Answered: What is General Discussion | Miles/Points Forum for?

Discussion in 'Feedback/Support/Suggestions' started by lin821, Apr 4, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. lin821
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    lin821 Gold Member

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    I don't know if others are bothered as much as I do with misplaced and mis-posted threads. I am the one who reported "wrong forum" to the admin when I spot one such thread.

    What's also annoying is that what I report the misplaced threads on MP, it would either take a loooooong time for the admin to take actions, if ever, or my requests just get completed ignored.

    Take our front runner forum, General Discussion | Miles/Points, for example. How does the following threads fit in there? :confused:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/passport-expiring-before-visas-global-entry-etc.32680/

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/leftover-foreign-currency.32664/

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/gold-dispensing-atms.32470/

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/the-art-of-churning.31405/

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/chase-said-no.32740/

    IMHO, the first 2 threads belong to the general travel discussion forum and the last two in Other Credit Cards Forum. And yes, I reported them all days/weeks ago and NOTHING HAPPENS. :(

    It's one thing when posters don't know the forum structure or where to post their threads. However, when the admin fails to straight things out effectively and/or efficiently following RBPs, there's a bigger problem.

    I know perfectly well MP doesn't take the MOD approach. However, when Admin fails to intervene timely and promptly, OPs tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over, or they just cross-post. Neither is good for MP. Being a newer site, MP needs info and threads that are properly organized, not some randomly scattered piles of misplaced threads here and there. Ever wonder why some regular posters over TOBB look down the structure or info dispensed on MP? I have to say sometimes there are indeed merits in their dismissal, all these misplaced "stapled" threads being one of them.

    Our Newbies Forum being sort of a catchall or free-flow forum is a different story. Maybe MP should "push" the Newbies Forum harder or something? Generally speaking, savvy MPers or discussion participants know better and are much less likely to start a thread in the wrong forum, unless they have too much booze that day. :p
     
  2. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    I don't mind answering this, though heads up that I am not convinced there are the "bigger problems" that you seem this indicates. I'll start off by mentioning something I think is very important and that is a 'balance' of information and the ability for Milepoint help it grow and also I more than anyone have learned over time about the patience of others use of an online forum.

    But first I hope I can correct something you have posted so that members reading this can at least keep things in perspective as i explain the "balance" thing.
    In fairness and perspective, the first two threads you mention here were only posted yesterday, meaning on Tuesday. The last two? Well, again, one of them was posted today (Wednesday) and the other was on March 20. So, as for reporting them "... days/weeks ago and NOTHING HAPPENS", maybe we can be a little fair here.

    As for my balance comment. Frankly online forums have and will always be faced with the challenge of a friendly member environment and forum posting structure. In any of these that you have a differ with, one of the keys missing in your observation which is frankly key to me, not that they are perhaps posted in a forum that might suit the eventual thread better somewhere else, but that no one has attacked any of these threads as being wrongly posted and they have been viewed by roughy 2,000 members. I'll take that tolerance over "use search", "wrong forum" and the other short worded replies that might be common in other online forums. The balance is that it is not the first forum they see, Newbies is, so we can't blame it on forum location and being first would make it a dumping ground. For whatever reason, they posted in that particular forum and at the risk of over managing threads like this, we've adopted a casual approach which means we directly decide not to move a thread immediately. And I can tell you, there is really little than can force a change to this other than becoming extremely forceful with it. We had the very same problem on FlyerTalk and several years ago we did a number of changes and tests to see if we could alter the use of Miles/Points for such threads. We moved the forum lower, thinking that it would be a solution — did not work. We used a more agressive monitoring system — too much negative feedback not from the person who posted, but for those who saw it and then when they came back it was not there and they wanted to go back to that thread. Easy solution, right? Leave a long re-direct. Uh, not so good. Members complained that the forum was not rile with sloppy visuals of re-directs and the purists view. So, I've been there on this, i really, really have. It may not be what you would do, but let's understand this is a community and as noted, more than 2,000 members saw those same threads and decided to either add something to them or read them. Another thing that might have been missed here is that there weren't just some Newbie dropping by with a question. In fact, three of the four questions were posted by Silver members. I thank them for their contributions and I'd say they must be comfortable with the environment and the other member is an active one meaning he/she is trending toward really enjoying Milepoint.

    So, we have established that three of the four are threads quite new and in our approach, rather than hustle threads here and there we allow them the opportunity to find some traction first, with the idea (and i do understand this may not be how you, some, many, all view this) that in a more general forum like Miles | Points, one can often be exposed to a topic they might never normally come across in some of their more regular patterns of forum use on Milepoint. That may sound ..... but it's a practice I'm comfortable continuing to explore. And let's remember, some or many of these threads will eventually be shuffled off to far less popular forums and as such, add little or no value to that forum if there is but a single reply or two replies. If you'll notice, these threads to have highlighted, have great dialogue for new topics and when they are finally redirected to appropriate forums, I believe their value will actually add far greater value to the new location because they will have a long trail of comment truly worthy of someone's reading. And there are other subtle things that we also consider. Let's take a look at the churning thread. In the Miles | Points forum as a new thread, it has over a thousands views by members, meaning it seems to be of interest. In the Other Credit Cards forum, there is also a churning thread started recently and it has over 600 views by members. Two different members started the threads and interestingly enough, each has about the same number of posts, one has 23, the other 22. Also interesting is that each has had 12 different members post to the thread. Also interesting ... one a single member posted in each of the two threads in the two different forums. That indicates to me that the general readership and participation might be very different and actually by allowing the one thread to grow some first, it attracted a very different flow of dialogue because the types of members posting were much different. The point being, I love looking at the using some of the experience I have gained over the years in managing these types of forums and situations.

    As noted, it is apparently not the direction you would take, and guess what — that's cool. But to assume there's a "bigger problem", well gentlemen can find ways to agree to disagree. As for:
    Well, there is a counter to that and you have to personally decide which screams louder to you. The counter is "ever wonder why some regular posters of this board look up at the structure here?" No, we don't scold members who post where they thought was an appropriate forum, no we don tell them to use search. We and I know that most (not all) of the threads like what you mention will be managed over the short term within the sort of comfortable environment we want Milepoint to be and over the long term all thread will eventually find the proper home. But today, is Milepoint being harmed that there is two churning threads in two different forums and we haven't immediately put them in one forum and then merged them since the concept of the threads are the same? It may be for the future and I share those types of concerns, but when i look at an analysis of the types of members posting to each, the very different set of members posting to each, I see just a little more good than harm at this moment.

    As for looking down on Milepoint? I'm not interested in looking up or down, I'm interested in looking around and see who the next traveler we can help is. As for the info here? Well, what you see here on Milepoint, is just about what was on FlyerTalk after the first 4 1/2 years. What I liked about that time, is that the information that was available, and as meager as it was, was absolutely appreciated by the founding members and I still salute and thank those that contributed that info. On Milepoint, I like that our members appreciate the information and advice there is here and also appreciate that for a baby, it's got a lot of promise and thank you for caring enough about that promise to bring this issue up. I like what Newbies has done and will take to mind your challenge to do more with that, but please appreciate that for Miles | Points, re-read my comments about what we did on FlyerTalk with the same challenge and simply after testing several ideas and concepts did not find a single one that altered enough of general poster patterns to make any difference at all.

    Cheers.

    Note: and while you might have missed it, we actually did move about 6 or more threads from Miles | Points from there to other forums in the past day, threads such as Airline Quality Rating, TAP Portugal and Legends of Flight. So all is not lost on us!
     

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