5. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    We had a Do in Boston the other night and the difference between the two sites was a big subject of conversation. The most common comment was, "I like the community at MP, but FT has all the information I need." In other words, it's self-perpetuating, which leads to critical mass at FT.

    There was also some feat that, once MP does hit critical mass, the "attitude" would emerge here, as well. That point is something we can control and I encourage everyone to continue to do so.
     
  6. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    I'm new to the whole thing as of 1/2013. MilePoint is much friendlier, but the lack of activity some days is killer.

    Flyertalk has the information, but in general it is too dense for newbs to interpret.
     
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  7. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    I had not thought of that :( I'll make an effort to expand and contribute elsewhere on MP :)
     
  8. The info I see on the FT AC site is mostly undone by a group of very anti AC people that either don't fly anymore or are just a whiney bunch who have no real concept about the things they complain about and typically don't help with issues much. You have to really dig to get meaningful info from a thread.
    The mods who like their friends to be safely cocooned protect the complainers and do nothing to stimulate info flow.
     
  9. rockyrock

    rockyrock Silver Member

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    I'll try to expand too! To be honest I'm pretty new and until I got the feel of this place I was afraid to expand--I didn't want to get yelled at by someone with 23,016 posts. Asking a question at FT gives me anxiety :eek: but I usually don't have time to sift through 739 threads to find the exact info I need. I'm happy the search reduced it from 12,479 to 739 but that's still a lot!

    Everyone here seems to be a great bunch of folks for the most part. I hope I get to do a Meet Up sometime soon.

    Aloha!
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Another reason for the apparent sparseness of destination information is that the information is not consolidated. I realize that MP is a different (and better) model, but one thing that we, as posters, should try to copy from FT is to ensure that no other thread exists that already discusses a topic that we wish to post about. For instance, there are two threads titled Conrad Singapore and one titled Conrad Centennial Singapore that provide people's experiences with this property and the city, but this information is spread over 3 threads, making it seem sparse. Also, since a poster may not always be able to find a prior thread that discusses a topic before creating a new thread, it would be helpful for the good folks who bring us MP to merge clearly overlapping threads -- the merging of threads is perhaps the only thing that I can commend the "moderators" at FT for doing...religiously.
     
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  11. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    I thought guides had the ability to merge threads.

    I do agree that is one of the hard things about MP vs FT.

    Personally I use FT more than I admit, but no where near the level of my day spent on MP.
     
  12. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    The second step is admission. :D
     
  13. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    disclosure, I am a mod on FT and personally I believe most mods do NOT play favorites, however I meet quite a number of folks & there are two airline forums in particular that always seem to get mentioned as playing favorites.
    agreed! however....
    I would have assumed as much but when I sent a message to MP staff about two Hyatt London Churchill threads and that they should be merged, I was informed by MP staff that "we don't do that here". This was awhile back so perhaps this has changed, at least I hope it has.
    have no fear, post away !!! (& seriously, who cares if someone jumps on you, it is YOUR opinion or question after all !!:))

    I've always told people that believe they don't have anything to contribute is to go to the destination forum, pick an existing thread of a place/activity they've been to (or even one's hometown) and simply post something that they found of interest or note. (i.e. "beware the trains run only on weekdays", "a favorite restaurant of mine is....", "I prefer XYZ museum", "don't forget to visit X if visiting Y", etc etc). And if there isn't an existing thread, start your own on a topic !!!
     
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  14. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Steven Schwartz - I love your honesty, great writing and simple goodness! You are positive force on this forum as are many, many others.

    Sweet Willie - I'll see you on Friday night at my first Meet Up. I entered this game on Feb 6th, 2013 and hope to give back as much as I've gotten.

    My rule of thumb here and in life is to give back more than you take. That's why I posted this thread in Destinations/Thailand (http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/sharing-my-research.63055/)
     
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  15. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    If we yelled at 'ya for not posting more would that have the opposite effect? (Hey, it's an idea :D)
     
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  16. Mark
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    Mark Admin Staff Member

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    Well said Steven! We certainly hope the positive atmosphere continues here and the community moderation/influence remains effective for a long time to come.

    If you spot a duplicate thread, feel free to report it and I will merge them ASAP. The only ones I don't merge are those that have two good streams of conversations going without much quoting. Don't want to unnecessarily confuse anyone.

    We do tend to leave things along for the most part, but we aren't hands off.
     
  17. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    Milepoint brings back fond memories of how Flyertalk was in its early days. Although there may not be as much info on MP, the community here puts the fun and unique aspect back into discussion. I like both FT & MP. On FT, there is a lot of info, but also a lot of bickering and censorship. On MP, there is less info, but a more welcoming community and more discussion. The ideal would be a welcoming community with lots of informational discussion and minimal bickering and censorship.
     
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  18. +1
     
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  19. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    I think it all falls under attitude, at FT it almost seems like the default is to a corporate fed indifferent negativity where as here the entire idea of the site seems to be community-based helpful positivity.

    The fact that this community, by and large also participate(s/d) at FT tells me it is a culture thing. People tend to follow the "crowd" with their content, they want to fit in. If the crowd is negative some of that seeps in to their posting, if it is positive, vice versa.

    On the consolidation front I think FT is almost too big for it's own good, if they didn't consolidate info it would be a complete CF.
     
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  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Part of the reason FT is "almost too big for it's own good" is because it has been around for much longer, so that one can foresee that as the future of MP after it's been around for as long. It therefore makes sense to learn from the mammoth that FT has become and begin to consolidate proactively.
     
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  21. Liucoke

    Liucoke Silver Member

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    Great post, Steven! The only point where I'd really disagree with you is here:

    For me, this is one of the biggest upsides of Milepoint (over FT). When I need to learn something, I'd rather not be directed to a 1,200 page thread started in 1998, where half the information is no longer accurate, but you can't tell which half until you read the whole thing. I understand why the FT mods consolidate everything into megathreads, but they make it pretty much impossible to ask a question and get a response, or to pull relevant answers on your own.
     
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  22. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    This will certainly encourage me to participate more in a more meaningful / helpful way. I am a newbie just 'getting my wings' wet mostly on the 'social' forums until I feel comfortable. Thank you for a great post.
     
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  23. Aditya Vyas
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    Aditya Vyas Silver Member

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    I really like Mile point and received plenty of help over the years in choosing the right airline, seats, connection and understanding benefits of 1K etc when they weren't clear to me. I was a silent member of FT but do miss more historical information but understand that over the years it will become gather more information so I am doing my small part in adding information as I receive it.
     
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  24. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Silver Member

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    OK, I'm now motivated to share more of my travel experiences....we all need to help build content on MP! Like many of you expressed, FT has enormous and usually helpful content, but MP is a more comfortable experience.
     
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  25. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Personally Steven Schwartz summarized my attitudes pretty well. I was very active on FT, and lobbied hard for things I thought were important (the Brazil Forum was the biggest effort) and was very happy until I wasn't. When people began to be gratuitously rude and i received PM's telling me to stop posting in a couple fo places, then began to have posts deleted in a couple places I rapidly lost heart. Then MilePoint came along and I have felt quite at home here. We are all aware that some of us have affinity to some members and not to others, but mostly that is dealt with in a very civil manner. Civility is a big part of why I am here.

    The generosity of spirit at MilePoint is incredible. The Kiva team has been a joy to behold and a pleasure, proving that MilePoint is a different kind of place. Although I am no longer active there, for reasons unrelated to MilePoint, I treasure the friendships I have found through participation here. I never expected to actually make friends here, but it has happened. The gatherings of MilePointers somehow make me feel better every time. There are few other associations I can say that about, and none of them are open internet BB's. We owe much of that directly to Randy, but also to a large number of members who have developed that spirit.

    Next is the very easy way we deal with differences of opinion. From the long saga of the B787 groundings, the relative merits of credit card churning, airline websites and on to so many otehr subjects we MilePointers see different conclusions form the same data, and manage to discuss those differences without histrionic displays of intolerance. Few are the places where that is possible.

    Penultimately, the weakness we all see is the lack of newly oriented and basic content in many areas. For me at least I get many questions from Conversations rather than in threads, most often about Brazil, aircraft and consumer finance. I suspect many other have that happening too. I do not mind that, but it does give a deceptive impression about lack of activity, which is a pity. Since so many of us have expertise in one or more areas we might do well to ask each other questions in Forum to accelerate this process.

    Lastly, MilePoint has changed my life for the better. I am very grateful for the Founders vision.
     
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