New Forum Guidelines... ugh!

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Apr 21st, 2013, 01:28 PM
  #1
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New Forum Guidelines... ugh!

So now anyone who wishes to tout there services can, based on how I read/understand the new guidelines, as long as they provide their URL in said thread. I won't even get into the many replies to overall changes regarding the Lounge.

Just today on this Africa/Middle East Forum a tout has posted their advert to every thread with the subject 'Tanzania' even those that are years old. Believe Fodor's made a big, big mistake.

Comments welcomed!
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Apr 21st, 2013, 05:03 PM
  #2
 
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I really wonder why anyone interested in safaris and Africa continues to spend much time on Fodors. Go to a dedicated/actively monitored safari website: Safaritalk.net. IMHO Fodors today, unlike a few years ago, is now only useful on the non-Africa forums.
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 03:01 AM
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Agreed - Safaritalk is a good resource for this information as there seems to be nominal postings about safaris on the Fodors forum these days.
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 06:18 AM
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<>

Agree 110%!
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 08:56 AM
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Agree with all of above. Especially that allowing tout/advertising will wound this forum even more.

When I joined Forum in 2005 and for a few years this forum was reasonably active. I can name at least 6 valuable contributors whom are no longer around here. Some I'm sure have moved on to other adventures.

Safaritalk.net is much more useful. And I suspect TripAdvisor is being used my many newcomers. Although on TA I find the many reports/comments by first time safari goers to be less than useless.

Myself, I'll hang around a while until my safari experience becomes too outdated to be useful. I might, might not, have one more trip to Africa in me (have had 8) to Kenya.

regards - tom
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 10:46 AM
  #6
 
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I agree with the negative comments about the changes on Fodor's, but I have found this forum incredibly useful since I joined in 2009 - for my 2 trips to Africa, and planned 3rd trip. I am a member of Safaritalk, but it's so large with so many different areas to pick from, that I find I have less patience for spending time on that site. With Fodor's at least I can open just one page and quickly scan through to see if anything's of interest.
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 03:06 PM
  #7
TC
 
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Cateyes555, I agree completely. I spent a bit of time on Safaritalk, but found it confusing and very opinionated. Some of the members can be less than welcoming to newbies or anyone that chooses to travel in a manner other than their own, too. There are a few very nice people on ST who have answered questions. However, those people also respond on Fodor's.

I do agree that allowing touts on the boards is a horrid mistake. We all know that some are here, but I quite like it when they are forced to stay low key and respond to the question asked. At least they have to appear to be impartial. With the new policy they can post an out and out advert and get away with it simply by posting a link. Heaven help us.
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 04:30 PM
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I also agree with Cateyes555.

Have only been hanging around here since 2010 and found the forum invaluable in planning my first and now my second trip to Africa.

For the most part contributors come & go with just a few that stop by regularly and there's nothing wrong with that.

Having to now muddle thru touts postings selling their services without really providing any valuable information ike some on here do will be a real pain!

Am also one who finds Safaritalk is information overload and a bit confusing to navigate.
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 06:25 PM
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I am fairly active on TripAdvisor and I find it to be alive and well. There are 10 times as many posts just in the South Africa forum per day than this entire Africa/Middle East forum. I do find the comments there to be pretty helpful.

Mike
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 06:37 AM
  #10
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I have a lot of information about Cozumel, Mexico to share, but gave up on the Mexico Forum on Fodor's a long time ago in favor of the TA forum. Like Mike says, there is just so much more activity on TA. I think Fodor's lost their edge somewhere along the line and this latest move isn't going to get it back.
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 11:13 AM
  #11
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I got the impression they might be in the pocket of some operators or guides when I was severely taken to task for criticizing the practices of a guide featured in the Interview section. All the regulars seem to have used him. Even though there was no doubt that what he had done was inappropriate (including video of the incident) and it was a practice which had previously been admonished by the board when done by other guides, this time they would hear none of it and rushed to defend and rationalize. I think that was when I lost respect for the SF board.
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 05:37 PM
  #12
 
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What started off as a very useful and 'to the point' opening post has degenerated into a rather personal and nasty attack on someone who is an honourable man. I don't post or read Fodors much these days as I just don't have time but I have enjoyed many conversations here over the years. I have never approved of anyone slagging off Fodors or Safaritalk members as often the interests are different and no one should behave like that. Sadly, there are some at each forum who feel the need to be derogatory about the others. We are not all like that.

Just to make it completely plain and on the record. Matt is the sole operator of Safaritalk and is not in anyone's pocket and accepts NO kickbacks. 902alert you should be ashamed of yourself to suggest such a thing and I would love to see what evidence you are using to make such libellous statements. So I, for one, will be reporting that particular post because it is unfounded in any sort of fact and is quite clearly against any sort of Fodors guidelines.

TC, I know that you were disappointed with the direction your thread took and I personally feel that it was unfortunate and I felt some sympathy for your viewpoint. To be fair, there was enough ambiguity in what happened to consider that there was more than one point of view of the incidence and that being the case, people who had recently been on safari with this guide were naturally going to spring to his defence. The idea that Matt is in the pocket of some operators is ridiculous, anyone can see that he isn't swanning around on safari accepting free accommodation or even reduced price safaris so what advantage is he getting from any operators.

"All the regulars seem to use him" - do you seriously believe this statement? Really? The main regulars, me included, have never used him.

Sure, all forums made of passionate, disparate people will have quite polarised views on many things and not everyone's thoughts on all safari/conservation subjects will be shared, but that shouldn't mean that we all should be given this sort of blanket, derogatory comments.

Welcoming new members to Safaritalk is something all members try and take seriously. I don't know of many other forums which have a section devoted just to introductions.

Matt is very conscious of editing any posts which may be considered libellous or slanderous, if that is what some consider controlling then I find that very strange. A shame Fodors moderators don't share this desire to see some sort of truth and accountability in posts.

I find Fodors and Trip Advisor both serve a very useful purpose but neither have the conservation focus which I enjoy and that is where Safaritalk excels for me. That and the ability to post trip reports with embedded photos. Personally, I am a bit sad that they can't all co-exist without this ill feeling and spitefulness.
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 07:05 PM
  #13
 
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902alert your post is outrageous, unfounded and disgraceful. I too, have reported you to the Fodors moderators. TC, your follow-up is also of the same category. You should both apologize to the Safaritalk moderator.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 02:43 AM
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"

902alert on Apr 23, 13 at 12:52pm


Safaritalk is controlled and does not offer free valuable advise.

If they like an operator they punt it often with kickbacks so be very carefull."

902 - please provide additional details to substantiate these comments. I've been a ST member for a few years and to be candid had quite the opposite impression. To state that ST doesn't offer "free valuable advise" is quite astounding given the amount of highly detailed information available.

Also, there is a clearly marked Lodge, Camp and Operator" subforum where safari operators are allowed to post offers should they choose. To the best of my knowledge the owner/operator and only employee of Safaritalk hasn't been to Africa in a few years because of family circumstances.


TC: because someone doesn't share your point of view doesn't mean they are "in the pocket" of a tour operator. It means that they disagree with what you are saying.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 12:01 PM
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As a TO who posts on SafariTalk I can safely say that we don't get any special treatment. I was a member before I started my company, and I still post. As a TO there is a lodge/Operator area that we can post trips on etc, but the rest of the site is strictly no touting.

I know the owner of ST and whilst I have had beers with him as a friend I can safely say he gets no kickbacks from me and we get no special treatment on SafariTalk from him.

Like all online forums there will be opinionated posters on ST that you won't warm to. But you can easily filter out the chaff because there is also some great advice and some very knowledgeable people.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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I have read the posts by 902 and TC with great disappointment as they have changed the tone of this thread from positive discussion to negative accusations. Serious allegations have been made that seem to be designed to damage the reputation of a person who I believe is very honorable and who runs an excellent website. I am a regular user of Safaritalk and, as a relative newcomer to safaris, I have found the site to be extremely helpful, welcoming and full of “free valuable advice”.
I have registered a complaint with Fodor’s regarding 902’s allegations as I believe they are libellous.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 03:10 PM
  #17
TC
 
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The most important words in the above post...."I got the impression...." When you are very close to something, it is often difficult to see it through the eyes of another. I am not the first, nor will I be the last to put ST into that "consider the source" category. If the appearance doesn't gel with the fact, maybe it's time to do some image repair. It hardly helps to kill the messenger.

Now....back to Fodors.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 08:29 PM
  #18
 
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Different strokes for different folks, and different travel forums too.

So you're thinking of Kenya, eh, Tom?
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Apr 24th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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HI ATLynn-
Kenya, no, not very much. Those long flights from USA-CA still very much inhibit my enthusiasm for traveling. Even flying within USA, the festival of aggravation at the airports, the cattle car planes, the security, etc just makes it not worth it for me. Sure, I should fly Business or First class, great - if you'll buy my ticket for me
My sister kind of wants to go back on safari, she went with Carolyn and me to South Africa in 2007. Loved it. So if she can talk me into it (unlikely), I'd suggest she/we see the classic African savannah plains (Kenya, TZ). (I have on two safaris).

Meanwhile, I wish you and everyone many happy safaris. There is nothing else in the world like it.

regards - tom
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Apr 25th, 2013, 06:59 AM
  #20
 
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" I might, might not, have one more trip to Africa in me (have had 8) to Kenya."

That made me think Kenya could be on the list. I hope your sister is persuasive. If not, you have a lifetime of safari photos to enjoy.

"Nothing else like it in the world." There's a slogan that one of the new crop of URL posting touts might like. If you see it in print, demand a free trip!
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