(Disclaimer – Let me get this out there at the start – Despite writing this blog I do also act as a Moderator at Flyertalk, and used to be a member of their elected user advisory panel, TalkBoard).
Flyertalk, the original online travel community has started to bend its mind to the issue of Blogs and Bloggers. This isn’t the first time that the members of the board have turned their minds to blogs – but these have typically descended in to a set of name calling posts, comments about the sexual preferences of bloggers, speculation on who gets paid for what, which bloggers got what for free etc. In my view much of this is speculation and often ill-informed. Blogs by their very nature are a challenge to the old Boards. Often Boards feel that Bloggers ‘steal’ information from their postings and use it to their own advantage. At the same time they only want reviews posted by bloggers where these are posted in full on the boards as well as on the blog. Interestingly, Flyertalk has recently launched four blogs of its own – The Gate, The Hub, The Lobby and The Tarmac.
The member-elected TalkBoard has an advisory role at Flyertalk and has recently turned its mind to how to deal with Blogs and Bloggers. Some years ago Flyertalk regulated commercial offerings in to a board all of their own, with one thread for each enterprise. This works pretty well and stops commercial posts littering the whole board. Commercial offerings can update people who are interested, plug their goods and offer support. All good stuff.
Before I consider the issue of Flyertalk and Bloggers, let me step back a little. When I was a member of TalkBoard – some years ago – we agreed a process for the creation of new boards. This required the member proposing the new board to demonstrate that there is demand for a new board – this post by the current Vice-President of TalkBoard outline this criteria:
You might ask whether TalkBoard has followed its own procedure – no it hasn’t. So why is it going ahead you might ask?
Well it seems that this issue has become the hobby horse of one or two members of TalkBoard. Their motives I could not comment on.
However, if you want some insight in to their thinking please read the thread which you can find here
The general thrust can be understood perhaps by reading this excerpt from a post by the person proposing the motion, known as kokonutz on Flyertalk:
FlyerTalkers need and deserve a place to discuss them [blogs], dissect them and separate the wheat from the chaff every bit as much as we need and deserve a place to discuss, dissect and judge the mileage programs themselves and the other commercial ventures that support our points and miles addictions.
If you have a view on the subject (and are a Flyertalk member), I would suggest you head over to Flyertalk before the 14th, when the poll will close. The Thread is here.
Me? Oh, I won’t be commenting!