TalkBoard to Disband After November 30, 2016 on FlyerTalk
“T alkboard will be disbanded at the end of November. Many people have faithfully served as Talkboard members. Many good decisions have come from it, and FlyerTalk has been strengthened as a result. However, FlyerTalk is now a mature board with little activity where Talkboard can engage. It’s been increasingly difficult to get members to vote in the Talkboard election. I think that readers are happy to engage in conversations about miles and points but have little interest in the mechanics of the board. I deeply appreciate all that Talkboard has done over the years. We are a better site thanks to their efforts.”
Those are the words posted by Carol Hahn — who is the current community director of FlyerTalk and also known as SanDiego1K — in response to this request posted by FlyerTalk member ediemac1 pertaining to the annual election for members of TalkBoard, as this is the time of year when the annual election typically occurred but has not happened.
While a successor process to TalkBoard still has not been officially announced, FlyerTalk members should not be concerned that their voices will no longer be heard. Feedback is important to both the community director and to employees of Internet Brands, which is the company that owns FlyerTalk; and a mechanism will be established to ensure that the lines of communication remain open in the future.
“I expect to set up a new forum called ‘The Suggestion Box’ and place it adjacent to CommunityBuzz”, SanDiego1K posted earlier today. “It wlll be the place for members to come who have an idea for how to do better what we already do very well.”
Reasons For TalkBoard to Disband After November 30, 2016 on FlyerTalk
Although some FlyerTalk members oppose the disbanding of TalkBoard, there are a number of reasons as to why it will happen after Wednesday, November 30, 2016 — one of them being less engagement overall from members of FlyerTalk. In the most recent election last year, 468 ballots were cast. That is a decrease of almost 66 percent from the 1,375 ballots which were cast in 2011. Creating an election each year consumed a significant amount of time and effort — and that included posing questions to the candidates from FlyerTalk members as to their stances and positions on certain topics.
Also, FlyerTalk is no longer that upstart forum of topics dealing with miles, points and travel. It has existed in its current form for greater than 18 years; and it was first conceived by Randy Petersen greater than 21 years ago in its first iteration. Many significant issues dealing with the operation of the forum have been resolved; and many of the issues still yet to be resolved — technology and advertising, for example — are under the purview of the employees of Internet Brands responsible for the administration of FlyerTalk. These factors helped to contribute to TalkBoard becoming increasingly obsolete.
Actually, the winding down of TalkBoard as a user advisory council was first conceived as early as nine years ago. “The concept originally came about in the late 90s (FlyerTalk officially started in 1995) as a way to open up a channel of communication within the members of FlyerTalk and use the voice of members to help build a path for FlyerTalk”, Randy Petersen — who founded FlyerTalk and BoardingArea — posted earlier today. “Of and by the members was important in those early days. While not true today, FlyerTalk at the time had no mentors, had no competitors to learn from, no existing business/community model and as a pathfinder in a new and growing forest called the World Wide Web, used a process that is now called ‘crowdsourcing’ as it’s listening device. Yes, FlyerTalk was early on in travel: among the first to form a crowdsourcing ‘business plan’, among the first to create what is called social media today by introducing formal lurkers and among the first at so many other things. All members should be proud of its heritage.”
TalkBoard is a user advisory council of FlyerTalk which consists of nine members of the community — all of whom are chosen by popular vote of the active FlyerTalk members and served terms of two years — whose purpose is to provide input regarding feature requests for FlyerTalk; action requests which fall outside the scope of policies and procedures that are already established; and general user issues as may be directed to them by the FlyerTalk member population and the host of FlyerTalk.
As part of the FlyerTalk Town Hall created by Randy Petersen during the autumn of 2001 when he still owned and operated FlyerTalk, TalkBoard served as a method of input for members of FlyerTalk who wished to opine about the future direction of FlyerTalk. After discussion and a vote on an issue, members of TalkBoard — who followed these guidelines — would then recommend to the community director the course of action to be taken on that particular issue. This process saved time for the community director, who could concentrate on other issues which concerned FlyerTalk.
FlyerTalk member Kiwi Flyer — who joined me as one of the two original contributors to The Gate when it debuted back in August of 2006 — created what he calls a “brief history” of TalkBoard on FlyerTalk. I call it detailed and rather informative.
Some of the more popular — and controversial — topics amongst all of those presented to members of TalkBoard over the years included:
- Post counts — especially for posting in the OMNI forums
- A “Like” button
- The creation of a forum for smokers
- Whether or not the Travel News forum should be closed
- The creation of a ‘Points & Miles Blogs’ forum — to the chagrin of some “bloggers”
For nostalgia purposes, you can view all of the decisions reached by members of TalkBoard over the years pertaining to the passing or failing of motions…
…and if you would like to post your thoughts — or if you want to wish the members of the last TalkBoard well — you have until Wednesday, November 30, 2016 to do so.
Just for fun, can you guess the names of at least five authors of weblogs at BoardingArea — including Prior2Boarding — who have served on TalkBoard as elected members in some capacity?