Fodors Africa travel archive - Let the people speak!

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Apr 12th, 2004, 05:08 AM
  #1
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Fodors Africa travel archive - Let the people speak!

Fellow Fodorites,

I dont know how many times have I tried to look up "that wonderful posting on Fodors that someone posted last year" and could not find it. Has this ever happened to you? I am sure it has and if it has not rest assured in the future it could well happen! To prevent this from being the case how about the following idea?

I think the time has come that we ask Fodors to institute an "Valuable postings archive" on the Africa page for posts which are invaluable in terms of content and that have a long term information function. A classic example right now is King's posting of "Location, location location " This is an excellent posting and will be a very valuable one for anyone whoever contemplates a safari in the future. The contents of the posting is timeless. Right now the posting is at position 28 in the Fodors thread list and soon it will be on one of the back pages and then off the page completely. It would be a real pity for this too happen to such a valuable posting. In the same manner I feel that there are quite a number of similar postings on the page that deserve to be archived for future readers as well as Fodorites on the board already.

In terms of what postings should be placed in the archives may I suggest that we follow a democratic path for taking this decision and by that I mean if lets say 10 (or whatever amount we all decide on) posters agree that the posting is worth archiving then we could ask Fodors to archive the thread for us. If anyone on the board feels that a posting should be archive material he/she simply has to post a mail saying "I propose that mail xyz be archived" and then those who agree or disagree can comment accordingly. If the yes votes win by 10 (or whatever) then the post should be archived.

I believe that if we have an archive like this then as valuable as the Fodors Africa webpage is right now it will become even more valuable in the future when it comes to Africa travel.

Comments please!!

Let the people speak!

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Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
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Apr 12th, 2004, 07:34 AM
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I think that's a terrific idea. I know there are a number of threads I've saved as txt files (Kavey had one with a ton of links that was quite useful). But the wealth of good discussion on King's recent thread is another that shouldn't be lost. (And more than just generally useful to anyone planning a safari for the first or second time.)
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Apr 12th, 2004, 06:37 PM
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Selwyn, it's a great idea. Does Fodor's do this for other parts of the board?

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Apr 13th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Great idea Selwyn!
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Apr 13th, 2004, 10:41 PM
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Clematis,

I dont think that the archive facility exists on Fodors as yet but in my opinion there is no harm in trying to lobby the editors of the Africa travel page to introduce the system.

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Apr 18th, 2004, 09:52 PM
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Relative to the mails by Cronen and Sandi under the header "Strange things are happening on the board" I am "board topping" this mail so as to try and find more support for the idea of starting an archive.

I dont think it would be fair if we simply go to the editors of Fodors and ask them for a facility like this unless there is some good, strong support from Fodorites to want an archive. I have even thought of simply starting a Fodors Africa archive myself on a private website where we could tell new Fodorites about the archive, however I really dont think that this would be the way to go even though I cannot see how the editors of Fodors could stop us. At this point I believe we should first have the support in stronger Fodrites numbers so as to show the editors that we want this archive and therafter, only if the support is there, make the request to them. In my experience with the Fodors editors they are open to all ideas and consider everything very carefully and have always responded to these type of queries no matter what.

So fellow Fodorites I ask again "How about an archive"?

Lets hear from you!

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Apr 19th, 2004, 04:21 AM
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Selwyn - thanks for topping this. I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner, but have been caught up in other things these past few weeks.

But, yes, it would definitely be a good idea to archive those postings containing information pertinant to many travelers to Africa. So add me to that list for such a service.
 
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Apr 19th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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I'm in two minds about this...
We have a similar "Classic Threads" archive folder on a board that I administrate and each member has different ideas of what constitutes a thread worth moving into it and what doesn't.
Given that all threads are archived anyway, I personally am happy to find them using the search tool.
That said I'd be just as happy for them to be archived seperately too.
But then it becomes an issue of who looks after the whole affair? If it's one of the same inconsistent board moderators who decide when to delete a post or thread and when to leave it then I'd say to forget it - they are so inconsistent and abitrary as to be completely incomprehensible!
Good luck though!
Kavey
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Apr 19th, 2004, 10:28 AM
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I think what Kavey says makes sense however what I am proposing is that we as Fodorites tell the Fodors editors what to place in the archive; not them tell us as Fodorites. Once the archive has been established the editors of Fodors should have no say in what stays on the board or what gets deleted.

I find that many writings get lost on the board so easily. Many times I look for something that I wrote myself and cant find it. Amongst others it is for this as well as other reasons that I have already outlined earlier in this thread that I suggested this idea.
(How many people who have come to this board now read King's excellent Location location location thread?)
I feel that a mechanism that could be proposed to Fodors is that if someone on the board feels that a thread should be archived then he/she can simply ask via a thread on the page something like:
Proposal - Archive xyz thread? He /she does not have to motivate as to why this should be done; it just becomes a question of is there other support out there to archive the thread or not. If lets say 10 (a bit of a thumbsuck which we can all debate) votes of confidence are attained then Fodors simply has to place the thread in the Africa archive. The thread stays there forever. With that said the administration is minimal and should not become a problem. My view is that I dont think there will be more than 5-10 archived threads a year.

Comments??

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Apr 19th, 2004, 11:31 AM
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I'm all for it. It is very difficult to find individual messages on the board. I have noticed sometimes I can use the search engine and what came up yesterday is different from today. Also, one word can change it. I think having "threads" is a great idea. I agree that most of the discussions on the board can be catagorized into 10 - 20 threads. Example-accomodations-people are consistently asking questions about lodges, etc., or tour operator recommendation information. A thread on those topics would be great.
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Apr 19th, 2004, 12:14 PM
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I think that sounds wonderful -- the task itself is something that only might require checking on once a week or so, if it's set up simply enough.
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Apr 19th, 2004, 05:32 PM
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Archives are fine and dandy but are no substitute for actual research and, especially, actual experience.

I do think that if Fodorites used more relevant subject headings, it would go a long way in helping other Fodorites locate a thread later on.

Regarding what should qualify for an archive or not, I am not sure that 10 yes votes is the way to go. I have seen some great posts where there are never more than even a response or two. On the other hand, I have seen other posts that have 20+ responses that I would not consider archive worthy.

I do think that the Fodors system is already pretty good considering that at least new replies result in topping the thread, which is not the case in some other forums I have seen (Lonely Planet's Thorntree).

Lastly, I do have suspicions whether or not this is not a way for certain Fodorites to be memorialized forever in the archives. Although I am sure that I would have posts that were archived as well, I don't think that does much for the continuation of new discussion on the board. Why generate new discussion when you can simply tap into the archives (for dated information)?

Leave well enough alone. This is a wonderful forum and really does not need any significant improvements.
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Apr 20th, 2004, 12:06 AM
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Roccco,

I think that what you say is quite constructive however I dont agree with all.

>I do think that if Fodorites used more relevant subject headings, it would go a long way in helping other Fodorites locate a thread later on.<

As much as I agree with the above how would one attain this level of header naming especially amongst newbies to Fodors? The idea is just not practical.
What I do however want to suggest is that if we decide to have an archive and place a thread in this section then we ask the original poster if we can change the header to something more pertinent in case the header is not correctly descriptive.

>Regarding what should qualify for an archive or not, I am not sure that 10 yes votes is the way to go. I have seen some great posts where there are never more than even a response or two. On the other hand, I have seen other posts that have 20+ responses that I would not consider archive worthy.<

I dont think the value of a posting lies in how many people continue the thread. I believe the value lies in the quality of the post. One post in a thread could constitute a brilliant thread. With that said there is a huge difference in continuing a thread as opposed to simply answering a proposal that a thread is good by voting for it to go into the archives.

>I do think that the Fodors system is already pretty good considering that at least new replies result in topping the thread, which is not the case in some other forums I have seen (Lonely Planet's Thorntree)<

Once again I agree that at present the Fodors system is pretty good but that does not mean that it cant be improved. In this regard I feel that as contributors we are at the coalface and should try and make suggestions as much as we can to continuously improve the board. With that said I feel that unfortunately the topping system does not always work. I keep mentioning King's thread of "Location location location". In my opinion this was a brilliant post and look where it is on on the board as I write this mail? Way down yonder!

>Lastly, I do have suspicions whether or not this is not a way for certain Fodorites to be memorialized forever in the archives. Although I am sure that I would have posts that were archived as well, I don't think that does much for the continuation of new discussion on the board."<

Roccco I have to disagree completely with the above. Who would want to write a post with the specific purpose of having it archived and thus being memorialised? Do me a favour! It seems as if you are scared that others will have their posts archived and you might not have your posts archived meaning that your post count in the archives will be less than others. The only reason as to why I am making this statement is because may I remind you that you have done this childish exercise on this board before

In terms of continuation of discussion I must mention that an archive would mean that we have a sector on the board that contains pertinent, useful, long lasting information. To expect that more writings will not take place on the board because of an archive is not correct because all that these "missed writings" will represent will be duplicated information. The whole idea of an archive is to narrow down the daily postings that are on the board making the board qualitative while "bread and butter" articles are read once in the archive and not repeated in daily threads on the page. I also want to add that an archive could also generate new discussion in that someone who reads something in the archive might query the information or maybe even want to add to it with new findings on the subject via a new thread on the board.

>Why generate new discussion when you can simply tap into the archives (for dated information)?><

Here Roccco you have an excellent point and this is something which I feel has to be considered viz dated information. The archives could well become dated at some stage and I feel that the only way to maintain some sort of control over this is to ensure that when we vote for a post to be archived we try to not archive a post that can become dated. An example is that I dont believe that a "good deal" post should be archived as this will date, whereas a good general "what to take with you on safari" post should be archived as this will very rarely change.

>Leave well enough alone. This is a wonderful forum and really does not need any significant improvements.<

Fully agreed however there is no harm in trying to improve this forum or anything that one does in life, hence the call for all to comment and who knows maybe this forum can become an even better place to visit in the future.

Just my twopence worth

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Apr 20th, 2004, 12:08 AM
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Rocco
Just for info, you can set preferences for LPTT forums to show threads most recently modified first. My biggest gripe with LPTT is that threads are not archived and "fall" off the end of the list if they haven't received a response for 4 weeks or so. That leads to newbies asking the same questions again and again (which is perfectly normal and valid) and oldies getting bored and frustrated. Unlike here they can't even suggest a search through old threads since there aren't any!
I think an alternative here might be ONE thread that ONE OF US create into which we copy links of other useful threads such as King's Location, Location, Location. Between us we could keep it topped.
That's just one alternative.
I don't feel strongly enough for or against the Archive suggestion to mind what solution you all ask Fodors to implement.

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