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The future of the Business Traveller forum

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BusinessTraveller - 21/02/2012 14:45 GMT

Over the last six months or so the Business Traveller forum has grown enormously, and we thank you for your continued interest, posts and opinions.

It has become clear that recent use of the forum has outgrown both our current software, and just as importantly our resources in terms of managing and moderating it.

We are therefore looking at options, including migrating to a dedicated forum system, which would allow us to introduce moderators and far greater flexibility with thread management, direct messaging, etc, all of which have been discussed in various threads on this site recently.

The forum would still sit within the Business Traveller site, but it would probably require a separate log in to that which many of you use for your newsletter or print subscriptions.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on this, and welcome suggestions on any forum software which you have used which you think works particularly well, and any functionality which you think is essential to the working of a good forum.

We’ll keep you updated on progress, but in the meantime please bear with us – there are lot more of you than us, and we cannot always respond as quickly as we would like to threads, queries and emails.

- 21/02/2012 14:53 GMT

Firstly, thanks for providing a great forum.

Secondly, whilst no expert, I do seem to encounter vBulletin quite a lot, on different fora in different areas.

This seems to have most of the essential features built in, such as private mail, ignore lists etc, but you'd probably wish to speak to someone with years of experience in running it - do you know any of the guys at PPrune or Flyertalk? Internet Brands, who own Jelsoft (who produce vBulletin), also own these two fora, amongst others.

BeckyBoop - 21/02/2012 14:58 GMT

Sounds great i have also noticed that the whole site has also slowed down as well so you may need to even upgrade your servers hardware.

Who would be a moderator?

Do you think we might be able to have a phone app to?


VintageKrug - 21/02/2012 15:02 GMT

I would also recommend vBulletin; the only problem is Internet Brands itself, which probably wouldn't be the best commercial match for BT.

An "ignore user" function is of particular value.

Older threads are often of historical value, and can help with researching trips.I do hope existing threads will be able to be archived onto the new server, or accessible in archive form.

BeckyBoop - 21/02/2012 15:02 GMT

Also another idea would be to clear up some of the old threads and delete anything over 1 year old that should clear up lots of space as well ;) xx

BusinessTraveller - 21/02/2012 15:09 GMT

BeckyBoop and VintageKrug - we would probably archive the existing forum content on our site, at least for a while (so that it is viewable but not editable), and start again from scratch on the new software.

BeckyBoop - 21/02/2012 15:18 GMT

But deffo have an app for the phones would be really handy. But who would be a moderator? i am worried some peoples posts may be auto deleted because of favortism or personal feeliings which would be unfair xx

BusinessTraveller - 21/02/2012 15:26 GMT

BeckyBoop - we have noted your request for an app and will see what we can do.

We have yet to make decision on exactly how moderation will work, but will involve existing posters closer to the time.

BeckyBoop - 21/02/2012 15:45 GMT

This software looks better xx

Danwolf - 21/02/2012 15:48 GMT

Glad to hear that BT are looking to update the forums. On my Wishlist would be a more user-friendly way to browse through the forum posts, especially with the ones with 200+ posts.

BeckyBoop - 21/02/2012 15:53 GMT

Dan i agree those long posts should all go if you ask me they all go round in circles xx

BT will Seatplans run independantly of the forum? xx

Tim2sms - 21/02/2012 15:58 GMT

Something that is RSS'able at topic level. (lots of mobile Apps can then read and store BT threads offline.)

BusinessTraveller - 21/02/2012 15:59 GMT

BeckyBoop - it's undecided how we'll manage the flight reviews that are pulled through from

BeckyBoop - 21/02/2012 16:06 GMT

Tim dont you do internet and phone stuff, perhaps you can build the new site? xx

This co looks good they seem to know what they are talking about and make some good stuff xxx

BeckyBoop - 21/02/2012 16:21 GMT

One thing i love about the current forum is its very simple and easy to read and doesnt stretch the whole width of the screen xx

bjornstrom - 21/02/2012 16:22 GMT

I'd love to get involved in this. I've worked as a vBulletin developer and administrator since 2003 and i'm involved in other travel related sites.

Please contact me using my profile details if you are interested. I happen to be in London on friday.

MartynSinclair - 21/02/2012 18:59 GMT

The USP of the BT Forum is:

1. ease of use

2. whilst the circulation is wide the contributors have remained a fairly tight knitted bunch, sometimes lively and in the main pretty well behaved

3. the Forum has characters, which I think enhances its use.

4. Subjects covered are wide, even if on occasion product biased

5. Its has a very homely feel

6. I hope that new Forum, however constructed will keep the qualities of the existing Forum and NOT create large unfriendly beast

7. If BT would like any help / input from me, I would be more than happy to give as much time as needed.

One poster did recently comment that the Forum provided them with as much "fun" as Facebook, which was interesting to read, whilst the other extreme is a poster who feels that it is purely for an exchange of business travel related information and ideas.

I sit in between to the extent that I hope "new Forum" (oh no, I can see the heading another "N F") manages to keep its idiosyncrasies, whist at the same time enhancing the benefit and format.

Thanks for continuing to support this Forum BT.

Abidjan - 21/02/2012 19:55 GMT

As a fairly long-time reader of BT, but a recent website visitor (and now resident), I'm excited to hear of the increased interest and plans for the next evolution of the site. You do a great job, and I expect nothing less with this project.

LuganoPirate - 21/02/2012 20:44 GMT

I enjoy the forum as is, and I hope access will be a simple matter like it is now.

I do feel that new topics should only be started by people who have posted say 10 times. This will keep out those one time posts trying to get some free publicity.

PatJordan - 21/02/2012 21:00 GMT

A very interesting thread.

I have enjoyed taking part in debates, the very useful travel tips on the forum, and as many others have said, the ease of use.

LP makes a good point about one time posts.

Martyn has summarised it very well, and with his blessing, I'd like to associate myself with his comments.

Many thanks BT for providing this useful and enjoyable forum.


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