The Future of MP. Concerns/Observations/Suggestions/Beefs

Discussion in 'Talk To Me' started by milchap, Mar 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    This thread is meant as a strong endorsement of MP. It is not a bitch session but the voicing of observations and dreams on the future of MP.
    A lot of us embraced the concept of a new travel site with an emphasis on a caring respectful place to help each other enhance our travel be for business or leisure.
    The Beta phase was an intense period of community building in a respectul environment....and this still endures today. :) This is indeed one of the hallmarks of this new site. Content was also slowly being organized and a few wikis were launched. There was hope for the future and high expectations were created for the members. I Mar was an important milestone.
    Since the official launch, we have been waiting for more news about the future development. It has been 25 days now and for some of us a malaise is stirring. What is the plan? Where are we going?
    There is a silence that is somewhat puzzling. The creation of a new website is not a happening like Woodstock..... There has to be the unfolding of a direction, of a plan. IMHO, there is a void in information. I don't know how to phase this respectfully but there is disconnect between the prelaunch public relations and the implementation phase.
    Am I the only one feeling these things ? If I am, I will fade off quietly into the proverbial sunset and shut the heck up with my comments.
    PS: The guides are doing a great job and this is an excellent idea.
    Comments please......
     
  2. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    Below are some of the comments by Gargoyle from the JAL lounge thread


     
  3. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    Thanks MilChap for posting this. Things are certainly moving more slowly than we hoped and were lead to believe.

    I have seen several who have already left and more contemplating it. I have tried to help with the content build here and am happy to be working on the wiki once it starts. But even that will take another week or two to start.

    Things are moving slowly and communication seems to be minimal at best.

    Another point of contention for me is the constant threads comparing MP to FT. Different sites. But they are there. Then the guides, a great program I've already used more than my fair share, do not have merge ability. The only problem I have with this is getting a hold of admin/Randy seems to be next to impossible. The guides are acting as the face of MP that we can get a hold of without the powers to help us in cases.

    I am trying to be patient and certainly trying to be constructive here. But complaints in several threads are spreading as is the loss of quality members and their contributions.
     
  4. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    We will hit 25k members today, yet it feels like the volume (and substance) of posts has fallen off considerably in the past week. There doesn't feel like there is any direction or underlying goal or vision. If there is, it needs to get communicated. The lack of clear statements and follow-up is undermining the unique potential.

    Part of the problem is the huge hype- we heard in early beta that what we saw was just 30% of what it would be at launch; the only real changes are on the XenForo side, not on the milepoint side; (Guides is a great step forward, and I know the wikis are coming, but those are perhaps a 20% improvement over two months, not the promised 70% dynamic change in 3 weeks)

    We were told that the status algorithm would be a wonderful thing based on twelve fluid factors, but it's still the same as it was at the beginning- two static factors (only real change is that gold and ads free have been removed). With those two static factors, the reputation/status system isn't anything special or unique that differentiates MP from a thousand other sites.

    I understand Randy's comparisons to how slowly FT developed, but that was a dozen years ago; internet time is compressed. Three weeks is now an eternity, and people have much higher expectations and shorter attention spans. I fear that people will pop in for one or two look-see's and then go somewhere else. I see people who came here with excitement but are now fading away.

    I think the time window limited; if MP continues as it is now, it could develop into an interesting second or third tier site in two or three years; I'd much rather it became a leading light by this summer. This is starting to feel like Delta's presence on FT- official representatives would swoop in, post wonderful proclamations, promises, and excuses, tell us they were listening and wanted dialog, and then they'd disappear. We don't want spin, we want the same thing you want- a vibrant, useful, fun, informative and helpful site, one which is the go-to destination for frequent fliers. I'm not sure that's happening.
     
  5. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    About the 25,000 members. Its a nice number in the first month. But seriously how many of those have not made a single post yet? 20,000 of them? They're here for the ipad and the ipad only. Several have won who have not had any activity since signing up and leaving. That happens and its ok, but it sure doesn't mean that 25k members is what the situation is.

    But I honestly believe the lack of communication is the biggest issue here.
     
  6. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Communication with the constituency is what is lacking at this time. I am frustrated with the silence.....it reminds of airline's not telling pax about departure delays. ;)
     
  7. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    The lack of posts in the past couple days has been amazing. I don't know if its just the newness wearing off or if its something more. Its been a drastic reduction from my point of view.
     
  8. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    I posted this in another thread, but I'm copying it here to consolidate the discussion. I hope it doesn't look like I'm hogging this thread- I want lots of others to jump in here with your thoughts, and hopefully to tell me I'm full of it, MP is going great, everything is happening well here, and lines of communication are open and flowing in all directions. :D

     
  9. Chimpy
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    Chimpy Gold Member

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    I can also understand the problem with questions not being answered, I feel any answer is better than the question just being ignored. It could be as easy as saying "we don't know at this stage" or "we will look into it for you". Because of this we may loose some good members for eg. JALPak who has posted a lot of "content" (I know there are lots of others, but I had to give an example:)).
    Speaking of questions, Dovster even set up a thread to find out about when he would get "ads be gone" as far as I know that was never answered. Does anyone know? Perhaps one of the guides?
     
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  10. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    milchap, thanks for starting this thread.

    I have not figured out the status algorithm and have noticed that part of the original point structure did not hold true with my account. That is no big deal to me, but some coherence would be helpful.

    I like the introduction of guides and think it may help the flow of the threads and this site.

    Tenmoc has already pointed out that while 25K+ people have joined since the Bta phase, very few have posted. While I am not surprised by this figure and am not too bothered that they were here for the iPad giveaway, I have not seen the 'content' of this site increase since the Beta phase. I know I may be used to the traffic of FT, but in the age of internet, some threads/forum get stagnant (of course, that may mean, no new replies in a day!)

    As for the future, other than 'likes', how does Milepoint differentiate itself from other sites? It has some of the best experts in travel here and I appreciate that.
     
  11. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    I agree canucklehead that there are a lot of experts here. But i know we've lost one of them already to content posting in JAKPak. How many others are taking off already?

    I do agree with you that the guides is a great improvement. I am all for that and thank them for their time. Hopefully more plans like this will roll out shortly. As you said, a day is an eternity on the internet these days.
     
  12. secretsea18
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    secretsea18 Gold Member

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    I would like to add my "+1" to all the posts already made in this thread and especially the OP. thankyou.gif

    The silence from Randy and the admins about various questions is very concerning. We were asked to provide "content" and have when and where we can, but do need some guidance and restructuring of some of the fora would be helpful.

    The amount of knowledge of the members of MP is enormous and it would be a shame to lose these experts.
     
  13. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    My concern is that some members will migrate to other sites to meet their travel needs. While there is some social agora, this is not Facebook. This is a travel site to garner info for the journey. If people are not fed for the journey, they will go to another eatery. ;)
     
  14. Chimpy
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    Chimpy Gold Member

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    It is a shame as this site has great potential (perhaps three michelin stars).:)
     
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  15. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    As I mentioned above, I don't think it's going to collapse; I just am concerned that, without clear guidance and vision, it won't fulfill it's potential, and that will be our loss.

    Randy has a lot on his plate, and consistent day-in day-out communication has never been one of his strong points. Perhaps he could delegate that job to someone who will log in every day, seek out concerns and questions, and respond. He has people doing that on the technical side, but we need to see it on the purpose/direction/general communications side.
     
  16. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    Sort of like a Guest Services Manager.
     
  17. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    This is a good comment.
    Perhaps Randy could appoint an alter ego lurker (or more if needed) to communicate with constituents as required.
     
  18. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    I agree with many of the sentiments on this thread. Indeed, there is not much that is new since 01-Mar, when many of us were expecting new content and capabilities to be made available. (We do have at least a rudimentary lounge guide online now, but I will say that we did not have a groundswell of volunteers for that, either!) General wiki capability is still "soon" ...

    I expect that the MilePoint team is working hard, but it is a small team. Maybe Randy & co underestimated the amount of work to be done with a new site -- another person or two on the admin team might make all the difference between treading water and actually making headway. But adding someone now won't be a quick fix.

    What would be good would be an improvement in the communications. A simple blog (heck, a locked thread will accomplish the same) with a commitment by the admin team to post an update on what's going on at least every other day would be a huge improvement. This does not mean a status report (we're not the management after all ...) but any kind of regular update on what's going on behind the scenes would be great. At least we'd know that there is something going on.
     
  19. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    Note in the chat bar at the bottom of the screen, all the way to the left, is an "announcements" button that brings up a window. Nothing there at the moment, but that could be a usable tool.
     
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  20. secretsea18
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    secretsea18 Gold Member

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    An excellent suggestion Gargoyle.... I have wondered what that button was supposed to be for, and have checked it on the "update" days without anything showing up there.

    Perfect place for any info from the founder/admins. thumbsup.gif
     
  21. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    A perfect place would be a live discussion in these threads, but that announcement link would be an acceptable option.
     
  22. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    IMHO,

    I am not yet as concerned as some are. It's true a large percentage joined for the ipad promo but I feel we will grow appropriately.

    Are there a lot of questions that are not being answered? I don't visit every forum every day but I do see answers in the suggestions/feedback forum.

    I do know that they are working on building the content for the wikis. I think we need to give admin some room here. It seems to be a smaller staff and that's okay. Also, we need to give the guides a chance to find their rhythym.

    Has anyone sent mikel or Randy a private convo with their concerns?
     
  23. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Im a little puzzled as to why some very basic, and IMO rather simple measures havent been implemented sooner. Best example I can think of is the creation of sub-fora in the Destination Travel section. I think the entire South America section is a huge mess and doesnt help create useful content. Perhaps there is a tecnological aspect that I dont 'get' but all I know is that I find the current format does not help me or 'invite' me to generate new content.
     
  24. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    All of us had our own reasons for checking this site out and, later, for determining to stick around - even if only for awhile. I would respectfully ask what it was that made you stick around?

    Milepoint will most certainly be problematic when you are looking for historic information on a specific problem. It may take awhile, but many of those issues are not new and the answers exist on FlyerTalk. That's probably why many of us still check out both sites. I know I get embarrassed when I post questions on both sites - I guess my training at FT and nervousness about being "yelled at" for double posting!

    But here we are. For me, I was astounded when I signed up for the beta and realized that the founders were as turned off by some of the contentiousness on FT as I was. The major push was to create a better culture. The fact that some of the superstars were the founders made it easier but it also made me realize that FT had gotten away from them and some of the things I saw there bothered them as much as it did me. Anyone else wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, and having the nightmare of someone yelling, "schmuck - do a search!":p

    But as I said, here we are. Rather than wondering where it is going, you can be part of determining that by actively looking to post interesting information, by warmly answering questions to the best of your ability, to remembering when you knew nothing and creating an open site that welcomes all.

    Yes, I do believe I will have to keep checking out "both" sites but I am committed to this site and hope to be a part of fulfilling the vision of the founders. There is simply no way to adequately quantify how much I have gotten from others in this field and how it has affected my life. My family routinely makes fun of my mania but thanks me profusely after each trip. I ain't giving up and I look forward to not only seeing all of you there but your friends too!
     
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  25. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    I would agree with subforum creation in Destination Travel. We need to break those out for South America, the Caribbean, etc. I would be happy to reach out via conversation.
     
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