New Forum for Business TravellerBack to Forum
Anonymous12 Mar 2016
We now look like we are moving towards the finish line on the new Business Traveller website. I believe it will have launched by the beginning of May (if it hasn’t, I’ll just edit this line).
Edited. Now July.
There will be many differences and I hope improvements on the new site, and it will have new forum software.
This new software will allow the creation of moderators.
To that end I wanted to ask how forum members think we should go about asking for volunteers to be moderators and how we should select them.
Please do not volunteer one another.
This would too easily become a public debate on the merits or otherwise of a forum member.
But any advice on the process gratefully received.
Tom Otley12 Mar 2016
What will happen to the present forum? Will it disappear or be incorporated into the new one.?
What I am really asking is, will previous threads be accessible or will the threads all have to be new?12 Mar 2016
a couple of comments:
1. over the past couple of years the BT Forum has become a very pleasant Forum with BT staff joining the discussions. You probably know the areas of speciality / like / dislike for each contributor.
2. to gain a broad spread of discussion, please do consider moderators for controversial and perhaps negative subjects as well as the standard and general subjects
3. my main wish, if I am allowed to have one :)… is that BT Forum with the new software and moderators, does not lose its personal feel and does not turn into a FT v2…..
Thanks Tom and the BT team for continuing to support this wonderful Forum and knowledge base.12 Mar 2016
In answer to this
What will happen to the present forum? Will it disappear or be incorporated into the new one.?
What I am really asking is, will previous threads be accessible or will the threads all have to be new?
All threads will be exported across and put into an “archive” where they can be accessed (they will either have the same url or have a redirect on them.
Where there is a popular thread or one people are still contributing to, then we will put it into one of the new categories (eg: British Airways / Lounges) and then it will be immediately visible.
Users will have the same username (eg: transtraxman) and same account details, though on first logging in you will be asked to change your password since we’ve upgraded the security on the accounts.
I hope the forum retains its feel – I think it will because if people prefer FlyerTalk they tend to post there (or the many other aviation-related sites).
What I’ve always wanted is for this to be a place where people could exchange useful information – without being experts or having any desire to become one.12 Mar 2016
On the subject of moderators, I think you need to recognise that this can be a time consuming and thankless job, so you should seek volunteers who are prepared to make a commitment – that may rule out a lot of good candidates.
Then beyond that, you need people who are going to be able to set aside their own views in order to be fair to multiple parties – this is not easy.
There should be a probation period for new moderators, for example 2 months.
I would suggest that you should create and publish very clear terms of reference, including moderator authority levels and any route of appeal in the event someone is banned.
As Martyn SInclair implies, the site is largely self moderating, at the moment and a challenge will be introducing moderation that does not stifle some of the banter, but keeps good order.
Finally, I would suggest that (software permitting) you create a ‘British Airways Supporters’ forum, that the ‘pro’ camp can use to comment on their fave airline and which allows other users who are not bothered to easily avoid threads – that should reduce some of the feelings of ‘anti BA’ that occasionally fly around, when people respond to threads in the Top 10; anyone who deliberately visited this forum to wind people up could be excluded from it.12 Mar 2016
Agree with pretty much everything that has been said so far.
A few points from me.
Like/dislike buttons on forums are becoming more common and I rather like them. An easy opportunity for people to give the thumbs up/thumbs down to what is being said.
Consider preventing new posters from starting a new thread, often they are rants about an airline with questionable provinence.
I think the fact some posters on here do clash from time to time (me and FDOS for example) actually adds a bit of reality to the whole thing. People naturally argue and provided it remains un-personal and in good spirit should be allowed. Would not like to see it go at all, it is argument that brings out facts one might not have considered. A few times I have entered the debate with one view and come out on the other side due to the debate.
Moderators is a difficult one, clearly it has to not turn in to being banished or post deleted due to a difference of opinion. Perhaps a system whereby as soon as action is taken against a post/poster there is an immediate right of appeal to another moderator (of the posters choice). Perhaps a small bio of each moderator with their interests and travel habits.
One other is sub posts, it would allow for main topics to drift off topic without those that want to stay on topic being able to do so without trolling through off topic stuff. I am probably guilty of going off topic, but I figure when one is in a conversation (in person) topics develop to others and so on.
Lastly, I would like to echo Martyn’s sentiments, your doing a great job and I think even with opposing opinions the vast majority of posters value it highly and have respect at least for the regular posters.
Hope that’s helpful Tom.12 Mar 2016
IMHO moderation should be a light touch. I use several forums and the best ones are those where the mods step in as a last resort. Usually that comes down to:
1. Thread goes off topic
2. Personal/offensive comments
3. Reaches a natural conclusion (like the HEX thread)
Beyond that I would say BT just needs some fine tuning to cut out the regular spamming and also stop people posting and then removing comments after replied to.
As far as nominating is concerned presumably people can put themselves forward and most modern forums have some form of poll/vote system where the results can be kept hidden until after the close date.
I think there is a risk of over-engineering it though, the moderation on FT (for example) is good but their ‘TalkBoard’ set up is a bit dull and seems to consist of people who mainly bicker among themselves and add zip all value otherwise.12 Mar 2016
“I think the fact some posters on here do clash from time to time (me and FDOS for example) actually adds a bit of reality to the whole thing. People naturally argue and provided it remains un-personal and in good spirit should be allowed. Would not like to see it go at all, it is argument that brings out facts one might not have considered. A few times I have entered the debate with one view and come out on the other side due to the debate. “
Mr Michael, I aupport you fully – we have differences of opinion, but I would like to think ours are more akin to a friendly disagreement over a pint, than anything serious – it would be boring if we have a hive mind and people do have different perspectives, usually for a good reason 🙂12 Mar 2016
Excellent points thus far.
Wrt Thumbs Up (Like) or Down (Don’t like) – this works well on many other sites, however the Down thumb should be regarded as an indicator of disagreement with the sentiment being expressed and not that the sentiment should be withdrawn/closed/deleted. Therefore to make the mods job easier maybe consider a “report” flag.12 Mar 2016
Agree with most of the points made by all. I like BigDog suggestion of the thumbs. Sometimes I don’t want to comment but agree with somethings so the thumbs up or down would be good.
Is there going to be an option to stop the emails when something is up dated on a particular thread, rather than having to stop all email alerts?12 Mar 2016
Looking forward to the new site and forum. I echo some of the above and do like the feel of the forum which I don’t think (and hope) will be lost.
With regards to the moderation, it is needed but I agree with simons1 about it being a light touch and should promote discussion but be there to clear out the spam posts etc.
Would 2 levels of moderation be a good idea with selected members performing moderation on a level that wouldn’t be time consuming and can be done while viewing the forum for their own personal enjoyment and then BT having say overall control of banning for example.
I’m not sure I agree FDOS about the need for a pro supporters section for any particular topic or airline. This seems like it would just open issues and I’m sure we are all big enough to respect other people’s choice. Separating out topics to this level to me means there are less opinions being debated.12 Mar 2016
This is a welcome development. Like many regular posters, I have gained much from the forum, and enjoy sharing my experiences for others.
Yes, in the past there have been some clashes between posters, but this is inevitable wherever opinions are shared. Most of us can disagree on an issue but remain in peaceful co-existence (to paraphrase Star Trek!)
I agree that acting as moderator would involve giving up some time, however as BT resources and management time make the forum possible, giving something back is not at all unreasonable, in my view.12 Mar 2016
I’m also going to echo the sentiments that have already been made,and am looking forward to seeing the new layout.
I’m going to be slightly controversial here and ask why we need moderators. To me,it seems that the forum self policies itself these days which in reality means we pretty much moderate each other.
Having said that,this is the only discussion board I have time to contribute too regularly. Kickback is the occasional other one and I’m not sure they have moderators either so I’m commenting from a place of ignorance.
One final appeal to you Tom. I own my own passport,and if I require any visas in the future I’m more than likely going to choose the legal route : )13 Mar 2016