Today is the official first day of the return of The Gate to BoardingArea — and I am quite excited about it.
The Gate Returns to BoardingArea
As I walk through the hallways here at BoardingArea, I see some of the same people who were here when The Gate was here the first time — Steven, Seth, Gary, Ben, and Mikel in a completely new role, to name a few — but I see so many “newer” people here…
…some of whom I have already met in person — such as The Weekly Flyer whose real name I know, René, Angelina, Ed and Stefan, with whom I had the pleasure of dining over sushi at lunch more than once while discussing travel and writing.
Wow — the smell of the fresh paint is still strong since the design of BoardingArea was updated a few weeks ago.
Ah — here is my office. It is not the same one I had before; but I am quite happy with it. While I get settled in here, please allow me to give you a brief yet somewhat weird history of The Gate.
History of The Gate
In the summer of 2006, Randy Petersen had this idea of launching a weblog and announced a call for writers on FlyerTalk. Including me, 22 FlyerTalk members answered the call — one of them who now writes a weblog at Prior2Boarding, if I recall correctly.
After a period of time where the 22 writers posted articles to The Gate without attribution — as it was not live as of yet — I was honored to be chosen with FlyerTalk member Kiwi Flyer as the two original “bloggers” for The Gate. After the test period, The Gate became live in August of 2006 — almost exactly eight years ago — on FlyerTalk, as there was no BoardingArea as of yet.
In fact, View From The Wing and The Gate were the only weblogs on FlyerTalk at one point. Before The Gate was “born”, My Point by Joe Turner and The Miles Files by Randy Petersen shared space at firstname.lastname@example.org with View From The Wing by Gary Leff, which has its own weird history as told by Gary.
The Gate was one of the original weblogs at BoardingArea when it was launched in 2008. More specifically, the first time an article of The Gate was posted at BoardingArea was on Thursday, December 27, 2007 with this short article. It eventually became one of the top four weblogs at BoardingArea, according to Randy Petersen…
…but then, Randy Petersen announced in an “open letter” of sorts in November of 2010 that he was leaving FlyerTalk. The purpose of The Gate was to highlight discussions posted on FlyerTalk; yet it resided at BoardingArea. With Randy Petersen leaving FlyerTalk, the future for The Gate was uncertain.
During the first 20 months after The Gate returned to FlyerTalk, there have been an assortment of co-writers at The Gate, including in order of most to least articles posted:
Brian Cohen as the Sole Writer For The Gate
I became the sole writer for The Gate as of Monday, January 21, 2013; and I have personally written 3,053 articles for The Gate since August of 2006 — give or take a few, not including the ones already here at BoardingArea in 2014…
…and now The Gate has returned to BoardingArea as of today, Friday, August 1, 2014.
I see more opportunity for The Gate to grow here at BoardingArea; as well as more freedom. Although I will still cover discussions posted on FlyerTalk, The Gate will cover other weblogs, Internet bulletin boards and news sources related to frequent travel loyalty program miles and points; plus, I intend to post more of my opinions, experiences, trip reports and thoughts pertaining to why I do what I do whenever I travel — although you will probably think of me as quirky and nuts at times when I do.
Before anyone conjures up some rumors about this move, let me state definitively that management at Internet Brands has treated me well. They did not restrict me to covering only content which was discussed on FlyerTalk; in fact, quite the opposite: I was given a choice by Internet Brands to write articles where no discussion existed yet on FlyerTalk.
In other words, I was more restrictive than Internet Brands about what to write for The Gate.
There was no falling out between Internet Brands and I. In fact, I worked with Randy Petersen and Internet Brands for almost a year to ensure a smooth transition — hopefully as smooth as the transition of The Gate back in 2011 from BoardingArea to FlyerTalk…
…and I will still work with Internet Brands on other projects. I still intend to serve FlyerTalk members as a volunteer moderator until further notice. I have nothing to hide. I have attempted to clearly state all along to whomever would listen to me that I have never believed in “taking sides” or contribute to fracturing what is a relatively small community of frequent fliers when compared to the millions of people who travel by air and sleep in hotel rooms each year. We all need to help each other and use the tools we believe will help us towards our goals of getting the most out of earning and redeeming frequent travel loyalty program miles and points. This is not about FlyerTalk versus Milepoint or Internet bulletin boards versus weblogs — rather, this is about doing everything we possibly can to help each other enjoy our shared passion for travel to the fullest extent.
As for The Gate at FlyerTalk: the articles posted from Wednesday, May 4, 2011 through Thursday, July 31, 2014 are currently the property of Internet Brands and will not be found here at BoardingArea. All parties agreed that this was reasonable; and although there will be no new articles posted, Internet Brands has no plans at this time to shutter The Gate over at FlyerTalk. In fact, I plan on referring to articles which reside over there for future articles which I post here and have already started doing so, as I have posted nine additional articles here to prepare for today so that there are some new articles for you to read which represent but a sample of what The Gate will be like moving forward:
There is one favor I would like to ask of you: I enjoyed the unpublished feature at The Gate of highlighting photographs posted by FlyerTalk members and linking those pictures back to the trip reports which they have written and posted; and I would like to continue that tradition. If you are interested in allowing me to use your photographs in exchange for crediting you for your work, please let me know either in the Comments section below or by contacting me privately to grant me permission to use your photographs. I will also link back to a trip report on FlyerTalk, Milepoint, your weblog, or any Internet web site where you have posted photographs and you have the rights to those photographs.
I also want The Gate to be more interactive — so please post those comments. Let me know what you would like for me to cover in future articles. I promise not to censor your comments — no matter how vicious the comment might be towards me — unless it is considered “spam”, of course.
Who says you can never go back home again? The Gate has done it twice — going from FlyerTalk to BoardingArea; back to FlyerTalk; and back to BoardingArea.
It is quite apropos that The Gate returns to BoardingArea eight years to the month after it was launched. Thank you for your support over the past eight years. I am glad and excited to be back at BoardingArea; and I look forward to many more years of serving you — as well as receiving your feedback.
Now it is on to business — but not before I decorate this fine office…