What's the future of InsideFlyer?

Discussion in 'Talk To Me' started by uggboy, Sep 9, 2016.  |  Print Topic

  1. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Hi,

    I'm concerned about the future of InsideFlyer as it looks like that many forums are dormant right now and many haven't been touched for a while. What's happening and where are the members? Many times I find myself in a position to post something here on InsideFlyer but literally [almost] no-one seems to be interested on travel related threads/forums. I haven't seen much activity for a longer time now and I'm concerned of what's happening. Equally it looks like that many formerly active members have deserted InsideFlyer, which was formally a better-run and more active MilePoint.

    Any answers to where InsideFlyer is going? Thanks.

    Cheers & Safe Travels. :)
     
  2. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    I could not agree more. I believe the people behind this have other things going on to pad their pockets or just no longer care. I recall when MP started it was vibrant and busy. Then issues came about and they were ignored. People left. Never to return. It is a dead shadow of its former self on life support. No reason for people to come here. I am here solely to keep in contact with some folks. I no longer care about the travel forums as they are dead. Very sad. But this came about as a direct result of the people running it. Simple. My 2-cents.


    Sent from my iPhone using the poorly tested and bug ridden InsideFlyer mobile app
     
  3. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for your honest/fast reply @ACMM, could you please elaborate which issues came about and they were ignored. People left. Would be interesting to know why people don't care about travel forums, especially IF is a travel related forum website.

    Any insights?

    Cheers & Safe Travels. :)
     
  4. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    I think shortly after MP started some bad eggs arrived and pleas to reign them in to MP management were ignored. As such ppl left. I know I did. When I returned over a year later I heard through the grapevine that other things similar had occurred and ppl left again. Now that does not account for many of the forums just some. Something must have happened to have ppl leave.

    Again this is all just my 2-cents.

    If frequent flyers no longer come here to post and answer then it becomes dormant. You need activity. Not just from one or two people.


    Sent from my iPhone using the poorly tested and bug ridden InsideFlyer mobile app
     
  5. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thank you @ACMM, I hope that other members/owners/mods might chime in here and we might get some answers to "Where InsightFlyer is heading" in the future. Would be good to know.

    Cheers & Safe Travels. :)
     
  6. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    I expect you will get little reply or just platitudes. That is my firm belief.


    Sent from my iPhone using the poorly tested and bug ridden InsideFlyer mobile app
     
  7. Kiwii_Xan

    Kiwii_Xan Gold Member

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    As someone in the business of digital media, it isn't just Inside Flyer that is slowing down, but most forums in general are. It has to do with generational interest. Younger audiences don't appear on online forums as much as older generations, and other types of social technological advancements are gaining traction instead. Also, the purpose for forums has shifted to being a place where conversations happen, to a place where you go when you need a question answered. The problem with this is that everyone is asking questions, and few are truly there to answer. The reason why some threads to better than others is purely based on habit and community. Threads with more action get more traction, naturally.

    I could see a place like this evolve to a platform that has a purpose more relevant for the Frequent Flier Community, with Slack being an interesting example. However, I do not see the forum itself completely dying off, but rather acting as a hub to guide the conversation elsewhere. Then there is the problem with being mobile friendly, and consistency across devices. The world is becoming more mobile, and IF just is not there yet.
     
  8. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    I'm here only for the box really.
     
  9. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    I think quite a number of the persons came here, just to see what it took to get 'gold' status. Many, again JMHO, very little was contributed to the boards, just simple reply's to get a point toward gold status, like 'yep', ' I agree' 'of course', etc. Once they got their 'status, they were gone. Very little was contributed to the forums.
    My second thought is that with all the changes in the airline's FF programs, and not so easy for us non elites to have status in their programs, there is very little reason to look at or contribute to those forums. I, most certainly, am one of those. Since I lost my UA & AA status, there isn't much I could contribute. I and 'da bride' travel about 3 to 5 times a year now, and we both have 'tons' of miles, so no need to look at those forums. CCs and VGCs have contributed many FF miles to our FF accounts. I haven't bought an airline ticket in 3+ years, since my company stopped paying for the trips, and wife and I both lost AA & UAL status. I would think that many, who don't have any status would have a need to visit some of those forums.
     
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  10. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Weighing in here as one of the co-founders (and not speaking for any other co-founder).

    I don't recall very many early reports of people who needed to be asked to leave the community. There were a few, but I don't believe that's the primary reason for the decline.

    We haven't been able to get the sort of participation yet that we need to make all the forums viable. We've discussed some strategies to trim the forum tree and encourage more activity.

    I'm definitely open to suggestions, we don't have all the answers. But, I'm not going anywhere. I'm not even sure where the light switch is. :)
     
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  11. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    It's simple and I said this when inside flyer started, the community isn't big enough to support two sites Flyertalk and whatever this place is. I didn't support moving the box from FT to here. however the Mods on the UA forum batman the bed and themselves on a continual basis so here I am.
     
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  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And IF chose to further fragment that community via language walls and disparate operations that compete with each other for resources and eyeballs. Combine that with technical failures, the over-promise/under-deliver problem and, generally, insufficient unique or compelling content and there's minimal value to the shell here.
     
  13. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    @Pizzaman read this comment.
     
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  14. Mrp Alert

    Mrp Alert Silver Member

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    I'm back to IF after having a whole bunch of issues elsewhere and few challenges here. I appreciate mobile access via Tapatalk vs. a complete lack of mobile strategy on the other site. Facebook groups have started to supplant some of the traditional forum posts, but I believe there is still a market for public forums such as IF and FT.


    Sent from my iPhone 6 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    He knows my opinion well. :-:
     
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  16. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Thanks for the kind remarks and I'm glad to see that you realize our mobile product. We just pushed through a new release just days ago that I like a lot better and it includes our blog posts and other items. We do have a mobile strategy and the only item standing in our way is the fact that the tech platform for IF which is called Xenforo is scheduled for a huge new v2.0 release in the Fall and it doesn't appear to support some of the many things we have built into this version and we (like others) end of in no man's land as we interested to see what the new engine will allow for mobile since it is being built in truly the mobile age. And we also have some specialized needs. We decided a while back to not release individual apps for IF but rather try and build a custom app which would allow a single download with the ability to then select which language/country you want to read in to. With the same app someone could decide to go read the German website if that language was comfortable to them, etc. But is someone hasn't, I would suggest they use our latest version and put it up against others app and test the difference.

    True, there are always other things going on but those things in many ways are extensions of this effort—things to help improve and support the frequent flyer. I never consider that a bad thing. If we're not working here, we're working on BoardingArea and others are working on FTU or the experience of MegaDo. Any and all of these produce many fellow flyers with positive experiences and new knowledge. As for the "no longer care"? Nothing could be farther than true for any of the co-founders. Despite every type of challenge we've had (and there have been many) in trying to build the first global network for the frequent flyer, we're still here. It's been without a doubt the most difficult project I've ever worked on but I'm still here and so are the others. I have no doubt that anyone else or group would have given up long ago. I totally cringed when i read your comment about no longer caring: for most or all of us, it's the only thing we know, caring about our fellow frequent flyer.

    Good question. We've taken some bruises in putting together the global network but we're still dedicated to this project and there is more going on right now than in some time. Here's but an example of things that you don't see. This is a note from .nl from yesterday and it highlights things that are going on there right now:

    From: Lionell Jansen - InsideFlyer NL <lionell@insideflyer.com>
    Subject: InsideFlyer NL | Update Week 36
    Date: 8 September 2016 at 20:35:28 GMT+2
    To: Michael Trager <trager@insideflyer.com>
    Hi Michael,
    Here’s a current update of stuff that we are working on this week:
    · E-mail template for sending out to potential bloggers (Amy)
    · Workflow document for hiring new bloggers (Amy)
    · Documentation for forum usage for new bloggers (Amy)
    · Documentation for WordPress (how to concerning creating posts, inserting media, SEO,...) ==> Amy
    · Setup Dropbox account to store all relevant documentation so it can be accessed by any local editor (Amy)
    · Setup Asana for task tracking between Amy and myself ==> completed
    · Posted about InsideFlyerNL luggage tags on Facebook, Instagram and forum
    · Within a couple of days send 72 luggage tags of which 50 go to Aviatrix Art charity event where they will be put in 50 goodie bags
    · Requested receivers of luggage tags to take a picture and tag us on social media
    · Follow up with 1 new blogger in WordPress (first article)
    · Follow up with 2 other new bloggers, getting them setup on forum and WP
    · Ralph is working behind the scenes on Schiphol contacts with Leon
    · Ralph is also working on touching base with visum agencies for an article series and possible advertising
    · Ralph & Theo will develop an article series about visa questions
    · Ralph & Kilian will start a Flying Blue article series
    · Ended our first week with 16k pageviews!

    I have attached two pictures of the luggage tags. I currently have about 20 to 30 left in that bag and requests keep coming in through social media. I have plenty of enevelops to send them out, but would be nice to get more tags :)
    All the best,


    Does this look and sound like we don't care or that nothing is going on? (I've left the email addresses in of those involved for anyone who does want to authenticate that this is true) As mentioned, we've taken some bruises including a few months ago in .nl but actually these prior experiences have made us stronger and better and we're just entering the same period for here in .com.

    Did we go through a lull? Yes. Let me raise my hand first and the highest. Some of it was the challenges of trying to reach too far, too high and too fast. While some may say point out technical failures, I'm good with that. I'd rather we come up short trying to improve the experience of our fellow travelers than simply stay in status quo.

    Bottom line: IF is headed where it was always headed and six months of bumps and bruises aside, you'll see much more activity in the months ahead than in the months past.

    I suggest that you really do not know us.

    You truly are in the business of digital media and I fully agree with your observation. The competition that Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey (Facebook and Twitter) have had a huge impact on forum growth and future and I am one of those that spends time each day thinking about what we can do beyond the next horizon to fully address the changing habits online communication/research and social. While there seems to be several participants on this thread that fully believe this is a just an IF failure, I'll post up a general traffic trend from a third party that shows the trend across two popular forums.

    alexaIF.png AlexaFT.png

    These general traffic stats do indicate what you have referred to. And there is the competition of other outlets. Some to many who would typically come to forums for their travel information find blogs easier for the less noise to signal quotient. And of course the rise of Facebook groups has really become popular and growing. While blogs may not have fully replaced forums, I do know that in the recent audit of BoardingArea that in August they had more than 9.2 million visits. That certainly has to have some effect on forum readership.

    IF is actually holding some ground though I acknowledge we lost a sudden group of active members between May and July. However, August was only down 4% to January as a whole.

    Very much appreciate the validity that the environment of how people learn things about travel is changing and it might be slightly unfair to fully blame IF.
     
  17. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    And you know well Pizza that neither am I. As for the light switch, as i recall we simply couldn't agree how many members it would take to change the lightbulb in here and as a result decided to never install a light switch to turn anything off.
     
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  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    There is no mystery what has happened at all. It has nothing to do with "some bad eggs arrived and pleas to reign them in to MP management were ignored".

    The demise of MP came about because the members were no longer the centerpiece driving the discussion. IF, with its "magazine" format started to introduce travel news from around the web that used to be the "prerogative" of the members and was the spark that started discussions. When, say, Hilton announced a promo, a member would hurriedly post about it and others would chime in about its pluses or minuses, etc. Now, IF has taken that over, and the reformatted user interface is not really designed for people to know at a glance what's "trending" in every forum as it used to before. The whole new structure is "opaque" and not designed as a discussion group where the members drive the discussion.

    Well, at least that is why I no longer come here. The site, rather than the members, has tried to be the driver and it is clearly not working...
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
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  19. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    Well I wish you all the best folks. I still stand by my words. The latest app release full of bugs on iOS shows me that the mindset is all wrong. Where is the focus? Where is the caring about what you deliver?

    One year from now I see IF being no further along. While your business behind the scenes may be making you what you want it to do I do not see IF changing. Sorry if you do not like my comments. But given the history over the past year or so I see no reason to believe otherwise.

    You mention FTU. That is a great effort. For a small number of people. Does not help the masses who may have been coming here.

    I see talking the talk but not walking the walk.

    My two cents.

    Take care ...

    Sent from my iPhone using the poorly tested and bug ridden InsideFlyer mobile app
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
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  20. tondoleo
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    tondoleo Gold Member

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    The problem with IF is I would not have found this thread if Uggie had not linked it to FlyerTalk.

    This website is terrible.

    It is not user friendly. There is nothing here to pique my interest or my wallet. Except this thread to point out some faults of the site.

    All of these repetitive pics and headlines on the front page are boring yet obnoxious.

    MP was easy and friendly. Posters were engaged and interested.

    Best of luck to the owners in being profitable and successful in this venture.
     
  21. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Glad @tondoleo that you found our thread here, it's good to know your honest opinion. Cheers & Safe Travels. :)
     
  22. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for your honest insights @ACMM, we hope that InsideFlyer will survive and will become what MP once was, a vibrant and inviting community. I remember MP clearly, a travel community, a website people wanted to engage in and visit/partake in the forums/threads and talk about what's going on in travel/life/adventures/planning/points/miles etc. Cheers & Safe Travels. :)
     
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  23. adamefimoff2

    adamefimoff2 Silver Member

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    @uggboy. I worry about that no one reads the luxury forum.
     
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  24. adamefimoff2

    adamefimoff2 Silver Member

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    and no mods
     
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  25. About Again

    About Again Gold Member

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    Uggie, you're safe in the Lounge, and Trump For President Lounge:)

    plenty of action, and traffic in both,

    Cheers:)
     
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