Why milepoint?

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by mdtravel, Jun 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

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    Something tells me I'm going to get scorched for asking some of these questions, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway.

    I am a long time participant over on FlyerTalk and (former) long time subscriber to Inside Flyer. I'm not one of these folks like Gleff that goes all over the world (seemingly) every week. I do a fair bit of travel, I kind of know the ins and outs of the programs I'm interested in, and I'm happy to get a good vaca every year or so with the points & miles I rack up. On FT, I post as many questions as answers, likely more. I've always enjoyed being able to ask some of the pro's over at FT questions on destinations, bookings and promos. I had a Mileage Make Over in IF years ago and accumulate most of my points from the topic of the question I submitted: spend on credit cards.

    Ok, so that's me. Here is my question: why start milepoint? I haven't followed the events that led to the sale of FT and am not aware of anything that took place afterward. My assumption is that FT was sold with some kind of unwritten understanding of Randy's involvement in it or how it would be run, and that didn't pan out. Randy says 'fine, I'll go do it again' and here we are. That's my assumption.

    But appearances are that FT was sold and money exchanged hands in that sale, and now we want to start up another one...why sell it to begin with if one didn't really want to be out of the business of chat boards related to points and miles? Was it too much money to pass up? Personal circumstances?

    I understand that:
    1. I don't have a right to know.
    2. It appears that I am calling out an icon.

    I really am not trying to be a jerk...but ever since I saw milepoint launch, I've wondered: why sell in the first place? And of course I'm wondering what the difference between the two boards is that will motivate the large number of FT'ers to migrate over here...but mostly it's the "why."

    Be gentle.
     
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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Good questions and yes there is a fair amount of history that led up to the creation of MP. There are some technology improvements and social integration on MP that make it a fresh, new and interesting experience. The tone on MP tends to be more gentle and welcoming. This and other positives may be the result of learnings from FT. The bottom line is the more travel related web sites, the more information and resources available for everyone.

    BTW Welcome to MP!
     
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  3. Randy Petersen
    Original Member

    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Actually no "scorch" here so no worries about the questions and as well, we don't call them "icons" here ... we just call them "avatars"! Actually FlyerTalk and milepoint are not connected in the way you might be looking at it. Some of what you might be asking is posted in this thread. From day one the "idea" of another forum has been in the lap of a few other frequent flyers and it likely is fair to ask them — but also understand there have been many other forums as well started alongside or in addition to FlyerTalk. Not hard to understand when you look at the fact that FlyerTalk has just over 300,000+ members and heck in the new United Mileage Plus program there are likely 91 million members alone. The idea likely lies in the fact among all things in life that given alternatives, not all will flock to the same birdnest. Some appear more comfortable on milepoint and that's cool, some will be more comfortable on FlyerTalk and that's cool. And yet some will be more comfortable on TripAdvisors version for frequent flyers here. Some have and will survive and others seemed to have faded. For instance there was moremiles.org years back. So the answer isn't really complicated and for myself, I like the fact that you have InsideFlyer as a background as it serves to provide the idea that I have long continued to contribute to and begin and support various initiatives that can and do assist the frequent flyer learn more about the trials and tributations (and rewards) of being a road warrior. I started boardingarea.com well after I started FlyerTalk and still have a credit card website I continue to wrestle with and you'll be hearing more about another new project in the months ahead. I embrace technologies, ideas and have been fortunate to be able to count on fellow frequent flyers such as yourself to be part of helping others become more knowledgeable about miles, points and travel.

    And milepoint really isn't about FlyerTalk, it's about addressing the fact that there are many who find FlyerTalk and other places too intimidating, too confusing and just not the right vibe for them. It's like my Ford pickup, I just wasn't attracted to a Chevy or Dodge pickup. They both could have done what I needed for the purposes of carrying junk around, but I bought the Ford F-150 ... it simply looked like the better pickup for me and guess what — I'm happy with it. That's all that matters, that and the fact that I'm pretty happy there were choices for me. Heck if there was only the Chevy around I might not have bought a pickup at all, it just did not appeal to me in the way to "buy me".

    And please understand, the plan for milepoint is and never has been for anyone to migrate over here from any of the other websites that serve frequent flyers, it's to provide a more modern and refreshing home to those who haven't homes for their questions and their answers and when looking at the numbers, there's far more of those frequent flyers than there are on FlyerTalk, Frequentflier or anywhere else.

    So, welcome and discover another address for frequent flyers. We've got much to do — a lot of content to yet build and community and causes to support. We have some great success stories so far and invite you to participate at whatever level you wish and please, if ever I can ask a question for you, just let me know.

    Cheers.
     
  4. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    Proof that there is room for everyone here on Milepoint, even people with such inexplicable taste. Well, I realize not everyone can appreciate a Dodge Truck like mine ($5,000 down payment was put on my Delta Amex card, for the points, of course), but even still folks as different as Randy and I (hey, he even uses a Mac!!!!!!???) can get along well and share ideas here.

    I like FT, I like MP. MP is a better fit for me. It's different from the ground up. FT could not become what MP is (and I really believe MP has already established it's personality solidly enough that it could not become FT), so they will remain even more different than Dodge and Ford. Membership in Frequent Flier programs numbers in the high 10's of millions of people, maybe even in the 100's of millions (?). So there is more than enough room for two different types of discussion fora, and with that many potential users, there is a need for more than one type of forum.
     
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  5. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

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    I appreciate the polite responses; I really do. I don't know that I understand the "why MP", and I don't know that it really matters that I do. I think I've heard that there is room for more than FT in this space, that the technology employed here is better now and into the future, and that the tone / approach to moderation might be a little more welcoming here.

    I have been an FT member since 1999 (Dingo over there). Actually, I think it was a bit before that under a different screen name but we'll go with what my profile tells me. Back in the day, I certainly found FT to be more casual and less caustic than it is now, but I also believe that happens with volume.

    Anyway, thanks again for the replies. I"m going to keep hanging around here...mostly lurking like I do over at FT.
     
  6. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    Although largely a lurker, I'll second the innovative nature of milepoint, specifically software wise. I love the presentation, find its easier to use and the software has a ton of great mouse over features. Every day or so I find something "new" that I haven't seen on any other forum -- and I tend to lurk in a lot of places. I wish more places used a user friendly software such as this.

    It took me years to actually register on FT, and longer to feel comfortable enough to participate in the discussions.
     
  7. the_happiness_store
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    the_happiness_store Silver Member

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    I have asked the same question and still see no clear reason why.
     
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  8. the_happiness_store
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    the_happiness_store Silver Member

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    You can have all the software you like but without innovative content it matters little. I don't care whether I'm liked, how many status points I get; I may use facebook but mainly for information such as tracking down a friend in Vietnam. Show me distinctive content (not the bells and whistles) and you have a chance to sell me.

    What turned me off to milepoint was the fact the one particular poster had about 10 million posts, likes, points in the first month. That is when I thought that this may not be my type of site.
     
  9. lin821
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    lin821 Gold Member

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    IIRC, this question was addressed earlier on during Beta Phase. More than once, may I add.

    But a few original FTers were not "satisfied" with the answers given by Randy, Gary, and/or Tommy; and kept insisting they heard different stories in their backroom and/or from small talk. According them, Randy, Gary, Tommy were not being honest. :confused:

    I can't find that particular post right now but I think Gary (or was it Tommy?) explained how things had started and how they approached Randy earlier this year with their idea of a new site that Randy himself summaries in this post:
    From my understanding, that's how the concept of MilePoint kicked off. As we all know, when a creative mind has an idea, there's no way for creativity to stop nor idea half-hatched. One thing led to another, we got to see Beta in early Feb and infancy MP since March 1st, 2011.

    I haven't talked privately to any of MP founding members about this. This is what I learned from reading their posts in the public. I think Gary himself also presented his version of the development over FT in at least two threads: one in TB Topics Forum and the other, OMNI Fluffy. It shouldn't be hard to find Gary's posts over TOBB.

    I do believe sometimes something just happens for a very simple reason and/or idea. MilePoint happens to be one good example. YMMV.
     
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  10. the_happiness_store
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    the_happiness_store Silver Member

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    Well I never found the other place unfriendly. I participated in the off topic forums voluntarily and received grief as well as giving but I'm a big boy.
    My initial feeling about MP is that it has fractured the flying community between 2 main boards. That is not good.
     
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  11. MrsBobSgt
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    MrsBobSgt Gold Member

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    :cool:
    I can see how there are many more people out there who do not know much about travel and points :eek:than those who do:). How can you possibly reach them all by limiting avenues of communication:confused:, so many travelers and so few sites:oops:
    I feel very at home here:p
    MP is easily navigatable, informative and the members make the networking, work. ;)
    Like with anything else in life, you will get out of it what you put into it. :rolleyes:
    I like the smilies too...:D
     
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  12. airshadow
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    airshadow Gold Member

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    Since the vast majority of frequent flyers participate in both forums I'm not sure there’s much fracturing. I suppose if anything, one could suggest MP was born out of a fracture within FT, although I don't believe that was the motivation.

    Good information always gets around. MP is just a new option on where to find it. Some will dig it and others won't. But in the end, MP is good, because more options = more involvement = more information.

    I certainly understand and appreciate your initial feeling. I think it will take time for people to view MP as an addition to their experience instead of competition to FT.
     
  13. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

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    "Since the vast majority of frequent flyers participate in both forums I'm not sure there’s much fracturing." Not to nitpick, but there is absolutely no data to support that, and there is no means to gather that data. You have valid points and I'm not disagreeing with any of them nor dis-appreciating (I know that's not a word) MP. Your lead in, however, makes it seem like I'm a late arriver here or in the minority who haven't fully engaged. It's just an absurd statement. I think what you mean is "...the vast majority of the big names that I follow or know of participate in both forums...".

    I am obviously neither of those.

    It also leads to a logical conclusion that, to you, MP is catering to a much smaller number and perhaps well-heeled subset of frequent travelers.

    Sorry to glom on to a passing comment, but it seems revealing as to who MP is catering to...the "7 continents in 37 days" type of traveler is not I.
     
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  14. airshadow
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    airshadow Gold Member

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    Yeah, I could have written that better. I forgot the word MP in front of frequent flyers. But regardless, you're right. I should have prefaced that it was just my personal feeling that many on MP are not exclusive to MP.

    Sorry if I came off sounding like an elitist. That was certainly not my intention.
     
  15. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    I find MP to be much friendlier and much more fun that FT. Because of the increased social interaction and camaraderie and caring feeling on MP, the MP Kiva team has loaned more money around the world in 4 1/2 months that the FT Kiva team has in 32 months. I belong to both teams and there is a big difference in the feeling and actions of the two teams. I am sure that others can find similar differences in the areas of MP or FT that matter to them.
    I still go to FT to give and receive info at times, but MP feels much more like home to me.
     
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  16. Chic Silber
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    Chic Silber Silver Member

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    It's a great site to view photos of cats & ostriches & have a feel good time

    Not so much for ease of specific details of flying & points related subjects

    I visit less than before but I still visit

    As a famous circus ringmaster once said to the performers

    shortly before a show was about to begin & having viewed

    the crowd seated in the tent "They better not start anything

    because we've got them outnumbered" (Roger Boyd)
     
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  17. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

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    Thanks for the replies and airshadow thanks for the clarification; I'm not sure that I buy the intended MP inclusion b/c it doesn't make any sense, but thanks just the same for a very polite post when you could have gone radioactive on me.

    After poking around a bit more, I actually think that sentence and the implication thereof is accurate for now. Perhaps there will be an increase in "normal" travelers that pursue points and miles here, but for now it really does seem like it is the spot for those that have their own blog, podcast and bank 300,000 BIS miles annually. That's not me...I'm out of my element here.

    I will say, all of the replies here have been friendly and welcoming, and that is very nice.
     
  18. airshadow
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    airshadow Gold Member

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    Hi mdtravel, and a warm welcome to MP. Like you, I'm just an average traveler who only wishes he could be 7 in 37.

    Here's a little background into what led me to make that statement. I joined FT a few years ago and although I love the info, participation had become increasingly frustrating. So when MP came along, I jumped on board. I decided to post exclusively on MP. I still lurk on FT, but haven't logged on since.

    Soon after, I created a thread on MP announcing my intentions http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/im-now-exclusively-on-mp.6639/ and the impression I got from the responses (and I could be wrong here) was that many view MP as an "addition" and not as some sort of “one-or-the-other” choice. That was my basis when I responded to the happiness store's concern of possible fracturing. I should have clearly indicated it was just my personal feeling. In fact, apologies to the happiness store as well.

    I know the leaders of MP want it to be accessible to all, especially newcomers, and I failed to be welcoming. I appreciate you calling me on it. I'm learning as I go.

    Stay with the site. You’re just the type of person that makes MP a wonderful place!
     
  19. mevlannen
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    mevlannen Silver Member

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    Wow. Reading this thread makes me appreciate, once again, how civil we can all be.

    I lead a busy life, as I am sure we all do, even those of us who are retired. I take the time to read and write via MP because, in some non-quantifiable way, it feels to me as if these conversations have a greater likelihood of actually being mutually useful. **That** is worth something, in its own right.

    Thank you all!

    Mevlannen, from a small town nobody ever heard of ^_^
     
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  20. travelinmike33
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    travelinmike33 Silver Member

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    It may be selective reading by you, me, or both of us, but I tend to see a TON of newbie questions on MP. Yes, some of them are for award redemptions on itineraries I can only dream of, but I also see plenty of requests about getting the family to Disney World or grandma's house.

    Also, though I think a lot of answers to your original question existed elsewhere on the site, the query has certainly started off some very interesting discussion. Thanks for posting!
     
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  21. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    I too like the tone of MP but that's not what we're here for. I do think MP will continue to grow and I know there are fairly knowledgeable people here to help when I need it. The only downside is there is not enough info yet to search for answers and (I'm guessing here), I have to imagine some of the forums are rarely visited.

    To me that means I'll have to keep hanging around on both MP and FT - a bit more time but no big hassle. And who knows, enough posts and I can also be promoted from Silver Member to Emperor!
     
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  22. Chic Silber
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    Chic Silber Silver Member

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    Aside from having the biggest hit on Broadway Steven they are about to do

    a revival of your "Godspell" at Circle In The Square this fall

    (I know it's a different Steven)
     

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