Bullying or Irony?

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This topic contains 53 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  1nfrequent 19 Apr 2017
at 00:04
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 54 total)

  • FDOS_UK
    Participant

    BT has closed a tongue in cheek thread of mine, because (a) Tom Otley doesn’t understand it and (b) he thinks it is bullying.

    Well, apart from the fairly obvious point that if you don’t understand something, it is difficult to categorise accurately, let me try to assist.

    My thread (Captain Obvious) is an ironic in-joke about amateur astroturfing on another forum. No one is named and the irony is quite gentle – SimonS1 understands my point and it isn’t a cruel one.

    +++

    Now this was bullying,

    https://www.businesstraveller.com/forums/search/brexit/

    To quote Edski777, who has posted for a long time and whom I respect as agood contributor

    Isn’t it about time that the moderator steps in and end this discussion or at least scraps some of the posts? I believe that what was once a serious business travel forum is now rapidly a place where anyone objecting to the views of two posters can be repeatedly bashed and insulted.

    Calling names and showing intolerance in an uncivilised manner should have no place here.
    I had hoped this had ended with the farewell to VK, but Brexit seems to bring out the worst in some of us.


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    Well I have to say I am struggling to see/read anything that is bullying. If it is bullying then a significant number of other threads should have been closed where the mercury in some personal thermometers ascended rapidly. Tom I think you have overeacted


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Fair enough.

    But a number of posters have contacted me in recent weeks about the tone of the forum. And I agree.

    So what would you two do about it?


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I’m sorry Tom, but you have completely missed the point on this. In fact you seem to be unaware (as you admitted) what the thread you closed was even about.

    Moderation only works if sensibly done, not just because you have a gut feel that something is bullying. Bullying? Really? Who is being bullied here? Please share with us.

    Honestly….with the greatest of respect, why don’t you guys wake up and smell the coffee. This forum is going downhill fast with fewer and fewer contributors as was pointed out on the other thread. Many of the old timers no longer post on here. You have done away with the old forum and apparently managed to replace it with something even slower and less user friendly than before. I can’t imagine this is good for your users, advertisers or the reputation of BT.

    Meanwhile other travel forums are steaming ahead. Look at how active FT is – there is a vigorous debate on there even if I don’t agree with the content all the time.

    Please do something before it’s too late and the BT Forum becomes a complete irrelevance.


    esselle
    Participant

    I saw no bullying or anything approaching it frankly. A bit of humour and plenty of poking fun perhaps. And highlighting the stupidity of some of the stuff attached to travel. But not bullying.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Ok, so no suggestions over how to improve it then and no frequent posters see there is a problem, but those who don’t post anymore say there is…


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Ok, so no suggestions over how to improve it then and no frequent posters see there is a problem, but those who don’t post anymore say there is…

    OK, I’ll bite.

    The first question I would ask you is who is more important to you, frequent posters or non-posters? I’m not being sarcastic as I don’t know how your business model works.

    Then, what do your important customers want? Have you done a survey to ask them?

    If you want my honest opinion, the forum is currently a bit boring, thus my attempts to at least inject some humour.

    The content I enjoy reading is

    Pat Jordan, for his marathon, detailed and restrained reviews – if Pat expresses an opinion that something is not great, I’ll pay attention to that.

    Uggboylovestravel – not sure why, as he and I move in different worlds, but I find the reviews witty and they often make me laugh – obviously, if you into middle/top end leisure travel, the content would be useful as it is detailed and to the point

    Lugano Pirate, Martyn Sinclair, TimFitzgerald, DavidGordon, FaroFlyer, esselle, Edski777 and others whom I can’t immediately recall (apologies offered) all contribute good points.

    What I feel we lack is a bit of debate (and I am not talking about astroturfing, personal attacks or going back to the dark old days) on the current topics – I agree 100% with SimonS1 in this regard; whilst BT writes a lot of factual reviews (and you will recall that I recently defended you following a disgraceful slur stating bias), it would be good to have some content – posts on the forum (perhaps from Alex, who has seen a lot of change in the travel industry) taking a position on developments and inviting (reasoned) responses for and against.

    Finally, I think it would be good if you reflected on what one of your long time and non-controversial posters wrote recently, in response to some highly charged invective (which you rightly deleted).

    I guess this should really be a Business Travel Forum, not a Brexit debate. The tone of a few posts is more typical of what you might see on general social media.

    In my opinion, the tone on the forum is excellent these days, with reasonable disagreements (I miss MrMichael’s intelligent gentle debating wit so much), it just needs a bit of a spark.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Thank you.
    “Who is more important to you, frequent posters or non-posters?”
    Both – and I think we all feel that way.
    You say that “the forum is currently a bit boring,”
    But that’s because we don’t have the volume of posters we once had.
    There are many reasons why, but one of them (so they tell me) is that they don’t feel confident to post.
    That’s why you’re right when you say “What I feel we lack is a bit of debate… on the current topics”
    But we need plenty of posters for that.

    As for Alex McWhirter posting here – he posts a huge amount still, and writes some of our best stories – the AF and SIA one for this week. He then links to those stories, and when he thinks the story doesn’t deserve a News Piece, he starts a thread on it here – the trouble is there are too few posters willing to… post.

    And yes, I accept that some forum threads should have been moderated early. I didn’t read that one until later, and of course it was completely off topic anyway – but at least it had a title reflecting that. From now on I will delete those threads. I know many posts are marked with “REPORT”, but half the time it’s because someone doesn’t like what the poster said, which is unfortunate but happens when you disagree with one another – in a debate.

    The United thread this week was a good one, with plenty of links to good articles, but it took a lot of moderating.


    icenspice
    Participant

    There are several reasons why I don’t post so much these days, including I have always found it hard to put my thoughts in writing.

    I also stopped travelling for a long period, but now find myself on the third trip within the last month (thanks for Lisbon hotel review, Tom!).

    More importantly, I am terribly upset by the news from MrMichael, and think about you all the time.

    I will try to post some more flight reviews in future. Hotel reviews is asking a bit too much LOL


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I see the thread has reopened as I just posted there before seeing this one.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Honestly Tom, I would focus less on moderation and more on making the forum fit for purpose.

    In typing this on an Android phone, I can see 2 lines of my post between a huge BT block header and the keyboard.

    The home page of the forum is covered with clutter which is very distracting. The search function is slow as is the general site.

    Why not just get some specialist forum software like those used by other major forums.

    The first way to encourage new posters is to have a setup which us easy to use.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Yes, we are pressing ahead with that. You’re right.


    DavidGordon10
    Participant

    I am sorry to see that some members feel that the Forum is less use than formerly, but I still find it useful, often informative, often amusing: and I am not just saying that because FDOS wrote something kind about me above. I look at it every day, and I should post on it more often, but too little time and too much travelling.

    It is up to all of us to keep it active and keep it useful.

    Mind you, for those of us who use BA rarely, we sometimes feel in a minority. Maybe there should be a kind of “Provisional Wing” of the BT Forum, for those who do odd things like use Egyptair and are prepared to change planes at CDG……


    Henryp1
    Participant

    Thank you.
    “Who is more important to you, frequent posters or non-posters?”
    Both – and I think we all feel that way.
    You say that “the forum is currently a bit boring,”
    But that’s because we don’t have the volume of posters we once had.
    There are many reasons why, but one of them (so they tell me) is that they don’t feel confident to post.
    That’s why you’re right when you say “What I feel we lack is a bit of debate… on the current topics”
    But we need plenty of posters for that.

    As for Alex McWhirter posting here – he posts a huge amount still, and writes some of our best stories – the AF and SIA one for this week. He then links to those stories, and when he thinks the story doesn’t deserve a News Piece, he starts a thread on it here – the trouble is there are too few posters willing to… post.

    And yes, I accept that some forum threads should have been moderated early. I didn’t read that one until later, and of course it was completely off topic anyway – but at least it had a title reflecting that. From now on I will delete those threads. I know many posts are marked with “REPORT”, but half the time it’s because someone doesn’t like what the poster said, which is unfortunate but happens when you disagree with one another – in a debate.

    The United thread this week was a good one, with plenty of links to good articles, but it took a lot of moderating.

    I think some of the comments made are appropriate if on a forum where everyone is known to each other and not anonymously, more like you would do with friends on a rolling chat on whats app etc. On the forum reply comments may be made in ‘jest’ etc in response, but the writer is not known to the recipient and the jest potentially comes across as an attack, no number of emojis, winks etc will change that.

    Some topics can be very personal with ‘humour’ and not specifically business travel appreciated by the writer and some of the respondents, which may not be of interest to other readers. Overall I think this type of forum which remains very largely anonymous will always have specific challenges just like Flyertalk. I believe a forum where there are no anonymous posts offer the best experience, just like talking to friends where there is a known quantity of openness and generally expectations of truth is appreciated.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I fully agree with all you wrote David. I also find it useful and informative and would also like a bit more on carriers, but I guess the majority of users likely being UK based, BA is their first airline of choice, hence it being so BA centric. Mind you from all the comments I read about them that may be changing.

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